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Creatures of liquid light, vagabonds of underwater currents,
Students of belly dancing, the ocean’s brides loyal to his moods.
With their final breath, forgotten Phoenician gods
Inflated glassy bodies that shine like empty clepsydrae.
Tails wrap playfully around the mesh in fishing nets,
The tiny wings’ fluttering sketches pillows of eternity in the restless sleep of the drowned.
They are princes of confidence. And when the female spawns eggs into the male
So that he bears them and gives birth, they are the social democratic ideal of reproduction.
Too fragile for guilt, but noticeable enough
That the jealous eye of the blue mussel thinks of beauty and love.
Among the shadows of people, sea horse bodies dry,
Lose translucence, become rough and blunt.
Between two fingers you crush them, beauty and love,
Into what is not beautiful and what (you don’t remember) stopped loving.
—translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry
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How would I know / when I’m empty and quiet like breath?
Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.