Archive for January, 2020


Monday, January 20th, 2020

There was nearly a murder a day in my adopted city of Baltimore in 2019; the official total being 348. The casualties in this ongoing, undeclared, and pointless war fell once again most heavily on African-American families. We are a very long way from “the dream” well intentioned pundits glibly invoke each Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend as if sentimentality were enough to stanch the bleeding. The “post-racial society” heralded by some after Barack Obama’s election was, it seems, no more than wishful thinking. (more…)

The Journey of the Magi

Monday, January 6th, 2020

It’s the Feast of the Epiphany in the West and of the Theophany in the East, and though T S Eliot’s Ariel Poem, “The Journey of the Magi,” gets trotted rather often this time of year, there’s still something in the words that makes me shiver. From the slightly modified excerpt from Lancelot Andrewes’s 1622 Christmas Day sermon that comprises the first five lines to the troubled thoughts of the speaker at the close (and from which Chinua Achebe took the title of his 1960 novel, No Longer at Ease), this is a dramatic monologue in conversation with the living and the dead.