Drug by Drew Nolte
From How to Talk Up Gravity and Take Down a Tree by Josh MacIvor-Andersen and Roderick McClain
From Still:Life by Matthew Cooperman and Marius Lehene
“Still: Life” is a piece from a book-length collaboration between poet Matthew Cooperman and painter Marius Lehene. It’s looking and questioning looking; it’s looking for a home. How do we purchase, what do we code, and why? What is a colon’s bearing? Who is speaking? Where do we store our stuff? These works are, we hope, defiantly diagnostic; in their indexical imagining they give attention to frame and discourse, and so expose what’s feeding our sacred cows.
An unlicensed suicide hotline operator was charged with reckless endangerment. She was accused of encouraging a distraught man to shoot himself, based on the fact that she had hung up on him the moment before he pulled the trigger of his gun. This was only after she had counseled him and encouraged him to live for several hours. In court, the operator explained that she had been seized by an unexpected whim and that she no longer believed in the glimpses of hope that she had offered the man. Furthermore, she felt that is was her responsibility, at that moment, to share with him what she thought was the truth, to validate his desperation. She then felt that continuing to coerce the man from his will would taint the truth that she had spoken, so she hung up and, a moment later, the man (a divorced attorney) pulled the trigger of his pistol held at such an angle as to destroy his brain and the back of his skull. The fellow hotline operators who sat in the call center that afternoon testified that their unlicensed colleague simply set the phone down and walked out of the center, without saying a word. The members of the jury who heard the case all agreed that the operator’s decision was reprehensible and surely contributed to the man’s death. Yet, when asked by the judge, their foreman pronounced a decision of ‘not guilty.’ They could not find a way to understand her moral reprehensibility as criminal. The hotline that the operator worked for had the highest success rate in the city for aiding callers, despite its dubious licensing and hiring practices.
by John Dermot Woods
p.s. the drawing and the writing were both done by the artist and both work as part of the same piece.
These were drawn by an Australian artist Jess. I found the combination of drawing and book-pages interesting.
Now I think, what if they just couldn’t see what they looked like? Maybe it was as simple as that: eye problems. I’m having that trouble myself now: too close to the mirror and I’m a blur, too far back and I can’t see the details. Who knows what faces I’m making, what kind of modern art I’m drawing onto myself? Even when I’ve got the distance adjusted, I vary. I am transitional; some days I look like a worn-out thirty-five, others like a sprightly fifty. So much depends on the light, and the way you squint.
I eat in pink restaurants, which are better for the skin. Yellow ones turn you yellow. I actually spend time thinking about this. Vanity is becoming a nuisance; I can see why women give it up, eventually. But I’m not ready for that yet.
|—||From Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood|