A Question of Methodology

Ray Ball


Sometimes I think a Poem is not and cannot be History. To be sure, the burdens of proof are embodied differently. Though what is History if not an act that goes beyond mere transcription? This is why fascists are targeting university professors again in Brazil. The world waits for a conversation about trees. What is in the interpretation fills the pilgrim’s gourd, the relic signifying its own thirst. Shirts advertised in the department store catalog were more than stitches when they clothed black families during Jim Crow. Many historians would say a new Jim Crow is upon us.

In exile, Brecht wrote:
he who laughs has not yet heard
the terrible news.



Ray Ball, PhD, is a history professor who hails from the South but now lives in Alaska. She is the author of two history books, and her creative work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Cirque, Louisiana Literature, Okay Donkey, and UCity Review. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart. You can find her in the classroom, the archives, or on Twitter @ProfessorBall.