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Friday, December 15, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


    Louie Crew Clay

    Louie Crew Clay
    Louie Crew Clay,  81, is an Anniston, Alabama native and Professor Emeritus at Rutgers. He lives in East Orange, NJ, with Ernest Clay, his husband for 43 years. He holds an M.A. from Auburn University, a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), and honorary doctorates from three seminaries of the Episcopal Church. He is the founder of Integrity, an international organization of lgbt Episcopalians/Anglicans. Editors have published 2,730+ of Louie Crew Clay's poems and essays — including Letters from Samaria: The Prose & Poetry of Louie Crew Clay, NYC: Church Publishing, Inc., November 2015 and  Our Station Forgot to Give the Evening News,  Poetry Superhighway. An eBook in the press' annual 'The Great Poetry E-Book Free-For-All,' online from December 1, 2016. You can follow his work at Rutgers.edu. See also Wikipedia.org. The University of Michigan collects Clay’s papers.
    Number of posts: 24
    Email address: email
    Facebook: Facebook
    Twitter: Twitter
    Skype: Skype
    Youtube: Youtube

    By Louie Crew Clay:


      southern queer vs. yankee cop

      A time to be silent or a time to speak?

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 24, 2017
      Rainbow colored golden retriever

      I enjoy the diversity of the waiting room when I go for a routine checkup to my miracle worker, Dr. Lobiondo, Director of the Wound Center at Clara Maass Hospital in Newark, NJ. More than five years ago his rigorous routines completely cured a large open wound on my left leg, a result of lymphedema. For 2 years I had been sleeping in a chair with my legs elevated, but no noticeable improvement. Then I discovered Dr. Lobiondo…

      more a direction

      Plumnelly: A Road Mark

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jul 28, 2017
      Cheaha State Park by Andrea Wright

      On July 17, 1936, five months before I was born, an area of 393 acres of wilderness in Alabama’s Talladega County was established as a U.S. National Forest. One of its many glories is Cheaha Mountain, Alabama highest point, visible from our front porch. Dad and I camped out at many different spots in the park throughout most summers while I was growing up, and often we encountered no other human being.

      we must dissent

      Salute This Flag

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jul 9, 2017
      John Beecher in 1976 by © Rob Amberg for the Asheville arts monthly, “The Arts Journal”.

      Several friends found it difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

      I strive not to let these forces win the biggest gift I could give them, namely to shut up and wait out their dominion. Instead, we must wrestle; we must dissent.

      keeping care affordable

      Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jul 1, 2017
      Louie Clay's Medical Insurance Costs 1985-2017

      While Congress dickers with health care, I am taking a close look at my own costs.

      I retired on December 31, 2001. In the 15½ years since, my health costs have averaged $4,842.02 per year and have been more than $2,000 for all but one of those years.

      In the 17 years before retirement, my medical costs never reached $2,000 a year.

      fight for justice and fairness

      Pure Suthun

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 14, 2017
      Jeff Sessions - Keeper of the Flame by Donkey Hotey

      I have trouble listening to the news, especially when great nonsense is spoken in near perfect Suthun English.

      I taught in a secondary modern school in the London in 1965-66 after which I returned to work on my doctorate at the University of Alabama and teach undergraduates. An honors student from one of those classes is coming to visit this afternoon, the first time we have seen each other in 50 years!

       

      ticklebox repair

      Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

      by | 2, Add your Comment | May 26, 2017
      Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

      God made the funny bone, but it atrophies with disuse. Those of us who closely follow the evening news are highly susceptible to morphing into a sourpuss.

      An excellent remedy over the long haul is to give no more than 15 minutes a day to the headlines and redeem the rest of the day by reading good poetry aloud, fly-fishing alone in a huge state or federal park, changing diapers (of the very old or of the newborn), looking in a mirror while sticking out your tongue…  Use your imagination. That’s why we have one.

      sharing cultures

      Peeking Back Through the Schoolhouse Door

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 1, 2017
      Peeking Back Through the Schoolhouse Door

      In the hot summer of 1963. Governor George Wallace, already campaigning hard for the 1964 presidential election, made his infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” of Foster Auditorium, where registration regularly occurred. Wallace summoned the Alabama National Guard to block black student Vivian Malone. Attorney General Robert Kennedy then nationalized the Guard. Thus, at showdown, state’s rights yielded to federal rights; the law of the land was national, not just local.

      for a clear style

      Professors Often Cause Bad Writing

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Apr 18, 2017
      The world is a bad place and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering – Tom Waits

