No. 13

Amy Leach on the sounds of a weekend; Martha Cooley on the strangeness of loneliness; Robert Sullivan on the beauty of usefulness; Dubravka Ugresic on overcoming emptiness; Denis Donoghue on Eliot, Dante, and Shakespeare; Nora Krug's Kamikaze; Bennett Sims's ekphrases; Anne Carson's Q & A; John Ashbery's Rimbaud; fiction by Tash Aw and Stuart Dybek; poems by Cathy Park Hong, Alain Mabanckou, Adam Zagajewski, and others; and introducing Miroslav Penkov.

If You See Something

Never More Green: Amy Leach on the Sounds of a Weekend

No. 13 Amy Leach

Sunday Morning “You are the music. While the music lasts,” wrote T. S. Eliot, and while I am playing a song I believe the song. It’s more interesting to change with the music than to play sarcastically.
If You See Something

Life Sentences

No. 13 James Guida

How I’d like to know everything that man knows, just not in the way he knows it.
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Sublime, Revised

No. 13 Leslie Jamison

The warning, as ever, is also a promise: This program contains subject matter and language that may be disturbing to some viewers.
If You See Something

Ekphrases: Bennett Sims on the Edge of Death

No. 13 Bennett Sims

There is a famous photograph taken at the edge of death: inside a car parked by the sidewalk are all manner of large dogs, looking directly into the camera.

The Letter

No. 13 Miroslav Penkov

It's not like Grandmoms is urging me to steal from the British.


No. 13 Tash Aw

It was the shape of an arrowhead: sleek, sharp, fast.

Trees and the Bronx

No. 13 Robert Sullivan

Public art in New York, as in all vibrant cities, has a lot to do with spectacle.

I Liked Marie

No. 13 Martha Cooley

Denise walked past her lover’s wife’s car each evening.

Overcoming Emptiness

No. 13 Dubravka Ugresic

It needs to be said up front: I’m not a karaoke fan.


No. 13 Nora Krug

In December 1943, 20-year-old Ena Takehíko was drafted into the Japanese imperial navy.

Phrases from Illuminations

No. 13 Arthur Rimbaud

Once the world has been reduced to a single dark wood for our four astonished eyes


No. 13 Adam Zagajewski

Streets seem abbreviated / by the heat, the ease of seeing.

Two Poems

No. 13 Allison Titus

Here, in the advent  / of the third-to-last  / season of the very / long war, we grow / accustomed.

The Twenty-Four Complications

No. 13 Nick Twemlow

The life of the party slits its wrists.
Public Access

You Who Are On Your Way Over There

No. 13 Alain Mabanckou

You who are on your way over there / Toward what was once an azure blue dream, / My sun the closest shadow / to another’s shadow

Moth Light

No. 13 Jason Labbe

The twilight landscape comes on  / and one channel of a thousand lights the window.


No. 13 Barbara Claire Freeman

near the quays / wet lightless / day thickened

Two Poems

No. 13 Cathy Park Hong

I dreamed of regicide though there is no king.

Three Poems

No. 13 Orhan Veli

Several years ago the poet and translator Murat Nemet-Nejat approached me with an entertaining offer: take his translations of Orhan Veli, the great poet of modernism in Turkey, and make new poems out of them.

Ghost Q & A

No. 13 Anne Carson

Q do you know you’re a ghost

Four Deuces

No. 13 Stuart Dybek

You play the buggies, too? I noticed you studying that racing form like it’s a rich uncle’s will. Yeah, I know that look, like it’s a chess game and you’re Bobby Fischer thinking so many moves ahead it’s like he can see the future. Tell you, there was a time I could close my eyes and pick a winner like I was following my finger around a Ouija board.

Eliot’s Shakespeare

No. 13 ​Denis Donoghue

In The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism Eliot joked that the only pleasure he got from reading Shakespeare, when he was a boy, “was the pleasure of being commended for reading him; had I been a child of more independent mind I should have refused to read him at all.”
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