News & Politics

More Queer Poetry from Norman Mailer

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Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

February 15, 1962, Vol. VII, No. 17

A Study of Cancer in English Grammar

that               what
which               would
would               be
be               which
is               is
what               that

gertrude died
malignant
by her end
fags adored her
sent flowers
to the dead mouth
cemented
snails in stucco
and gave a hair to cheer
because
in truth
gertrude
upon
ernest
had put
a curse

— Norman Mailer

Solos at Random

By Nat Hentoff

The Merry-Go-Round: A couple I know has been juggling the idea of getting married. The main barrier is her color. She’s white. He isn’t. He isn’t about to trust whites in general, and he finds it hard to make specific exceptions. “Look,” the girl growled in exasperation the other night. “Suppose we got married. And then suppose we had a daughter. Would you want her to marry a white man?” Her sometime friend was genuinely and utterly shocked. “Hell, NO!” he roared.

When Lenny Bruce was picked up on drug charges last September, the wire services diligently spread the word, many dailies picked it up, and Variety — the Our Sunday Visitor of show business — naturally played it big. Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention, but the first I knew the charges had all been dropped was a small clipping from a Philadelphia newspaper in the mail. The grand jury refused to indict. An interesting and unresolved prologue involve Bruce’s charge that he was given a chance to avoid a grand-jury appearance in return for $10,000. He refused, and discounting being so pervasive these days, the fee was cut to $3500. Bruce, a chronic subversive, again refused. It seems to me that Variety might find it in its brimming heart to write an editorial commending Lenny for setting an example to show folk by not paying off when the fuzz is riding high….

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

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