Only will I establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
The centrally exciting and important fact, from which ramify the thousand others which otherwise would have no clear and valid existence, is: that was the way it was. What could be more moving, more significant or true: every force and hidden chance in the universe has so combined that a certain thing was the way it was.
James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Do you ever notice as you write that no matter what there is on the written page, something appears to be in back of everything that is said, a little ghost? I judged that this ghost is there to remind us there is always more, an elsewhere, a hiddenness, a secondary form of speech, an eye blink…there is something more I do not say. Leave this little echo to haunt the poem. Do not give it form, but let it assume its own ghostlike shape.
For decades the governing cry of our cities has been 'Never speak to strangers.' I propose that in a democratic city it is imperative that we speak to strangers, live next to them, and learn how to relate to them on many levels, from to the political to the sexual. City venues must be designed to allow these multiple interactions to occur easily, with a minimum of danger, comfortably, and conveniently. This is what politics - the way of living in the polis, in the city - is about.
Samuel Delany,Times Square Red, Times Square Blue