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Laura Raicovich

Laura Raicovich works as president and executive director of the Queens Museum. Her book At the Lightning Field is out this April from Coffee House Press. She is the author of A Diary of Mysterious Difficulties (Publication Studio), a book based on Viagra and Cialis spam, and is an editor of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR Books)

Do I Stand in Darkness or in Light?

Do I stand in darkness or in light? Do I speak or am I silent? When I do speak, how are my words received? Where does my power and privilege lie?

A diary of mysterious difficulties…

I could feel the pressure of it all falling on my neck, my back, my ribs. For the moment it was too much, and I thought about crying out. This association with our brother Francis, little by little, was crushing for me, when for her it meant little.

A diary of mysterious difficulties…

The sun beamed down from a cloudless sky and temperatures sometimes rose into the mid-60s. Dora said to herself, “What surprises them wouldn’t surprise me,” and that gave her an outside chance, anyway.

A diary of mysterious difficulties…

“Making love is hardly material,” she said. Aside from any conceivable motive of affectionate devotion…I thought as she rambled on. Finally the interrogation was complete. It had been several weeks and I had waited her out.

A diary of mysterious difficulties…

Mrs. Micawbers took a long pull at her punch. “I’m not ready to die. Sometimes, I’ve thought that I would like to die at home. Seeing you, my child, puts a little strength back in these old bones. You give energy to a sour and tried friend.”

A diary of mysterious difficulties...

Well then, in this mysterious little difficulty, we were stuck in quest of an opinion. What did I really know? Where were we really?

A diary of mysterious difficulties…

“Is Francis here?” Dora asked in a trembling voice. “The idea of being back here, in London, in this apartment, before him in any form was unthinkable even two weeks ago. I even reproached him in my dreams for not having me back sooner. It is a good deal more terrifying than I can explain, for all of its mundane routine.”

Upon waking
an homage to Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Upon waking, I brush my teeth, wash my face, cut my finger nails, pluck a few stray eyebrows hairs, take a shower. Quickly glance at the email that has come in overnight, and at Facebook and Twitter—new spaces of maintenance.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues