Chuck Wachtel

Sheltering In Place

I must say, that the peace the spirit needs is peace
not lack of war, but fierce continual flame.
—Muriel Rukeyser

And it’s only here and
now that we can make up
for lost time while the meter
is running and everything
is on hold

—Lewis Warsh, 11/9/1944 -11/15/2020,
for whom this poem is written


I cannot feel it in here, but the air rises,
gently, perhaps pushed by the exhaled breaths
of my daughter, sitting on the floor beside
the kitchen table, brushing the cat.

Are you getting used to it? Does the phrase apply?
Is there time, or some other means by which one thing
becomes another thing? Lewis, I miss
the substance of your presence. I am reading,

for the second time this morning, these
two sentences, written a hundred and ten years ago,
one right after the other, by Franz Kafka: “When
the breakfast noise dies down to the left of me,

the lunch noise starts up on the right.
Everywhere doors are being opened as if people
wanted to come crashing through the walls.”
And now, one after another, two light-gray, loosely-bound

clumps of cat hair skitter like tumbleweeds across
the plain of toast crumbs scattered on the plate
in front of the chair across from mine
where my daughter just had her breakfast, and now,

Lewis, I must say… it’s so quiet here, in this room
where we try to continue being who we still, mostly,
are: I want you here, with us, still sheltering in place
for the entire moment we hover in the serene eye

of this raging storm, until the witless idiot
once again begins pounding the wall on one side,
insisting his will is our will, while the plague starts in
whispering its toxic secrets against the other.

Chuck Wachtel is the author of the novels Joe The Engineer, The Gates, and 3/03; a collection of stories and novellas, Because We Are Here; and five collections of poems and short prose, most recently The Coriolis Effect and What Happens to Me. He lives in NYC, and is retired from, though still occasionally teaching in, the creative writing program at NYU.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 26)


Happy new year, and hopefully, new era! And welcome to Posit 26. Although the human race is still locked in struggle with the virus ravaging the globe, and dark forces led by our former president did their best to derail American democracy, we bring you this powerful new issue in a spirit of hope — even celebration. Not only did the US manage, albeit by the skin of our teeth, to achieve a desperately essential change of regime, but a substantial majority of its citizens exercised their real if fragile democratic prerogative to put an end to the Trump administration’s criminal indifference to justice, decency, and truth. Through it all, science, along with the hazardous labors of untold numbers of essential workers, have struggled to save us from ourselves, and might just manage to succeed. While art, and artists, persevere, nourishing our similarly essential need for insight, beauty, and meaning.

The remarkable work in this issue offers all of those qualities, and more. New poetry by Chuck Wachtel, Charles Borkhuis, and Joe Elliot directly addresses the current crises, alongside poetry and prose by Peter Grandbois, Lisa Lewis, Tom Fink, and Hannah Corrie that resonates with the pandemic in deep and prescient ways. Most if not all of these works grapple with mortality, identity, or both, at a time when the former is so terrifyingly foregrounded, and the latter eroded by isolation and the social-fabric-fraying hazards of human contact. And at this important historical moment, when activism has once more managed to bring the mandate for racial justice to the forefront of our societal agenda, we offer powerful poetry and visual art by David Mills and Donté K. Hayes that speak to lives and identities once stolen by slavery and still brutally undermined by racism.

With profound sorrow, we dedicate this issue to one of our most honored contributors, Lewis Warsh (November 9, 1944 – November 15, 2020). Lewis’s greatness encompassed not only his prodigious and extraordinary literary output, but his outsized generosity as an editor, publisher, mentor, and friend. For a taste of his wisdom, humanity, and wit, don’t miss his contributions to Posit, including some of the last poetry published in his lifetime: Lewis Warsh (Posit 24); Lewis Warsh (Posit 4).

And now, a bit about the work in this issue.

Charles Borkhuis returns to Posit with a looping and leaping elegy to the absurd and tragic disconnect at the heart of existence. In the circling and cycling dance of these tragicomic verses, “if someone knocks / no one is home” although “if no one knocks / someone is home.” Like the paradoxical worm “eating at the heart” of the bewildered self, these agile verses probe the enigma at the heart of consciousness. In this dazzling poem, “the constant flow of words /from nowhere to somewhere // keeps someone watching / for tomorrow’s nameless someday” only to reveal that “the worm dining / on the human heart // dreams” – like those upon whom it dines? – “of one day awakening / as a butterfly.”

Hannah Corrie‘s restrained but powerful poems reveal the stark gulf between the “poetic justice” of narrative and the random loss of a reality populated by “so many small things clamoring to survive.” In the world of these finely crafted verses, we may be “killing ourselves // with our living” but “there is no meaning in irony.” A finely calibrated tenderness balances the uncompromising depth of this poet’s gaze, cast here on young children reluctant to end the school year, an aged man unwilling to surrender to his own decline, and a narrator’s determination to find meaning in coincidence. Like Galileo experimenting with gravity in his blindness, these poems bring out “the song of the soft plummet” which “tethers us to this Earth / after all.”

By inviting the viewer to participate in deciphering their complex etiology, Mary DiDoardo’s paintings depict as well as and enact relation. These paintings reveal, as if in media res, a dynamic and ongoing interaction between line and ground, exposing the scars and failed stages interaction entails. DiDoardo’s line seems at times to loop through three-dimensional space, suggesting the traces of movement itself, like wakes or vapor trails recording the trajectories of bodies in motion. Her ground, at times pristine and untouched, at others, deeply distressed, reveals the traces and scars left by those trajectories. These paintings are alive with arcs and angles which might be fluid and graceful or broken and fragmented, advancing in fits and starts, reversals and stalls. DiDoardo’s surprising juxtapositions of intense color enhance the kinetic energy of these lively compositions.

Merridawn Duckler’s pointed and poignant studies of how the created worlds of reading and art bind us to past and present begin with the wickedly witty history of a young woman’s life as seen through an “agony” column of the past, complete with questions such as “Should I be prehensile by now” as well as slyly familiar musical pleas like “Help me, Irma. Get him out of my house.” Another poem, narrated from a doctor’s waiting room, considers a travel magazine, where our lives are vicariously lived. Its “pages and pages of turnstiles and castles” lead to a memory: “Silver Falls, where I once stood under the roar and understood this land was lodged in me like a bullet.” In the ekphrastic Five Grey Mirrors, the quiet and clear observation of Gerhardt Richter’s painting leads to an overwhelming and dire feeling of imprisonment: “The gas is so undetectable, / as we sit in the designated chairs// still, they will not allow us / to return home.”

In Joe Elliot’s profound probe into the brevity and meaning of our lives, the author reminds a dying patient: “We are all dying. You are just doing / the hospital part of it,” noting that sometimes “time seems to expand, / giving your life a malleable dimension / and shape, as if it could go on forever.” Nonetheless, there is true consolation in the dailiness: “the falling in love part of it, the running around / with the kids part of it, the carrying laundry / up the stairs and binding tomatoes and hopping on / your bike and riding to work part of it.” And in a truly apt poem for this moment in US history, Elliot exposes the limits of our understanding and commitment to other humans stemming from the “arrested development” of those who “think other people are the problem” in a society in which “Growth Eternal is the staple / of this state religion that eats. Eating / by indirection each other is its sport. Its sporty / Galilean runs for office. Its office is to grind / and mash a bratwurst of they. They are unnamed, / although all around you.”

With a nimble mix of wordplay, prosodic flourish, and social critique, Thomas Fink’s Dusk Bowl Intimacies consider the “rust- / plated American tenets” of capitalism in decline via a unique poetic form, reminiscent of Haibun. These densely-packed prose blocs concluded by brief, Haiku-like tercets entice us to “gawk at how bumbling ‘sapiens’ sap sincerest intentions” even as they compel us to face what we may not want to admit, preferring to “snak[e] [our] way out of the cloud sum of blaring indulgences” in the fading “dusk bowl” of contemporary capitalism.

Peter Grandbois Hole explores the conundrum of the dreamer and the dreamed, and our compulsion to make things right, to make them fit our understanding and expectations. This compelling and disturbing story creates the accepted certainty of the dreamworld. Its meticulous logic builds and leads us forward through its unnamed protagonist’s perfectly understandable and yet ever stranger choices, all of which seem to follow inevitably from the moment he suddenly notices a hole in the wall he is painting, and the enigma it reveals. Like him, we question, and then accept, each metamorphosis from the expected to the actual. And like him we are carried by the elusive, ecstatic detail of the moment to moment, like “breaths that made you feel as if you could float away on them. Breaths that could carry you to the cusp of clarity.” As the painter tries in vain to force the enigma back inside its hole, we are forced, with him, to face that our resources, like his, are “Not enough. Still, he applied it religiously, hoping somehow it would do the job.”

