Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Monday, April 13, 2015


by Marilyn Hacker

Maybe it was jet lag, maybe not, 
but I was smoking in the kitchen: six, 
barely, still dark: beyond the panes, a mix 
of summer storm and autumn wind. I got 
back to you; have I got you back? What 
warmed me wasn't coffee, it was our 
revivified combustion. In an hour, 
gray morning, but I'd gone back to my spot 
beside you, sleeping, where we'd stayed awake 
past exhaustion, talking, after, through 
the weeks apart, divergent times and faces. 
I fell asleep, skin to warm skin, at daybreak. 
Your breasts, thighs, shoulders, mouth, voice, are the places 
I live, whether or not I live with you. 

Fog hid the road. The wipers shoved back torrents 
across the windshield. You, on knife-edge, kept 
driving. Iva, in the back seat, wept 
histrionically. The crosscurrents 
shivered like heat-lightning into the parent's 
shotgun seat. I shut up, inadept 
at deflecting them. A Buick crept 
ahead at twenty-five an hour. "Why aren't 
we passing him? My Coke spilled. The seat's wet. 
You guys keep whispering so I can't hear." 
"Sit in the front with us, then." 
"No! I'll get 
too hot. Is the fan on? What time is it? 
What time will it be when we get there?" 
Time to be somewhere else than where we are. 

"What do we have? I guess we still don't know." 
I was afraid to say, you made me feel 
my sectioned heart, quiescent loins, and spill 
past boundaries the way blackberry-brambles grow 
up those tenacious hills I left for you. 
Their gritty fruit's ripe now, but oceans still 
separate us, waves opaque as oatmeal, 
miles of fog roiling between your pillow 
and mine while you say your best: sometimes, she's where 
your compass points, despite you, though a meal 
with me, or talk, is good . . . Where our starfire 
translated depths, low fog won't let you steer 
by sight. The needle fingers one desire, 
and no other direction can compel. 

If no other direction can compel 
me upward from the dark-before-the-dawn 
descending spiral, I drop like a stone 
flung into some scummed-over stagnant well. 
The same momentum with which once we fell 
across each other's skies, meteors drawn 
by lodestones taproots clutched in unmapped ground 
propels me toward some amphibious hell 
where kissing's finished, and I tell, tell, tell 
reasons as thick and sticky as frogspawn: 
had I done this, that wouldn't have come undone. 
The wolf of wolf's hour cried at once too often 
picks out enfeebled stragglers by the smell 
of pond scum drying on them in the sun. 

I miss you more than when I was in France 
and thought I'd soon be done with missing you. 
I miss what we'd have made past making do, 
haft meshing weft as autumn days advance, 
transliterating variegated strands 
of silk, hemp, ribbon, flax, into some new 
texture. I missed out on misconstrued 
misgivings; did I miss my cue; boat? Chanc- 
es are, the answer's missing too. At risk 
again, sleep and digestion, while I seize on 
pricklier strands, crushed to exude the reason 
I can't expect you'll ring up from your desk, 
calling me Emer, like Cuchulain's queen, 
to say, we need bread and some salad greens. 

On your birthday, I reread Meredith, 
whose life's mean truths inform, tonight, his text 
so generously framed. There'll be the next 
night, and the next, cold gaps. I'd have been with 
you now, lover and friend, across the width 
of some candle-lit table as we mixed 
habit and hope in toasts. Instead, perplexed 
by separation like a monolith 
bulked in the rooms and hours I thought would be 
ours, I practice insensibility. 
We crossed four miles, three thousand. You diminish 
now, on a fogged horizon, far away. 
Your twenty-fifth was our first class Tuesday 
—will one year bracket us from start to finish? 

Will one year bracket us from start to finish, 
who, in an evening's gallant banter, made 
plans for new voyages to span decades 
of love and work around a world we'd win? Wish 
was overgrown with fears; voyages vanish 
with empty wine bottles and summer's paid 
bills. Lengthens the legendary blade 
between us: silence; hope I hope to banish; 
doubt, till I almost doubt what happened, did. 
Chicken from Zabar's warms, and frozen spinach 
simmers, while Iva writes a school essay: 
"Both Sides: Everything has an opposite . . ." 
sucking her inky fingers and her braid, 
and I read Meredith, on your birthday. 

"Why did Ray leave her pipe tobacco here 
in the fridge?" Iva asks me while we're 
rummaging for mustard and soy sauce 
to mix with wine and baste the lamb. "Because 
cold keeps it fresh." That isn't what she means, 

we both know. I've explained, there were no scenes 
or fights, really. We needed time to clear 
the air, and think. What she was asking, was, 
"Why did Ray leave 

her stuff if she's not coming back?" She leans 
to extremes, as I might well. String beans 
to be sautéed with garlic; then I'll toss 
the salad; then we'll eat. (Like menopause 
it comes in flashes, more or less severe: 
why did you leave?) 

"Now that you know you can, the city's full 
of girls—just notice them! It's not like pull- 
ing teeth to flirt," she said, "or make a date." 
It's quite like pulling teeth to masturbate 
(I didn't say), and so I don't. My nice 

dreams are worse than nightmares. As my eyes 
open, I know I am; that instant, feel 
you with me, on me, in me, and you're not. 
Now that you know 

you don't know, fantasies are more like lies. 
They don't fit when I try them on for size. 
I guess I can, but can't imagine what 
I'd do, with whom, tonight. It's much too late 
or soon, so what's yours stays yours. It has until 
now. That, you know. 

Who would divorce her lover with a phone 
call? You did. Like that, it's finished, done— 
or is for you. I'm left with closets of 
grief (you moved out your things next day). I love 
you. I want to make the phone call this 
time, say, pack your axe, cab uptown, kiss 
me, lots. I'll run a bubble bath; we'll sing 
in the tub. We worked for love, loved it. Don't sling 
that out with Friday's beer cans, or file-card it 
in a drawer of anecdotes: "My Last 
Six Girlfriends: How a Girl Acquires a Past." 
I've got "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted" 
run on a loop, unwanted leitmotif. 
Lust, light, love, life all tumbled into grief. 
You closed us off like a parenthesis 
and left me knowing just enough to miss. 

"Anyone who (I did) ran down Broadway 
screaming, or dropped in Bryant Park in a faint 
similarly provoked, will sniff a taint 
of self-aggrandizement in the assured way 
you say: so be it; then she cut the cord; hey, 
the young are like that. Put yourself on main- 
tenance, stoically, without more complaint? 
Grown-ups, at least, will not rush to applaud. They 
won't believe you." And he downed his Negroni. 
Who wants to know how loss and sorrow hit 
me daily in the chest, how like a stone 
this bread tastes? Even though lunch is on me, 
he doesn't. Home alone is home, alone. 
(I'd reach for Nightwood, but she "borrowed" it.) 

Did you love well what very soon you left? 
Come home and take me in your arms and take 
away this stomach ache, headache, heartache. 
Never so full, I never was bereft 
so utterly. The winter evenings drift 
dark to the window. Not one word will make 
you, where you are, turn in your day, or wake 
from your night toward me. The only gift 
I got to keep or give is what I've cried, 
floodgates let down to mourning for the dead 
chances, for the end of being young, 
for everyone I loved who really died. 
I drank our one year out in brine instead 
of honey from the seasons of your tongue.

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