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September 2, 2010The Arsenal Building, Central ParkNew York, NYFrom the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Monica Youn is the author of Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010). She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Manhattan.

The Death of Ignatz (audio only)

Monica Youn

 

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Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010). She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Manhattan.

by this poet

poem
It was hardly a high-tech operation, stealing The Scream.
That we know for certain, and what was left behind--
a store-bought ladder, a broken window,
and fifty-one seconds of videotape, abstract as an overture.

And the rest? We don't know. But we can envision
moonlight coming in through the broken
poem

To section off
is to intensify,

to deaden.
Some surfaces

cannot be salvaged.
Leave them

to lose function,
to persist only

as armature,
holding in place

those radiant
squares

of sensation—
the body a dichotomy

poem

the trees all planted in the same month after the same fire

            each thick around
            as a man’s wrist

meticulously spaced grids cutting the sunshine

            into panels into planks
            and crossbeams of light

an incandescent architecture that is the