The ceramic sculptures of Donté K. Hayes resonate with the echoes of millennia of human artifacts. These remarkable creations honor the cultural and physical experience of the Black Diaspora, even as they grapple with the historical centrality of slavery at the core of racism today. Although these curvaceous, muscular, biomorphic forms concern themselves especially with the iconography of pineapples, whose signification of hospitality is directly connected to slavery in the Americas, they are also suggestive of serving vessels, head ornaments, ritual figures, and the (Black) body itself. With lush and intricate surface textures suggestive of both fur and bristles, these works have a sensual complexity that is both gentle and strong, welcoming and steadfast, nurturing and resolute. As balanced as they are sturdy, Hayes’ creations radiate a warm and inviting power.

Genevieve Kaplan’s remarkable poems marry the concrete with the abstract to yield a rich and unique mix of recognition and surprise. With equal parts precision and inspiration, these “delightful, pulled out, loosely / skeined” poems parse plain language and ordinary experience until what they offer is anything but plain or ordinary, “read[ing] / the situation with such careful / attentiveness,” “ask[ing] each word” and “hon[ing] in on their availability” to plumb fresh and unexpected depths of wonder and wisdom – until “one detail actually manages to encompass the entirety of the other” and each poem becomes “a way to begin.”

Kristin LaFollette’s striking collages combine the energy and spontaneity of abstract expressionism with a surrealist sensibility. Organic elements contrast with inorganic via intensely colored painterly brushstrokes and drips juxtaposed with magazine cut-outs of text and images. In ‘The Accident,’ black paint has been scribbled over a washed blue background layered over the repeated phrase “I’m sorry.” The focus of the collage is a photo of a model deer cut up and reassembled with a pipe and a skateboard. Sandpaper and marble appear along with cutouts of technical drawings of cells. The free placement of the text and visual elements suggest emotion, if not agitation, while the skateboard contributes an element of humor. What exactly, is this “accident,” and why are we “sorry?” The combination of bold visuals with suggestive, enigmatic text invites us to make our own connections. In ‘like a cell of your skin’ a fire hydrant appears in front of a snowy neighborhood alongside medical drawings of a dissected heart; the bloody red swathes underscore the parallel between the pump of the hydrant and the pump of the heart. And in ‘Old Bones,’ the opposition/attraction of dry and wet suggests more than just a change in weather.

Lisa Lewis poems unite form and content, masterfully enacting the structured, multi-layered grasping at meaning they describe: “the gear and the grind” of clockworks, the architectural designs “chasing space” for the love of “beauty and the mystery of beauty,” the still life “primarily concerned / with religion and allegory,” the highway scaling “a precipice of light / flinching at the raised hand of gleam.” These poems capture the heartbreak of what we have made of the land, interrogating the city/country dichotomy and how it affects our souls. They evoke the long spaces of the Midwest, the sun on them, the buildings that shouldn’t have been built on the prairie, the skyscrapers “wrong for this landscape but proud in horizon light” erected by “donors who admire the endeavors of the business college and take as their doctrine its longing to rise above the prairie and the ghosts as if also wingéd and holy” – unlike the “impure and lustful” partridges, sage-grouse, and wild turkeys who “barge right into town . . . pacing fledged measurements” of their dwindling habitat. With exquisite craftsmanship, Lewis evokes the humble tragedy of ordinary life: the “shadows / we hardly get the chance to know before /someone rises from the gray with a blade.”

David Mills exquisite, devastating series, Talking to the Bones, gives voice to the spirits of enslaved 18th Century New Yorkers. In these tragic and profoundly moving dialogues, Mills offers a glimpse of the eloquence and wisdom, insight and humanity of men whose own humanity was brutally denied. With maximal economy and delicate grace, Mills renders these men’s aphoristic utterances to reveal a brief but tantalizing glimpse of their untapped reservoirs of wisdom (“Death: a sad cabinet is it not?”) and a resolve as necessary as it is inspiring: that “[t]he first shall have a last and the last shall have a first.”

