A Public Space
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.
Father Telephoned the Fly
I begin to feel uneasy and then I disappear.
Translated from the German by Alexander Booth
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.
Have You Ever Dreamed of Flying?
For Dorothea Tanning, 1947 was a year of realized dreams.
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.
Translated from the French by Tess Scriptunas and Pamela S. Johnson
Notes from Sedona
Sometimes I think the only true and satisfactory means of contact with those we love is by writing rather than talking.
Ellington: A Sort Of Memoir
You are about to witness a remote and covetous collaboration between flower and beast.
It’s not so much a matter of finding a fictitious self, but rather locating how to inhabit a space with presence.
Unfit for the Front Line
The painter in Italy during the First World War.
Translated from the Italian by Stefania Heim
I can feel a little bit of a story before the frame that’s the painting and a little bit of the story afterwards.
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.
Translated from the French by Jeanine Herman
The Core of the Problem
Accomplishment in fact / Is exhausted rejection
Translated from the Chinese by Margaret Ross
Nietzsche says that we live / our lives to live them again, / exactly as they were lived.
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
Translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73
All a ghost wants is to be chained / to a place, to someone who can’t forget / her.
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.
This Economy of Claws
So many hearts / sputter to pump in the hospital / like organists playing from a reef
Maybe those women felt as mercurial and blurry as she often did. Well, not blurry, exactly: incompletely inventoried. Like a house with unexplored rooms.
For him, it was a mediation / of desire, the word in his / wooden tongue.
It Was Your Birthday Again
I watched her once unhook dead branches / from a living tree.
Beautiful words / transform into birds of light / inside a crystal eye.
Translated from the Japanese by Yuki Tanaka and Mary Jo Bang
It has taken me a light-year to not come to terms with dying.
Like many of you humans, I enjoy lifting small, living things, because sometimes they fear me
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
Translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Hacker
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.
Is the word / a cunning bird / even in new / dark I will not / be quiet, the / feathering / covering me
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.
The Future of Statues
He wanted to be equal to the gaze of the sky.
God’s Children Are Little Broken Things
Your heart burned like you had hot charcoal on it, and your tongue tasted like bitter lemon.
You were so far away from her and too scared to close the distance.
My sister and I were only small-scale sinners.
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