May 2011


Claudia Apablaza
Birgit Linder
Geraldine Maxwell
María Claudia Otsubo
Zosimo Quibilan, Jr
Shruti Rao
Ian C. Smith
José-Flore Tappy
John Taylor
Tim Tomlinson
Joost Vandecasteele
Jan van Mersbergen
Laura Watkinson
Joe Wiinikka-Lydon

Issue 15 Guest Artist:
Alexis Hunter

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Deputy Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Smith
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Two Poems by Tim Tomlinson  


Out West Where His Best Friend Suffers
Depression at Her Grandmother’s Spread

In the morning the grandmother shows him
the rattlesnake twisted around the chicken

wire, knotted up worse than a curtain cord,
back and over and through a dozen holes.

“It gets in,” she says, “but it can’t wind out –
the head forgets where the tail’s been. Sound

familiar?” He’s just come from her
granddaughter’s bedroom, cotton-mouthed and guilty

as a wet dog slinking off a sofa.
They’d made awkward, hungover love, the bed

frame banging the walls. “She’s sick,”
the grandmother continues, “don’t you know that?”

And before he says ma’am she says, “She thinks
her daddy raped her. My son.” She stamps

a foot on the dry ground, her white socks limp
at her slippers. “Is that what these doctors

tell her?” He avoids the blaze of her eyes,
and she gives up. With a weeder she pokes

the snake. It’s too exhausted to rattle.
He says, “I guess maybe I believe her.”

She says, “You think so, do you? Isn’t that
loyal.” She turns for the house, muttering.

“Poking around in all them holes … getting
its damn self killed…” He finds a stick, tries

to push the snake free, but his help digs wounds
into its flesh and flies land on the fresh blood.

Red ants proceed up the wire. Blackbirds
on the fence posts throw patient shadows.



French Quarter, 1974

On Bourbon Street, a man who doesn't
drink hawking his poems to a crowd

that doesn't read on a Friday night when
the legs of a stripper poke through

a second storey window every seven
seconds and the Runaway Kid nibbles

a 99¢ sukiyaki from a stick
near a cart selling Lucky Dogs.  

“Get away from me, kid, you bother me,”
says the Lucky Dog salesman, as he krauts

up another dog for the overweight
tourist the Kid panhandles for change.

The Runaway Kids’s been missing
for six weeks, his employers the local blood

banks, his arms a pin-cushion of missed hits
and half-purple bruises. “If you don’t buy,”

the poet drones, “I can’t sell.” The Kid
wipes his fingers on napkins he nicks

from Lucky Dogs, he pockets the change
he cadged off the tourist, and he buys

a poem. “A love poem,” he tells the poet,
who says in the end they’re all love poems,

and the Kid stands below the strippers’ legs
for hours, reciting, until the bouncers

shrug, and the strippers smile, and the tourists
take his picture, almost as if he’s home.