Samuel R. Delany on Ethnocentricity


To assume you can somehow escape ethnocentricity and that there is some objective position that stands outside your culture from which, “freely and rightly,” you can criticize other groups who are “trapped” in theirs is the moment of blindness from which grow all the abuses of the dominant, unmarked state when that particular state, whatever it is, obtains dominance—which, if it is culturally useful enough, it will.

­–“Escaping Ethnocentricity?” by Samuel R. Delany

Go read the whole thing.



New Year

I drop the dying year behind me like a shawl
and let it fall. The urgent fireworks fling themselves
against the night, flowers of desire, love’s fervency.
Out of the space around me, standing here, I shape
your absent body against mine. You touch me as the giving air.

Most far, most near, your arms are darkness, holding me,
so I lean back, lip-read the heavens talking on in light,
syllabic stars. I see, at last, they pray at us. Your breath
is midnight’s, living, on my skin, across the miles between us,
fields and motorways and towns, the million lit-up little homes.

This love we have, grief in reverse, full rhyme, wrong place,
wrong time, sweet work for hands, the heart’s vocation, flares
to guide the new year in, the days and nights far out upon the sky’s
dark sea. Your mouth is snow on my lips, cool, intimate, first kiss,
a vow. Time falls and falls through endless space, to when we are.

Carol Ann Duffy, in Rapture

Quoted by Growing Orbits, h/t @tsbazelli.

Maybe next New Year’s my boyfriend will be in the same state as me.  ::wistful sigh::