James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”

“It’s terrible sometimes inside,” he said, “that’s what’s the trouble. You walk these streets, black and funky and cold, and there’s not really a living ass to talk to, and there’s nothing shaking, and there’s no way of getting it out– that storm inside. You can’t talk it and you can’t make love with it, and when you finally try to get with it and play it, you realize nobody’s listening. So you’ve got to listen. You got to find a way to listen.”


James Baldwin, “The Fight: Patterson vs. Liston”

“We watched him jump rope, which he must do according to some music in his head, very beautiful and gleaming and far away, like a boy saint helplessly dancing and seen through the steaming windows of a storefront church.”

Raul Zarita, “The Country of Ice”

“There will be nothing. The gigantic frozen faces
of the mountain flank the frigid march and you
see then the portraits of some boys emerging
from behind the ice. The first face surprises you,
his eyes look up and his lips seem to smile. A
shadow holds him by the hand. You remember
then an interprovincial bus and a seat next to the
window. His little face looks up at you and you
in turn look at him as you press against the glass.
You speak to him knowing that he will only see
the movement of your mouth and your hands
waving goodbye. Now you see him there once
more, through the glaciers, and you want to tell
him something, to leave the bus once and for all,
to take him in your arms.
The cold immobilizes you. You then see the crowd,
the naked, frozen humanity advancing through
the frost and it’s something infinitely remote,
glacial, his face abandoned already in ice.”