Essays

Public Figures (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

By Jena Osman

Public Figures is an essay-poem with pictures and textual content that starts off with a playful concept test: statues of individuals in public areas have eyes, yet what are they taking a look at? to reply to that query, Jena Osman units up a digital camera to trace the gaze of a few statues in Philadelphia—mostly nineteenth century army figures sporting guns. How does their standpoint range from our personal? and the way does it examine, say, to the perspective of alternative watchful army figures, similar to drone pilots? during this e-book, Osman combines the histories in the back of those statues with poetic narratives that ask us to consider our personal relational positions, and the way our personal daily gaze might be complicit with the gun-sights of conflict. Public Figures illustrates how historical past is reworked, or even erased, by way of monuments and different public files of occasions. via poetry, these histories will be made obvious back. cost for the net reader’s significant other at http://publicfigures.site.wesleyan.edu.

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They loom above you. You map out a rescue plan. come off its present target    get permission for 107 to come south    copy and censor    leave the bridge locked while you are in the market with the digital camera gear, it takes passersby a minute to appreciate what you're doing. but if they do—the second once they notice that those figures certainly have a gaze projected outward—they gasp and chuckle. motionless, you watch all of it tips on how to effect. locked up until eventually we get permission to come back off that focus on roger wilco    pilot mc cleared astray censor    you can For the main half, the sculptures appear to be not anything particularly; they've got a gaze, yet they don’t have a necessity for it. You ask yourself approximately your test, no matter if it has any worth in any respect. You finally end up and throw it within the air. holiday lock at the bridge and lock up the objective 5 with tail 107    roger    we’ve obtained 60 levels extra of hitting whereas continuing, you realize your now not noticing. You stroll round those figures as though they're structures or huge items of furnishings. You navigate their barriers with out a temporary meditation on who they're or why they’re there. With that public invisibility in brain, you turn into conscious reasonable variety of those statues populating your urban are armed. reproduction pilot    I’ve acquired 8 missiles and bombs on predators within the aim vicinity    target 5 leaving tale: directions are available in a blue envelope rigorously sealed and stamped with the observe “government. ” Use a letter opener and slide it contained in the fold, slicing cleanly throughout as you’ve been taught to do. Your gloves go away no prints. picture: You kneel with knees within the dust. as though a cloud have been only a set of traces, artifical and fierce. something, eyes to the sky and arms outstretched. you spot your self as a cliché, only a physique underneath the celebrities and open to the weather. Caption: a pair arm in arm. 3 move. go. Now 3 now one. guy in blouse sleeves. guy with bag slung over shoulder. unhappy presentiments of what needs to come to cross. tale: The project is already lifeless within the water. If it hadn’t been for a fortunate holiday (which you didn't point out on your file) you could now not be the place you're at the present time. The challenge half is hard. It calls for a undeniable language, the language of dispersal and path. It calls for following orders with no relatively realizing final ambitions. It calls for persistence and a cheery middle. snapshot: Bayonets and daggers. the boys in uniform with their flat hats and scabbards, their knapsacks and greatcoats. the boys with out hats of their road outfits and excessive socks, drooling blood. the girl in the back of the knee, the kid less than the knee, the fellow who units the knife to the kid. Can one sharpened pole win opposed to synthetic fingers? A humans and their poles, without or with cause. Caption: girl hunched over in purple sweater moving into white SUV with more youthful, taller girl. guy with pin-striped pants. without or with cause. tale: It has dawned on you that even though you’re in detail conversant in each crease within the map, you’re no longer fullyyt convinced of the place you’re going.

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