“Reverend Ewing Sends Compasión Magazine”

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Poets Note:  My ethnic-sounding name apparently found its way to a mailing list for Reverend Ewing’s newsletter/propaganda/donation vehicle targeted at minority believers. As in most American communications Otherness implicitly signifies race as default and Black symbolizes the epitome of Otherness. Also, again making American culture more trying, is the undertow of Calvinistic, metaphysical helplessness: one helps the other whom–heaven help us if it is actually stated–God has condemned to be less than white. Of course, Ewing wasn’t just chosen randomly among the colors and among mankind to help out the damned. On the other hand, one does wear a smile when contemplating that he is exemplary of the best that God can do.

This poem was originally published in Translations without Originals, I. Reed Books, 1980.

It was reprinted in Ear to the Ground: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, ed. by Marie Harris and Kathleen Aguero, U. of Georgia Press, 1989.

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