rose and without taking his leave of them opened the sliding glass door and vanished onto that lightless beach And there were those who later said that he never opened that door, that the molecules of glass parted at his touch, or still others that he stepped through the glass door as some of his brothers might move swiftly through a downpour while never being wetted, for as his brothers were to the common run of men, so it is said that Ignatz was to his brothers. But these were only tales told by those who – through laziness or envy or through a foolish desire – will seek enchantment in any action beyond their own abilities; such men thirst for wonders as others thirst for gin and their stories are not explanations but that heady brew of their own desiring. For the fact was that Ignatz slid open the door, stepped through and slid it shut again so smoothly and swiftly that to distinguish one action from the other would be to count the blades of a flying helicopter, and that good door, well-greased in its gasket, did not betray him by a single ill-timed creak, so that by the time that they saw that he had gone from them, his dark head was already lost in the black waves of sand and the black waves of water. And even then, there were those who would have gone after him, and had risen from their seats with brave and defiant words, but they were stayed by the wise counsels of others who admonished them that it would be as well to tether a eighteen-wheeler with a filament of spiderweb as to dissuade Ignatz with their pleading from his chosen itinerary.
Monica Youn lives in Manhattan, where she is an entertainment lawyer. Her first book of poems, Barter, was published by Graywolf Press in 2003. She is currently working on a second book, Ignatz and Other Poems, which is loosely based on George Herriman’s Krazy Kat comic strips of the 1920s and 1930s.
Monica Youn lives in Manhattan, where she is an entertainment lawyer.
TouchBy Yayoi Shionoiri, Sarah Conley Odenkirk , and Megan Noh
MAY 2023 | Critics Page
In The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, Henry A. Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher opined that AI is shepherding a world where decisions are made by humans, by machines, or through an unfamiliar but also unprecedented collaboration between them. As co-authors ourselves, we know firsthand that it can be difficult to ensure that human collaborators feel their voices are fairly represented, or that labor is shared equally. But why is creative collaboration between humans and machines (qua Artificial Intelligence) so difficult?
Nice TouchBy Scott Gutterman
MARCH 2023 | Music
Musicians often make their mark young, which makes sense given the energy and determination required to do so. They then must transform that early gift through the course of a life in order to sustain a career.
Ann Lauterbachs DoorBy Charles Schultz
APRIL 2023 | Books
To those who ask what her poems are about, Lauterbach answers, the poems find their subjects as they are made.
Expression of a Common TouchBy Lucía Jalón Oyarzun
DEC 22–JAN 23 | Critics Page
In 1880, Charles Darwin published a collection of studies on the movements of plants. One of his experiments led him to describe a circular or elliptical movement with which the plant adapts to its environment, balancing out. He called it circumnutation, a kind of nodding around, and to see it, he did a pre-photographic time-lapse.