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A Public Space

No. 24

The Other Interest: Etel Adnan on weaving; poetry by Giorgio de Chirico; David Lynch paints; a memoir by Gordon Parks; Sally Potter's work diary; Dorothea Tanning's fiction; New work from Martha Cooley, Dan Chelotti, Graham Foust, Katy Lederer, Fadwa Suleiman and others; and introducing Jai Chakrabarti, Cornelius FitzPatrick, Arinze Ifeakandu, Mahreen Sohail, and April Wolfe.

Table of Contents



The Other Interest

What one is known for, what is presented as a life’s work, is not an entirety. These other interests, away from the perfectionism and public attention of primary pursuits, could offer another, less guarded view.

Brigid Hughes



Father Telephoned the Fly

I begin to feel uneasy and then I disappear.

Herta Müller



Dreams of a Year

In 1947, Dorothea Tanning was already known as a painter when the magazine Les Quatre Vents published her story “Dream It or Leave It” in an issue devoted to the Surrealists, revealing her as one of the group’s rare members with talent as both a visual artist and a writer.

Dorothea Tanning



Have You Ever Dreamed of Flying?

For Dorothea Tanning, 1947 was a year of realized dreams.

Pamela S. Johnson



Dream It or Leave It

I am afraid, too, of unforeseen events, cats, acts of violence, sickness, steep hills, the power of the unknown and my own potential. All unsurprising fears.

Dorothea Tanning



Notes from Sedona

Sometimes I think the only true and satisfactory means of contact with those we love is by writing rather than talking.

Dorothea Tanning



Ellington: A Sort Of Memoir

You are about to witness a remote and covetous collaboration between flower and beast.

Gordon Parks



Naked Cinema

It’s not so much a matter of finding a fictitious self, but rather locating how to inhabit a space with presence.

Sally Potter



Unfit for the Front Line

The painter in Italy during the First World War.

Giorgio de Chirico



Small Stories

I can feel a little bit of a story before the frame that’s the painting and a little bit of the story afterwards.

David Lynch



Notes on Weaving

At moments like this I begin to think we’re at the beginning of a new millennium, a new vocabulary, a very new perception.

Etel Adnan



The Core of the Problem

Accomplishment in fact / Is exhausted rejection

Huang Fan



Eternal Return

Nietzsche says that we live / our lives to live them again, / exactly as they were lived.

Dan Chelotti



That Time in Me: Amulet (Love Sonnet to Letters)

You know I wouldn’t love you any less / if there were no possible end to love

Laynie Browne



Ghost Story

All a ghost wants is to be chained / to a place, to someone who can’t forget / her.

Sally Wen Mao



Three Poems

We like to say we hate the visual arts, / the ways adults address their children and pets, / the open sore or sewer we call the sea.

Graham Foust



This Economy of Claws

So many hearts / sputter to pump in the hospital / like organists playing from a reef

Andrew Seguin



Mercedes Benz

Maybe those women felt as mercurial and blurry as she often did. Well, not blurry, exactly: incompletely inventoried. Like a house with unexplored rooms.

Martha Cooley




For him, it was a mediation / of desire, the word in his / wooden tongue.

Katy Lederer



It Was Your Birthday Again

I watched her once unhook dead branches / from a living tree.

Jennifer Chang



Two Poems

Beautiful words / transform into birds of light / inside a crystal eye.

Shuzo Takiguchi



Modern Standards

It has taken me a light-year to not come to terms with dying.

Meghan Privitello



The Creature

Like many of you humans, I enjoy lifting small, living things, because sometimes they fear me

Josh Bell




There is no way out if you kill / Your victory will teeter on one leg / There will be a crown of blood on your head

Fadwa Suleiman



Poem in Which You Become a Detective

Something bad, something sequential, is happening to you. / Maybe not to you, but in the place you’re standing.

Catie Rosemurgy




Is the word / a cunning bird / even in new / dark I will not / be quiet, the / feathering / covering me

Peter Gizzi



A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness

No ruse better than a woman in the home, Nikhil had argued over a year ago, and eventually Sharma had agreed.

Jai Chakrabarti



The Future of Statues

He wanted to be equal to the gaze of the sky.

Cornelius FitzPatrick



God’s Children Are Little Broken Things

Your heart burned like you had hot charcoal on it, and your tongue tasted like bitter lemon.

Arinze Ifeakandu



Trig Functions

You were so far away from her and too scared to close the distance.

April Wolfe



Basic Training

My sister and I were only small-scale sinners.

Mahreen Sohail

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