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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Particulates by Katy Lederer

These poems were written for a collaboration with the A.I.R. Gallery. Katy Lederer was inspired by artist Maxine Henryson's photography project, "Hudson Everyday," which you can see here.

 

 

The top-
ic under-

taken.
Train,

ident-
ify de-

ficiency. The de-
ification in pre-

viously.
Source

of the long
spectral line's

ab-
sorption.

 

*

 

Glow was first
re-

ported.
Band

of sunrise
and the fal-

sest dawn.
De-

scribe to me the dif-
ference in

the struc-
ture of

the truest
dawn.

 

*

 

Light of
false dawn as

the first.
Vital in

Antarctica.
Small

in its ref-
lecting power. Am-

ounts.
Because it part-

icles—the ice is as
a fam-

ily in
phase.

 

*

 

Broad-
ening of

knell.
Indi-

vidual
part-

icles. Broad-
ening ef-

fect. Part-
icle shift. This

ef-
fect the col-

losion of character-
istics.

 

*

 

They are
dif-

ferent from
pro-

min-
ences. They are

phe-
nom-

enon. Under-
lay

the fib-
rils in the interwork

gi-
gantic lakes.

 

*

 

The source as ongoing
condit-

ion, and we re-
emit that atom

roll. Un-
usually changing elect-

ron, quantum
system in a sun-

lit grove. Atomic lines re-
spective with

their mittens in the hydro-
gen. And not a single fre-

quency for
us.

 

*

 

Huge field of
fi-

ery
gas. Fine-

ly in
the fil-

ments. Spic-
ules in

space. Time as
fing-

ered flow-
ing

gas.
The race.

 

*

 

Rather than
simply

up-
on. Macro

self-
ab-

sorption. Ent-
ering large

region.
Process is as

self-
ab-

sorption: spread
of wings.

 

*

 

Bright-
er

cells, phys-
ical

gran
-ules. They look

sim-
ilar. They look

iscil-
lation. And

in pre-
sence of

con-
vection.

 

*

 

Funda-
mental as a

fern. A sin-
gle ten-

sor as
a Lorentz

force. In quant-
inized mag-

netic
force. In-

vis-
ible forc-

es. A cir-
ular mass.

 

*

 

Impact pressure broad-
en-

ing. Like a
mount-

ain. In vel-
ocity.

Emission e-
ffect and an energy

massing. This e-
effect result, ex-

tended shift
en-

hanced and then sup-
ressed.

 

*

 

The source of
astro-

orbit-
al in light-

ening and in gegen-
chein. In

show-
ers, and in

temp-
ests, we

out-
gassed be-

fore the com-
ets burst.

 

*

 

Exo-endo-
zodiac. Hor- 

izon, as an
undersun
.

Moon
at the observatory. Where

and when? Had
always been
.

A piece of bro-
ken

pot-
tery, disc-

arded as
the moon.

 

*

 

Ax-
is of a-

symmetry.
In-

visible
force re-

pels. In its
im-

portant navi-
gation, in re- 

sentment
ele- 

mentary compart-
ments.

 

*

 

In horizontal light they
pointed out the hot

particu-
late.

Exo-
light in

wheel-
ing well and micro-meter

harvest-
ing. Our

micro-
finger-

prints in
dust.

 

*

 

Dor-
mant

twenty
years,

ap-
roaching sacrifice

and meteors. Pro-
ducing

glacial light
in the

la-
guna.

Thus we might
maintain.

 

*

 

Shape and field
de-

scription.
Mag-

netism and phys-
ical force-

s in re-
lation-

ship. Fields
to pre-

fer higher-
er yields, now

what have we come
to.


Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections Winter Sex (Verse) and The Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions), as well as the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown), which was a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice" and one of Esquire's eight "Best Books of the Year."

Her poetry, essays, and reviews have been published in a diverse array of magazines including Mike and Dale's Younger PoetsThe Paris ReviewThe EnemyThe American Poetry Review, and Poetry London. Recently, she has been writing forThe New Yorker online about economics and climate change.

In her writing, work, and activism, Lederer focuses on the intersection between feeling and analysis, passion and data, and excess and traditional form. For several years, she worked at a quantitative hedge fund in midtown Manhattan. She has also worked as a teacher, anthropological researcher, assistant to the late psychoanalyst Dr. Arnold Cooper, and semi-professional poker player.

Currently, Lederer is at work on a collection of essays around apocalyptic themes, a collection of poetry titled The Engineers on the topics of genetics, autoimmunity, deformity, and motherhood, and a book-length science fictional sonnet sequence titled Polar Bodies: Prayers for Humans and the Earth, which she is hoping will accommodate these new collaborative poems.