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Contributors
 

Christopher Betts
Alex Cigale
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Jean de la Fontaine
Paul Scott Derrick
Neil Langdon Inglis
Daniil Kharms
Suzanne Jill Levine
Marcelo Maturana Montañez
Ruth Padel
Tanyo Ravicz
John Taylor
Stephen Wilson
Manolis Xexakis

Issue 18 Guest Artist:
Geoff Diego Litherland

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
Deputy Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Deputy Editor: Geraldine Maxwell
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry
Deputy General Editor: Jerónimo Mohar

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Naomi Schub
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Four Poems From a Work in Progress by Paul Scott Derrick
 

 



That snake with legs we saw in a medieval bestiary. It came to me last night in my
     dream.

First it was a vague coiled shape. A shadow lying on the pavement of a parking lot.
     Then it was under a low-growing tree, and playing with a bird. Beak to snout.
     They seemed to be grooming each other. Or kissing.

Snakes don’t kiss little birds, I thought. They eat them. But this one didn’t. It
    turned its head and looked into my eyes. I saw that venomous mouth straight
    on. It smiled.

Then it stood up on four short sturdy legs (just like the ones I remembered from
    the book) and stretched.

So, I thought, I’ve discovered something here. The artist was right. This four-
    legged creature is real. It’s just that it’s elusive. Nobody else has seen it again
    until now.

Responsible, I notice what I can. Those rounded paws on the ground. The joints of
     its toes. The flexing knees. They bear its weight – efficient – as it calmly walks
     away. And disappears.

Observation. Details. Facts.

...

Every single book in a study should occupy its proper place. Alphabetical order,
     subject matter, genres. The shelves are a skeleton – strong and straight. Like a
     well-formed mind. Everything eventually finds where it belongs.

Categories. Sections.

This is my refuge. Surrounded by an unobtrusive company. Friends, brought forth
     from the minds of friends. Nobody shouts. Everyone is patient. Waiting
     politely for the moment to speak.

Ian stares down from his image of himself on the wall. Molded face. It pulls itself
     together from a welter of angles and colors. Slabs of paint that seem up close
     to be a chaos organize into the shape of life.

One eye a point of light. The other a point in shadow. Visible, sculpted. Almost
     invisible. The maker’s intention. If you look long enough into these eyes,
     I’ll feel whatever you’re feeling.


Every surface covers a depth. Every word – what lies beyond all words.

A proper study. The comforting structure of shelves. One more point in a universe
     of infinite centers. Light and order. Here and now. Everything in its place.

...

In the hidden loom of the mind, wherever it falls, sunlight is busy. It weaves all
     things it touches into the fabric of the day. Sometimes satin. Sometimes
     muslin. Sometimes corduroy. Garments we put on and off until we die.

The indolent diligence of time.

Colors get heavier at night. Textures thicken.

Those Prussian-blue tiles on the dome of the church that shine like water in the
    silver air go solid and dull. Forms withdraw into themselves to sleep beneath
     the floating mirror of the moon. The nave – its angled buttresses, quiet
     rectangles – stand where they have always stood and wait for another morning.

A graceful, serrated curve against the sky.

Learn to love what you see like sunlight falling on helpless stones.

This mind is the mind of the world. Be careful what you take into the dark.
     Whatever you think about what you feel will formulate a part of what we
     were. A part of this home we bequeath to the children who follow our
     footsteps, unsuspecting.

...

Buildings go to sleep when their people do. They settle down under a blanket of
     silence as one by one their lights go out.

All of those sounds the day suppresses rise up to the surface and murmur. Night
     time’s undertone.

If you happen to be awake, you can hear the tick of the clock. The cessant hum of
     the fridge. The breathing of the person you love beside you. The whirr of
     your own blood in your ears, like cicadas whirring from their secret places in
     the dark.

Open your eyes. Close them. Two equal darknesses. In both of which amorphous
     shadows – grey on black or black on grey – slowly roil and tumble.

This borderline that separates thought and dream. Lonely listener. Reach out now
     and touch the edges of all unwritten poems.

Do every sleeper’s dreams rise up somehow (through the stair-well? The air shafts?)
     and mingle in the attic to produce the building’s dreams? Intangible entangled
     anthology? Unrecovered poems that a building also forgets like we do with
     the noise and business of the coming day?