Pencil Sketch of Self & Other
When you kissed me it was as if
some one had just stepped lightly out of the room.
How shy I was in any crowd,
and you, how adept!
How I kept you waiting
longer than any boy uncertain of his sex!
Your mother, musical, suicidal,
slept with a thread tied around her nurse’s finger
(so I learned a few details), your rich father
photographed beside his swimming pool….
How we almost ruined each other, you
with your hope of children,
I with my body which I took too seriously;
That stunned room….
A story, like The Garden party,
no longer even possible.
Yet I want to forgive us both
as if it still matters.
Cooper was the author of five books of poetry and a professor of Sarah Lawrence College.
In Judy’s RoomBy Ben Goldstein
MARCH 2022 | Fiction
When we first meet Michael, the narrator of "In Judy’s Room" by Ben Goldstein, he has just arrived at a hospital in the Berkshires to receive treatment for an unspecified mental illness. We learn that, to Micheal, the onset of his illness is inextricably entangled with both love and heartbreak, a memory of a violent sexual rejection that he believes led him to commit his own monstrous act. The story's tension comes from Michael's journey between the past and present, his struggle to decipher the real from the unreal. One of the pleasures of reading this story for me came from Goldstein's gorgeous descriptions of the natural world and the town itself. As we navigate Michael's emotional landscape, he simultaneously moves through a setting so idyllical that it too feels dreamlike and magicala place where the townspeople have a yearly tradition of recreating a famous Norman Rockwell painting and where Judy Garland once dressed up in a gleaming ball gown and heels right out of The Wizard of Oz.
Playing the RoomBy Scott Gutterman
DEC 22–JAN 23 | Music
Musicians are always playing off one another, and their own sounds are altered by these different contexts. Guitarist Grant Green sounds very different on two separate recordings of My Favorite Things, one with the low-slung, stepped-back style of pianist Sonny Clark, another with the ethereal modal reach of pianist McCoy Tyner. And these particularities are not limited to the musicians, but to the spaces in which the music is played.
Portrait of a RoomBy Raymond Foye
MARCH 2023 | Art
For almost sixty years Jordan Belson lived in the same charming corner of San Francisco, the bohemian enclave known as North Beach, named after the region of Italy from where the locals emigratedthe Gulf of Trieste. Rents were cheap and neighbors tolerant.
Nasreen MohamediBy Meghaa Ballakrishnen
MARCH 2023 | ArtSeen
It is a comprehensive introduction to her art, bringing together not only each decade, but also most mediums, of Mohamedis career: an early portrait in felt tip on paper; three sleek oil paintings; a lithograph; two collages; a few works on graph paper; and several photographs, watercolors, and drawings. Though Mohamedi abdicates the represented body, her art continues to represent its physicality, and her works swoop, swim, and levitate across the room.