JoAnna Novak’s high-octane meditations assess the relationship between self and other, work and domesticity, with its “hoard of / hand-me-downs and sentiment, the flinch and shrink / and scowl before savings.” As succinct as they are popping with rhythmic energy, these verses ground their explorations in the tangible and the tactile in all of its vivid and various glory: the “joints / joists vices files ferries roses and fathers.” Optimism as well as angst propels these bold yet questioning poems, in which a narrator “surrounded by black hills / and an enemy with busy lips and a tank to burn and / pockets stuffed with chips” asks “what if simplicity saves nothing? If my monochrome / chant is a mere red grunt?” With eyes wide open, this poet has “advanced along / the plank and called it a path, an El Dorado of rubies / and routine” in the conviction that, like these verses, “we are the gale in an ordinary machine.”

Elizabeth Shull’s magical and restorative paintings consider homo sapiens as a humble but fortunate inhabitant of the natural world. In place of hegemonic exceptionalism, Shull’s humans have the great good luck to share the wonder and beauty of nature side by side with a remarkable range of fellow creatures who, as these canvases reveal, are literally, and thankfully, everywhere around us. Hers is a world teeming with graceful form and glowing color, rich texture and harmonious compositional balance, joyous vitality and an intrinsic, ineluctable strength that is humbling but never threatening. In these lush, optimistic canvases, what lies beneath the luminous surface is even more wondrous than what shines above, and surprises are gifts glowing with a life we cannot help but treasure.

To close, Chuck Wachtel’s “Sheltering in Place” directs its tender, laser gaze on the modest beauty of ordinary life under extraordinary threat. This deep and moving elegy to the “fierce, continual” struggle to survive is dedicated and addressed to Lewis Warsh, a friend and kindred spirit whose poetry and prose also confronted issues of identity and mortality via specific and loving attention to the day to day. The gentle understatement of Wachtel’s elegy to the fragile hyper-normality of our current lives “sheltering in place / for the entire moment we hover in the serene eye // of this raging storm” offers a balm for our weary, grieving psyches, even as it confronts the reason for that need, those fearful forces threatening to “come crashing through the walls.” The real challenge, Wachtel reminds us, is as modest as it is daunting: to “try to continue being who we still, mostly / are.”

On behalf of our contributors, thank you for reading. Please protect each other, and stay strong.

with love and hope,

Susan Lewis, Carol Ciavonne, and Bernd Sauermann

Lewis Warsh

Second Chance

Let me offer you a plate
of bowtie cookies but be careful
not to drop any crumbs on the
rug for fear the mice might
come out at night when we’re

Eat slowly and sit up straight
this time tomorrow we’ll meet
again, like strangers in street
clothes, at the restaurant on
the corner

Do you want some more salsa
with your chips one might
say as a way of breaking the ice
after so many years of fighting our
way out of a paper bag

And it’s only in the here and
now that we can make up
for lost time while the meter
is running and everything
is on hold

Just so we can sit across a table
and peel a grape and stare into
the space between each other’s
eyes and write the definitive version
of what never happened
and never will

Drop a tincture of snake oil on
the scar tissue and pay off
your debts two at a time
while all the buildings where we spent
the night crumble into dust

And old friends greet us with
a standing ovation as I eat
the cherry at the bottom of the glass
in one bite and ask the waitress
with green eye shadow for a dry martini
straight up

On Johnson Road

I took a walk down Johnson
Hill Road to see the beaver
build her dam. But she wasn’t
there, only a few ripples
on the surface of the pond.
A few flies alighted on my shoulder,
and in my hair. Then I sat
out for awhile and read a book
about Jean Paul Sartre and
Simone de Beauvoir. I haven’t
come to the good part yet,
sex in the grass. Then a few
raindrops fell on my head.
There’s the path into the woods
behind the house, lost in shadow.
That’s where I’m going, just give
me time. It seems to get late
early, or earlier, each day, which
isn’t exactly news to anyone,
but something to say, as each
hour a little more light vanishes
from the sky and the barred owl
sounds its cry from the uppermost
branch, and the leaves begin to
sway, and turn color, over night.
Soon it will be autumn and all
the fall colors and a few deer will
dare to walk across the road without
fear of hunters or people in fast
cars. Soon the seasons will change;
the grass turn brown, the leaves
purple, like old wine, and the prosecutor
will present inadmissible evidence
to the jury of one’s peers, whoever
they might be, old, young, blind,
aging, embittered, dissolute,
and dumb.

