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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.


Water Isn't Free and Neither Are You by Morgan Parker

This poem was written for a collaboration with the A.I.R. Gallery. Morgan Parker was inspired by artist Erica Stoller's installation, "Floating," which you can see here


When our aunt died
last week, my brother
called to tell me I
would die too. The deep end
is relative, is the first thing
they teach us. River means
nigger. Nigger
means hollow.
Censor means savior.
Curve means come.
Nothing on the Internet
is safe. Everything is
Something, even this
piece of paper.
I never learned to swim
but I went swimming.
once I paid four dollars
for a Perrier. I want the ocean
without danger or cost.
I want to be a name you can
forget. In my life I get
the chills for no reason.
I learn the words
to the new Rihanna prayer.
I arrange myself where
people live. There are rules
for poolsides and empty cups.
Everything means Be Careful.
I roll around in loss, ready for war.
When something dies, I buy a new one.
When I get bored, I close the window.


Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Morgan is Cave Canem graduate fellow, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and poetry editor for The Offing. She also co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. 

 

Floating by Erica Stoller

This artwork was a part of the AIR Gallery summer exhibition, "If These Walls..." on Governor's Island. AIR Gallery and UNY initiated a collaboration where three writers created poems based on a water-inspired work from the exhibition. Poet Morgan Parker worked from Erica Stoller's "Floating"--you can read her poem here


Artist's Statement 

My recent wall sculpture is made of unexpected materials that are not from art stores but rather from places that sell building materials, hardware, office supplies and even toys. I have been working with construction fencing, PVC pipes, foam insulation, hula hoops, swimming noodles, and more, using (and reusing) these light and colorful elements to form hanging sculptures that makes one look twice. Don't I know that stuff? Haven't I see it before?

Eventually, the wall in my studio was so full of holes that I couldn't keep nailing into the sheetrock to hang and to photograph my new pieces. I spackled and painted the wall, then not wanting to spoil the surface,  nailed a horizontal strip of wood the whole length of the main wall, about 80 inches above floor.  Recent work hangs from pins and nails at that level. It's the dividing line, nothing above and everything below.

As AIR began to discuss Underwater New York and to think about the harbor, things on strings seemed to resemble fishing apparatus with mysterious catches or perhaps buoyant moving objects below the surface. I noticed the blue tubey stuff at Home Depot at about the same time...not that the real harbor is swimming pool blue, but on a good day, the surface of the water reflects the sky. And below the waterline, anything goes.


Erica Stoller has always been interested in bands of color....either painted on canvas, drawn on paper, and now with sculpture made of unexpected materials that  include plumbing conduit, pipe insulation, hula hoops,  and even ping pong balls.. In this new work, the shapes and the colors are the same element, recognizable for what they were meant to be and, in reconfiguration, for what they've become.

Stoller studied painting at Bennington, worked briefly in the Primitive Art Department at the Brooklyn Museum, and is the Director of Esto, the architectural photography agency.

 


Hudson Everyday by Maxine Henryson

This group of photographs was a part of the AIR Gallery summer exhibition, "If These Walls..." on Governor's Island. AIR Gallery and UNY initiated a collaboration where three writers created poems based on a water-inspired work from the exhibition. Poet Katy Lederer worked from Maxine Henryson's "Hudson Everyday"--you can read her poems here



Artist's Statement

The photographs in the series Everyday were taken from the train windows during my weekly commutes from New York City to Vermont. (1997-2006)

1.
Mountain, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

2. 
Lower Hudson River, Everyday, 2000
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

3. 
Winter, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

4.
Castle, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

5.
Autumn, Everyday
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

6. 
River, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

7. 
Treetops, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

8. 
Reflecting, Everyday, 2001
Ektacolor, print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

9.
Spring Again, Everyday, 1999
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

10.
Still Light, Everyday, 2002
Ektacolor print
20 x 24.25 inches
Edition 1 of 6

 

 


Maxine Henryson is an artist and bookmaker who creates sensual, poetic photographs of the seemingly everyday. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, she lives and works in New York. She studied sociology at Simmons College, Boston (Bachelor of Science), and the University of London (Master of Philosophy) and has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in studio arts from the University of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe and are in numerous public and private international collections, including the former Celanese Photography Collection, Frankfurt; the Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg; and the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

Nest by Melissa Murray

This painting was a part of the AIR Gallery summer exhibition, "If These Walls..." on Governor's Island. AIR Gallery and UNY initiated a collaboration where three writers created poems based on a water-inspired work from the exhibition. Poet Hossannah Asuncion worked from Melissa Murray's "Nest"--you can read her poem here


OBJECTS: Silverware, Broken China

BODY OF WATER: Dead Horse Bay



Melissa Murray lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her works are large scale mixed medium on paper, with concepts focused on the combining of multiple environments in one still image. Selected group exhibitions at the MOSI Museum in Tampa, Florida, the Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA, Chashama in New York, NY and Causey Contemporary, and 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions at Fuse Gallery, AdHoc Art and Causey Contemporary and Gallery SAS in Montreal. Her work has been published and or reviewed in The Wild Magazine,  L magazine, The Village Voice, The Montreal Gazette, Juxtapoz Magazine, Beautiful Decay Magazine, Muse Magazine, Big, Red and Shiny and the NY Arts Magazine.

Ephemeral by Hossannah Asuncion

This poem was written for a collaboration with the A.I.R. Gallery. Hossannah Asuncion was inspired by artist Melissa Murray's painting, "Nest," which you can see here, as well a visit to her studio, where she met Melissa and her then two-week old son. 


The wisest words the young
speak reach us from the grave.
Bluer words than cobalt.
Blues to hold white
to hold a tea that we
hold when the blue
in seafoam is neither
nor ether.

 

There is a hungry ocean’s mouth.
Sometimes the drowned return
a softer glass than they ever intended.
They are no more to hold water.
How. They were the water.

 

If I make a boy then no one should take him away.

 

The boy is a letter.

The boy is
yolk.

 

The boy is my left palm. The boy is painted blue bird before he is pink mist.

 

The boy is her boy before he was my boy.

 

The boy is John.

Or Aylan.

Or the wink of Eligio.

 

The boy belongs an ocean.

 

The boy belongs an ocean.

 

The boy belongs an
ocean.


Hossannah Asuncion grew up near the 710 and 105 freeways in Los Angeles. She currently lives near an F train in Manhattan.