Self-criticism; Reported Missing
by Lewis Warsh
I shouted & said things I didn’t mean.
I lied to people I loved.
I didn’t pay taxes for 20 years.
I told my mother that my problems were
all her fault.
I stole money from my father’s wallet.
I slept with women who were living with
"If the father is a hero, the son is a brave
man; if the father is a reactionary,
the son is a bastard."
Struggle with the waves in the middle
of the current.
Chase the exhausted enemy.
by Lewis Warsh
Wake from your dream, for a moment, & stare at your
arm, asleep, an appendage, void of function, was it always
there? Open a door & a stranger says: "Meet me at 9 at
the end of the platform." My knees are trembling, like the
first time we met, a VW camper navigating the curves of
Mount Tam. Someone more sadistic than you turns to stone
at the slightest touch. A drive-by shooting was reported to
the local precinct & we arrived like eye witnesses to identify
a suspect through a one-way mirror. Some kids standing on
a street corner held their breath as we walked by. All I ever
wanted was your attention, but I’m not going to beg for it
this time around. I want to remember you, happy one minute,
teary-eyed the next, "requiring maintenance," as you might
say. I have something to give but it’s never enough, something
ineffable that won’t disappear when no one’s looking. It’s
time to trace your name on the icy window, to bend the prong
of the fork until it snaps to attention like an ensign at the
Naval Academy in the presence of a senior officer, one with
a war wound whose own son died at sea. From the window,
there’s an empty lot with a few scrawny trees— children circling
bonfires like mechanical dolls of both sexes. Someone must
invent a new way of longing that stretches from the Bronx into
the outer boroughs, down streets with names like Metropolitan
& Bedford, a different route, past a park lit up at night, &
subway lines, the G, J & L, that go nowhere
Warsh is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction and autobiography.
Faith Ringgold: American PeopleBy Ann C. Collins
MARCH 2022 | ArtSeen
Organized by The New Museums artistic director Massimiliano Gioni with curator Gary Carrion-Murayari and curatorial assistant Madeline Weisburg, American People is jam-packed with more than forty years of Faith Ringgolds most prominent work.
Alice Neel: People Come FirstBy Ann C. Collins
MAY 2021 | ArtSeen
Curators Randall Griffey and Kelly Baum gather more than 100 of the artists paintings, watercolors and drawings in Alice Neel: People Come First, a retrospective of the 60 years Neel spent transposing New York and its citizens into work that bears witness to the struggles of everyday life in the city as much as it dignifies the individual.
Language Cant Solve Our ProblemsBy Hunter Blu and Krista Gay
NOV 2021 | Critics Page
Can language solve our problems as young Black people, and if so, what form(s) of language?
The Business of Art is the Business of PeopleBy Lise K. Ragbir and Julia V Hendrickson
JUNE 2023 | Critics Page
People of the global majority are being invited into predominantly white art spaces like never before. And, at rates like never before, were seeing the ways in which many of these institutions are under-supporting employees. Efforts have been made, but diversity hires and DEI fatigue shed light on the ways in which stop-gap measures alone cant upend a system that wasnt built for everybody. Even if, in our capitalist society, were all seen as human resources.