Night Sky

Night-life in the country,
beyond the sighting
of a raccoon,

and the headlights
of a pick-up returning from the

night-life in the treetops. The
3-legged dog next door
doesn’t bite. Do I hold

on for a moment or do
I slip over the edge?

Night-time in the
parking lot outside
Arizona Pizza, the Metro

North train
arrives in Wassaic, I get
off at the last stop.

Tuesday matinees
at the Triplex. The forklift
operator’s wife at the end
of the bar.

Night-life in the Bronx.
A dead carnation
in your lapel.

My mother knots my tie
before I walk out the door.

Night-life on the Pacific
Rim. I wear a bullet-proof vest
in Coconut Grove.

Night-life anywhere filled
with stars in the night sky.

Night-life in the baggage
claim area with no where
to go.

Lewis Warsh (9 November 1944 – 15 November 2020) was an American poet, visual artist, professor, prose writer, editor, and publisher. His later books include Piece of Cake (written in collaboration with Bernadette Mayer, Station Hill, 2020), A Free Man (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), Out of the Question: Selected Poems 1963-2003 (Station Hill, 2017), Alien Abduction (Ugly Duckling, 2015), and A Place in the Sun (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010). He was editor and publisher of United Artists Books and founding director of the MFA program at Long Island University (Brooklyn).

Lewis Warsh


The man downstairs warns us about the bedbugs
     in his apartment & the next day I have big bumps
     on my arms

There are bugs in the soup among other places

It’s no coincidence that Gregor Samsa turned into a bug

Joy and sadness are like sweet & bitter food

The places you visited don’t exist when you’re not there

The world is a forest filled with wild beasts & poisonous insects

The anesthesia is just wearing off & a nurse is sitting at my

Maybe when I’m old & blind you can read to me before
      I fall asleep

You were sleeping here a moment ago & now you’re gone

This is what used to be known as the meatpacking district

It’s not a problem (for me) if you want to burn everything you’ve

I put some cortisone on my bites to relieve the itching

The hair stylist on the ground floor claims that the birds
      on the windowsill attract rats

I had the sense that someone was following me
      so I turned the corner

There’s a theory that only the beginning & the end
      are important

I skipped a few pages to find out what happens at the end

You may read a short summary of the book before you begin

I tried to throw the ball through the hoop, but it went astray

“The self-acknowledged suffering of the disintoxicated
      is the subject of this book”

Every word is a verb: to do, to be, to seem

The words are in italics because I’m saying them

My so-called doppelganger is not my friend

It’s a long way down from the roof to the street

Waiting on line at the bank we are simply nobodies

I run out into the snow / but there’s nowhere to go

My head is no longer part of my body

When I first started wearing glasses, people called me “Owl”

When I walked down the street people shouted “Hoot! Hoot!”

One word from you & my thoughts begin spiraling

It’s hard to know what to do next until you’re doing it

My private parts are glowing in the dark

There was a buzz in the audience at the sound of her name,
      but after her performance people looked downcast & filled
      with despair, as if the propensity to feel anything
      had vanished forever in her presence

It feels like there’s a nail sticking into the bottom of my foot

Darkness commensurate with discomfort–this style of writing

Self-discipline is necessary if you want to forget something

There’s a struggle, never ending, between clinging to something
      & letting go

A stream of water flowed out of my head

You can walk down Gun Hill Road in the Bronx & be anywhere

You can stand at the intersection of Gun Hill Road & Eastchester
      Road & remember the past

I can see the light of a taxi in the distance, coming through
      the snow to take me home

You can walk down Lydig Avenue in the Bronx & remember
      your childhood

I cursed at the doctor who wanted to give me a shot

In those days, when you were sick, the doctors visited you
      in your apartment

There’s the intersection where I waited for a bus — it’s after midnight

Once I took speech lessons to correct my lisp

It’s time to leave the party but I can’t find my coat

I omitted the sentence you asked me to erase without fear of rain

Long shot of an empty downtown street — coffin-like, unreadable

“We’re walking on sunshine — ooh, ooh”

Side effects might include drowsiness or diarrhea

It’s important to clean the sink before going to sleep

Sometimes the bugs come out when you’re sleeping

The sky is overwhelming but so is the vastness of the sea

We buy a magnifying glass so we can identify the bodies
      of the dead bugs

The dead bugs leave a trail of blood along the sheets

It’s hard to touch someone who isn’t here

The dermatologist touches the welts on my skin

The ferry is late & we won’t be home

Lewis Warsh’s most recent books are One Foot Out the Door: Collected Stories (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014), A Place in the Sun (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010) and Inseparable: Poems 1995-2005 (Granary, 2008). He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Long Island University (Brooklyn). He is editor and publisher of United Artists Books. A new book of poems, Alien Abduction, is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse.


