Books and Arts
Reading about the latest controversy at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles—the apparently forced resignation of the longtime head curator Paul Schimmel over the pop-culture exhibitions that the new director Jeffrey Deitch is bringing to the museum—I experienced my usual feelings of disbelief.
It is called The Black Panther, and for the moment at least it cannot be seen in America. I daresay it deserves another title, now, one that avoids suggestions of horror or intimations of radical black politics. There is horror in this movie, though our standards for that genre have changed so much since 1977, when the film very briefly opened in Britain.
We played in the shadow Of murderers’ at work, Kneading soldiers out of mud, Stepping on them When we were done playing. Girls walking the streets Gave us bread to eat. An old dog with a limp Kept us warm at night As we huddled in doorways. My friends, my playmates, We never saw the dead, Only the birds scatter After we heard the gunshots And ducked our heads. This poem appeared in the September 13, 2012 issue of the magazine.