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  • Jon Curley

Gospels & Gutters

"Though I wrote the Gospels in this century, I should die in the gutter."

Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, June 29, 1851


"To seize the world and shake it upside down/And every stinking bum deserves a crown." Iggy Pop, "Cry for Love"


As we converge on the 4th of July, the impulse to celebrate country constrains the borders of our compassion on a lateral (international/ist) and vertical (class) level. Sensitivity to the plight of others is as frayed as our flag when we allow for blind allegiance to so many punishing policies and practices of its enforcers.


On this first day of July, let us preemptively convert patriotism into prayer and not forget the migrants, the masses, the junkies, the flunkies, the losers, the sick, the suffering, the diseased, the homeless, the outsiders, the drifters, the wayward, the undone, the beleaguered, the blitzed, the forgotten, the tragic, your sisters and brothers, all of those others, the Damned.


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Comrade to the dispossessed in the art world, David Wojnarowicz died 26 years ago this month. The Whitney Museum launches a major retrospective of his work on July 13th. Friday the 13th: May David W. hex anew all those apostles of bigotry, all of those suppliants of finance unconcerned by want because what they want: profits, not people, profits, not prophets, healers, seekers, dreamers, and the majority of us who languish in their playpens of unfit profit.

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© 2018 Jon Curley