      Academic writing styles sometimes impress more than they enlighten. Professors assign much that is gratuitously opaque. Some students conclude that the way to be considered smart is to master the the professional jargon. Yet, bright people with good ideas need to write clearly if they want discerning readers. For some graduates, a doctorate is the “terminal degree” indeed: few read or publish their manuscripts. When they enter a university, students often write more clearly and forcefully than do many professors.

      locust and wild honey

      Shedding stereotypes, even those we Southern liberals use

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Apr 13, 2017
      Shedding stereotypes, even those we Southern liberals use

      I wish that I could find a way never to think in stereotypes, but I find that stereotypes often seem so matter-of-fact that I don’t even notice them as stereotypes.  I have not found a way to abandon them en masse, but only one  at a time.  The process is usually more painful than it was this time. Ten years ago, on April 10, 2007, I flew to Memphis, rented a car and drove to Tupelo, Mississippi, base of Donald Wildmon‘s hostile American Family Association …

      commander in tweet

      Learning To Live in the Empire

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Feb 15, 2017
      Learning To Live in the Empire

      I admit to retreating often from the evening news, but the acts reported find me through their effects on my friends.

      The physician of a friend is also my physician: he has done grafts for lymphedema on both of us. For us he is a miracle worker. Last week he told my friend that new government regulations just put in place will limit anyone to three grafts to be covered; thereafter, amputation will be covered for those who can’t pay for additional grafts on their own.

      breaking through deadlocks

      Different is Not Bad

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Nov 13, 2016
      Different is Not Bad

      A friend recently asked, “Has anyone ever done a study to determine what causes the type of thinking that claims the only people with value are pretty much like me? If we knew this, could we use the knowledge to raise more caring, accepting children in the years ahead?”

      I can speak only for how hard I have found it to learn that lesson.  My father carefully, painstakingly educated me to have great expectations of people not like me, yet that education took a long time to take hold and become part of my character.

      illogical abuse of discourse

      Jingoism works. Incoherence works. Name-calling works.

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 26, 2016
      Grampy’s Thinking cap is a gif created from the Betty Boop cartoon, “Betty Boop and Grampy,” produced by Max Fleischer in 1935

      With the general election less than two months away, I’m exhausted almost daily putting new batteries into my thinking cap so that I can be a responsible, critical listener to the appeals of all candidates.

      I was an English professor for 44 years before I retired in 2001, but I dare not place my brain on automatic pilot given the billions spent to persuade us. In 1958-59, my first year of teaching, without comment I gave to a class at Auburn University, then still under legally mandated segregation, a pamphlet circulated by the Ku Klux Klan …

      something of a dilettante

      Learning from those who do not like us

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 13, 2016
      Learning from those who do not like us

      Forty-five years ago today (1971), I was graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a Ph.D. in English (Dissertation: Dickens’ Use of Language for Protest). I am grateful for the counsel which Professor James McMillan, then chair of the department, gave me in the hall after I had defended my dissertation: “Up until this point you have been rewarded mainly by writing what experts know. Hereafter, to be taken seriously, you must write what you know which experts have not yet discovered…

      communion of saints

      Alabama Bone of My Bones and Flesh of My Flesh

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 1, 2016
      Louie, Erman & Louie

      April 28th, 2016 was the 111th anniversary of Dad’s birth, in Goodwater, Alabama. I’ve spent much time thinking about him — how close we were; how far apart; how we struggled; how we admired each other; how I picked up some of his worst traits and some of his best; how much more I looked like him last summer when I was 78 (on far left below) than I did when I stood at his left in 1981, when he was 76 and I was 44. I was born in Anniston, Alabama in 1936. I was an only child and close to both parents, but genuinely a mama’s boy…

      on the surface

      Queer Southerner’s Reflections on Race: A Starter

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Apr 21, 2016
      Queer Southerner's Reflections on Race: A Starter

      I don’t understand race.  An anthropologist colleague says, “Louie, race doesn’t exist as a scientific category.  At best a race is just ‘a breeding community with unstable boundaries’; and you and Ernest knock the hell out of that one, don’t you!” I see what she means.

      Yet racial categories so pervade my life that I cannot hope to understand myself, much less the world, without sensitive and difficult vigilance regarding pitfalls and opportunities.

      love one another

      To the Pillory, Episcopal Church

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Feb 16, 2016
      Presiding Bishop and Episcopal Primate and President of the House of Deputies in a rack.

