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A Public Space

No. 14

"It had a great feeling of unreality": the designer Eva Zeisel's Soviet prison memoir; Teju Cole's epigraphs of the eye; John Haskell on joy; Therese Stanton on Walt Whitman; stories by Dorthe Nors, Peter Orner, Justin Tussing, and Jesmyn Ward; poems by Roberto Bolaño, Julie Carr, Billy Collins, and others.

Table of Contents



Is That You, Walt Whitman?

At first he thought the men were naked.

Therese Stanton



Epigraphs of the Eye

When I began to think about what to think about the tenth anniversary of the attacks, I went out walking.

Teju Cole



Prison Memoir

Memories of long ago are not true.

Eva Zeisel



Karate Chop

She had once been advised to listen well to what a man said just when he began to sense a woman was showing interest in him.

Dorthe Nors



The Runner

The boy’s birth had been unreasonable, in all the ordinary ways.

Justin Tussing



Two Poems

The carpenter will be arriving / Sometime after the holiday

Julie Carr



The Pier Leaps Out

The pier leaps out / toward the ocean

Monica Fambrough



Did You Ever Suspect Anything When You Were Growing Up?

It just started one day, that eerie screaming, / my inconsolability given voice, / given back as if from some bird or from trees.

​H. L. Hix




This cigarette burns but is never consumed.

David Gorin




Whatever it was that just flew out of my head / did not leave a trace, / not a contrail in the sky, / not a footprint in the new snow.

Billy Collins



River Crossing

There, where stones populate / the underneath, splay / rain as it blends & stops

Brian Henry



Boxes with Respect to Emily Dickinson

Orangey orange glow inside a silver bowl and atop a silver neck.

Kimiko Hahn



Two Poems

Born to the summer, guest of Castor and Pollux, / horseman and boxer.

Colette Inez



Scottish Fleet Pattern Number Twenty-Four

A saltwater event, with its airs of tarred line and other fibers: / a storm, a sky of black nonchalance

Caroline Knox



From A Stroll Through Literature

I dreamt I was out walking on the boardwalk in New York and in the distance I could see the figure of Manuel Puig.

Roberto Bolaño



You Can’t Say Dallas Doesn’t Love You

It is not our destiny here to get comfort from old familiar places.

Peter Orner





Jesmyn Ward




I was in the center of Leipzig, coming out of a bookstore, and across the street from the bookstore a building was being demolished.

John Haskell

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