[Written during the Reagan administration as “A Poem for the Cruel Majority” & a counter to talk then about “the silent majority” & its rising place in our national politics. The result of the recent election, in which a minority of the electorate brought Donald J. Trump into office, caused me to rethink & to reword the earlier designation. If further changes are needed (& they will be), I’ll think about it. (J. R.)]
[Farzad Kamangar was a thirty-two-year-old Iranian teacher, poet, journalist, human rights activist, and social worker who was hanged on May 9, 2010. At his execution, he offered chocolates to all the observers.]
[NOTE: In the more than six decades of my friendship with David Antin the pleasure of talking & thinking together was foremost, as much where we disagreed as where we agreed, & David & I knew that for any surface differences we had, the underlying impulse was nearly identical & made for a bond that even now fills me with wonder. I was also keenly aware of his trickster side — as he was, I know, of mine — & never sought to turn him away from it but always relished his thrust toward the unexpected & outrageous.