Editors’ Notes (Posit 4)


Welcome to Posit 4!

We are delighted to bring you the poetry in this new issue, which assembles a range of poetic approaches to the deployment of razor-sharp vision reflecting our selves and our world(s) with unnerving power and ineffable magic. As always, the work in this issue comes from poets at all stages of their careers and a variety of aesthetic and geographical milieus. We hope you enjoy:

Kristin Abraham’s elliptical yet potent lyric investigations into the violently carved ‘wife-shaped face’ of American femininity as well as the asymmetrical “hog-thick tension” and “derivative violence” of our diode-logical relationships;

Simeon Berry’s wryly wrought encounters of Nix, a “biped without a face,” with the “negative/cathedral[s]” of our final inevitable “unreal estate,” nimbly transmogrifying sound puns to meaning puns with wit and grace;

Dana Curtis’s hallucinogenic psycho-documentaries with their “known lights . . . spiraling out . . . into [a] fog shrouded museum;”

Raymond Farr’s wonderfully threatening contemporary mythology, replete with Delphic Oracle;

Derek Graf’s ‘forest’ of prose blocs in which the silent and the voiced intertwine to re-imagine tropes as rich and strange as “the cold equations of hills and the cloven vandal of the moon;”

Carolyn Guinzio’s unsettling gaze reflecting our world in the hypnotic spin of a snake’s eye and complicating meaning via a counterpoint of interwoven narratives emitting implications of incantatory resonance;

Tim Kahl’s blunt and surprising vision, inviting us in from the numb comfort of our societal “avoid room” and guiding us “into position to receive the new settings from the old intelligence;”

Drew Kalbach’s “polycarbonate enhanced/enriched plastic” urban techno narratives, gleaming like “pure chemical reactions where no chemicals are found and nobody takes a picture to prove it;”

Jared Schickling’s mad constructions, “an epicurean trip thru quantum entanglement” conjuring up verbal parallels to the work of Jackson Pollock;

Marius Surleac’s collisions of punk rock with bucolic pastoralism, making us “lose our minds smoking pot made of sharp corn blades;”

Lewis Warsh’s deceptively relaxed and conversational lines snaking from the daily to the universal, the evident to the profound, with lingering resonance and masterful grace;

and Karen Zhou’s deft and haunting constructions, weaving us into her magical world of “nebular wild white,” “tattooed tulips” and “the impossibility of brûléed snow.”

As ever, thank you for reading!

Susan Lewis and Bernd Sauermann


And welcome to the visual art in Posit 4!

ShinYeon Moon’s work explores the masks that people wear and the people beneath those masks — who we appear to be, and who we fear we are. Deeply psychological, Moon draws the inspiration for these haunting works from poetry, mythology, and her own life.

Gina Pearlin’s paintings are like bits of half-remembered dreams of a bygone era in an unnamed country. Despite their dreamlike quality, there’s a solidity about these pieces that plants them firmly in time and space. At once surreal and concrete, her vision reveals a world that is grim yet strangely beautiful, asking questions only the viewer can answer.

James Rauchman’s paintings draw us into a world of organic shape and form. Densely packed, the canvases often seem poised to burst open. They pulse with a life of their own, like biological specimens under a magnifying glass. At the same time, Rauchman is addressing formal ideas of figure and ground. The paintings dance back and forth between foreground and background, creating a lyrical tension which addresses central questions in contemporary painting.

With a wry sense of humor, Kevin Snipe’s work documents urban life and relationships between men and women. He uses the physicality of ceramics to work around, in, under, and through the visual narratives. These sculptures operate on both two and three dimensions, the visual narrative of the drawings reinforced by the sculpted forms. Snippets of dialogue float through these pieces, like conversations overheard on a subway.

And Laura Sharp Wilson’s work assembles forms that hark from many realms: under the sea, under a microscope, and in the sky. They appear as both decorative and highly structured scientific portraits of an alternative universe. Using vivid and beautiful color palettes combined with precise drawing, these paintings suggest multiple possibilities stemming from the natural and scientific worlds.


Melissa Stern