Here are poetic tangents – mine with Lorde’s and Rukeyser’s – to a podcast I heard last night: a tribute paid to Eqbal Ahmad by his friend, Edward Said. Said contrasted his personal ‘filiation’ with his ‘affiliation’ in relation to Ahmad and the world of idea(l)s, Ahmad’s unceasing commitment to the creative versus mere politics, his fiery exhortations rooted in peace, and the sacrifice one has to make in pursuit of love (justice by any other name).
To engage what is true with what is most
It's the moor to an unhandsome toil the imperfect the stone it's the moor to loveless anchor blanched in yellow in-& out of tune
It’s compensation for kin with what is most
"I say across the waves of the air to you: today once more I will try to be non-violent one more day this morning, waking the world away in the violent day"1
To once more blur imagination with what is most
"Disrobed need shrieks through the nearby streets... a brown sloe-eyed boy picks blotches from his face, eyes my purse shivering white dust a holy fire in his blood"2
1. from “Waking This Morning” – Muriel Rukeyser
2. from “The Politics of Addiction” – Audre Lorde
I have taken the liberty of changing the line breaks in the two excerpts above.