      The primates’ effort to suspend the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion is a major comeuppance in the history of colonialism. At one level, my heart rejoices.

      For generations missionaries sought to reform what they deemed the licentiousness of primitives. How delicious it must be to expose the missionaries as licentious and primitive.

      seasonal

      Slouching Toward Bethlehem

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 6, 2015
      Slouching Toward Bethlehem

      I gave to developmental students word-frequency lists for Shirley Jackson‘s popular short story “The Lottery.”

      “You are anthropologists,” I said. “Suppose you had only these lists as the remains of `The Lottery.’ Obviously you do not have the evidence needed to reconstruct the story, but what evidence in the lists points to what you discovered to be the heart of the story?”

      Some played with the puzzle pieces, never discerning any patterns, bored with it all, yet a few wrote their best papers of the semester, pursuing the patterns hidden in the stacks of evidence…

      great expectations

      Off to My Freshman Year in College, 1954 — One of Several Queer Epiphanies

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Aug 19, 2015
      Off to My Freshman Year in College, 1954 — One of Several Queer Epiphanies

      At age 5 I told anyone who asked, and lots who didn’t, “I want to be a doctor in the daytime and a preacher at night.”

      Likely that was connected to the two people outside my family whom I most admired, our doctor who lived in the big house on the corner of our block, and our preacher who lived in the big house on the corner of the next block over. The preacher and my dad were classmates at college and in the vacant lots behind our house and in front of his they planted a Victory Garden together…

      black lives matter

      Getting The Best Exchange Rate For Confederate Money

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Jul 23, 2015
      Getting The Best Exchange Rate For Confederate Money

      Richard Rose, President of Atlanta’s NAACP, advocates that we sandblast the bas-relief of Confederates Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee from the face of Stone Mountain.

      Months before the havoc wreaked on September 11, 2001, many of us cringed as the Taliban government of Afghanistan destroyed multiple Buddhas. How can destroying icons of another group increase respect and appreciation for your own icons?

      marriage equality. life.

      Outlaws no more!

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Jun 26, 2015
      Outlaws no more!

      Thomas Wolfe was wrong: We can go home again!

      As two Suthunahs living in exile in New Joisey — one from Georgia, the other from Alabama — we share a photo essay of our 41-year marriage  which today the Supreme Court made legal in every state of the union.

      Samuel A. Ward  was organist and choirmaster of our parish in Newark, NJ, when he wrote “America the Beautiful.” “Thy fruited plane” indeed. “Thy liberty in law,” Amen.

      southern life circa 1944

      The Day That Eulene Tried to Commit Suicide

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 21, 2015
      The Day That Eulene Tried to Commit Suicide

      While I, Louie Crew Clay, narrate the story as if fiction, it actually is nonfiction and I have changed only the names. I wrote it to expose to myself as to any readers the arrogance racism taught me. Childhood is not all that “innocent” when the privileged teach our young to devalue and disrespect others. I hope that by my preserving the privileged little boy’s insensitivity, we will see what he saw but with our thinking caps on and our eyes wide open.

      students

      Doug’s Mass in Times of War

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jun 4, 2015
      Doug's Mass in Times of War

      Rome, Georgia. Summer 1960

      In the summer after my first year of teaching, the headmaster summoned me to his office.

      “Louie,” he said, “a parent has complained about the list of six books you require returning juniors to read. He says he knows his son will learn to curse soon enough, but he resents paying good money to have you require him to read cursing.”

      behaving like christians

      Grace Behind the Cotton Curtain

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Aug 31, 2014
      Image of two young men with palms together licensed by LikeTheDew.com at Fotolia.com - © xixinxing

      When I met Ernest, we courted for five months, and after we married, on February 2, 1974, in Fort Valley, GA. That was 40 years ago.   I wrote my parents in Anniston, AL.  They replied with the hardest letter that I have ever received. They knew I was gay. That was not their problem. Ernest’s being black was the hard part for them. In their letter they wished us all happiness but asked me not to bring Ernest home with me.

      suggested reading

      Willing to love your LGBTQ neighbor as you love yourself?

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 14, 2014
      Playing By The Book by Chris Shirley

      Review of Playing By The Book by Chris Shirley. Magnus Books, Bronx, NY, 2014. 305 pages.

      If you are willing to love your lgbtq neighbor as you love yourself, Playing By The Book will assist you, not so much with argument as with passion. The novel immerses the reader into the passions of Jake Powell during the summer between his junior and senior year in high school in Tarsus, Alabama.

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