Speaking of Delany:
In DHALGREN, the protagonist, the Kid, publishes a chapbook of poetry titled BRASS ORCHIDS.
For my own reasons, I just checked the etymology of “orchid.” It comes from the Latin “orchis,” referring to a specific type of orchid. This arises from the Greek “orkhis,” which means “testicle.”
So the chapbook might as well be called BRASS BALLS.
I cannot believe this was an accident.
(I’m sure I’m not the first one to discover this. But Delany-as-Steiner, for all his/her willingness to conduct some pretty detailed dissection of Delany’s animating metaphors, didn’t bother to point it out. I guess she/he’s willing to leave him/her[self] a few secrets after all.)