photography, poetry

Saying Goodbye Chelsea

Chelsea Window #1

August 2014

            Windows focus our view onto an image, perhaps different when our line of vision is changed, but a single image nonetheless. Does perspective matter if you’re only being presented with the same glass guarded picture again and again? Yes. Looking down 23rd street here, I focus on a memory. What I see in her is very direct, and almost toy-like. I can tinker with this view. I can focus on the black car, and be sad; focus on the red awning and be mad; or focus on the nothingness surrounding what’s focused. I choose to ignore what is apparent. I take this picture while in a comfortable relationship for 3 years from the 21st floor of the apartment building I live in.

Chelsea Window #2

June 2015

            Windows constrict our views - sometimes onto a grey image where there is no escaping that bleak outlook. It’s hard to see anything but what is right in front of you, and looking away to the black outreaches only seems more hopeless. I’m focused but also trapped. I’m depressed in my apartment on the 21st floor, and Chelsea looks ugly--vicious even. The only option is to remain in this box and hope my perspective changes soon. This window is less of a lens, and more of a cage. I take this picture as a depressed and single 21-year-old, a month away from what would have been 4 years in a relationship.

Chelsea Window #3

June 2015

            Windows magnify our views on the everyday world around us. Chelsea takes me by surprise this afternoon. The monotonous blue skies and humid weight of the skyline are greeted by a purple sunset that caresses the tops of buildings. For the first time in weeks, the window on the 21st floor seems like it’s inviting me to see a bigger picture. There’s freedom and hope in this skyline. She had tricked me earlier—life isn’t the dark box it seemed to be before. There is a reason to look up, and no reason to look down. I take this picture a couple weeks after the last, healing slowly.

Chelsea Window #4

January 2015

            Windows don't matter at all. Our view is strictly what we want to see, no glass can distort or control that. If I want to see something, then that’s where I’ll look. Windows are clear for a reason - so we, as humans, can see whatever we want, at all times. The 21st floor allows me to see everything in The City—in her—but I choose to simplify that view. What matters is the emotion; the shapes I have lost and the colors I have gained. Maybe the window is trying to protect me from what’s on the other side, but I need to feel that visceral pain to grow. And I have felt it. I took this picture at the peak of my relationship, but now looking back, it foreshadowed something both ominous and beautiful that was going to occur. The biggest loss and gain in my life to date. 

Chelsea Window 0


You were the best.
I needed your sex.

Focused and lost,
I was in pain
You were out of

Like a sunset,
The beauty
Only hides the ugly.

You’re so ugly.

Tennessee Nunez is a 21 year old rapper and photographer based in NYC, currently studying at Hunter College. Find him on Instagram and Soundcloud.

poetry, photography

48 hours

What does the death of a relationship look like? Nearly everyone has a friend or acquaintance whose relationship suddenly splintered, but did that break feel that sudden to those in the relationship? I met with Sophie Nau to talk about her photographs and the story behind them. Sophie’s photographs document a trip to San Francisco she made recently to visit a boyfriend. Her pleasant pictures of an idyllic city do not initially convey the growing distance between her and her boyfriend. The fragments of text reveal the disconnect that exists between our records of the past, such as photographs, and the reality actually lived. Sophie views this visual storytelling as a way to process this “weird stuff happening in a beautiful place” before she can establish the distance needed to write further. Our conversation led to swapping stories about exes and breakups, and reflecting on how much can be left unsaid between two people – how hard it can be to even talk about your own feelings.

- Thomas Baldwin, editor

Sophie Nau is a writer living in Santa Monica and is currently working in film and TV production. She loves to bake and has been baking since she was four. One future project she hopes to expand upon is a photo series capturing how food and cooking connects communities and family.


For Fear of Being More Afraid

Statement from the Artist:

There's that quote, “Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them.” This implies a kind of cycle: make a mistake, forget it, let time pass, make the mistake again.

In these three recountings, I am hoping to shed a different light on that cycle. Historians are always using that quote to defend the study of history as a path toward advancement. What I never hear anyone talking about is the small comfort of living a life made up of the same mistakes.

That, yes, I concede there is something nauseating about watching myself screw-up the same ways again and again. It's like a carousel, simultaneous nostalgia and hyper presentness, that awful, “Oh no, here it comes again” feeling.

But there is also the soft warm comfort of the familiar. Knowing the name of my mistake gives me a sense of control over it. A pleasure in watching and recognize the same disease destroy me again and again.

I guess I'm asking the same question Camus did. Can a Sisyphus, a man doomed to the same fate forever who cannot learn from his past, be happy? I picked these three moments because I believe they feature the same mistake and to varying degrees the speaker in the poems offers some enjoyment in making the mistake.

My goal with these poems is to explore a mistake-driven life as one simultaneously filled with celebrated investigation.

- Joseph Anderson

For Fear of Being More Afraid
Three Recountings

I was a light no when I put the gardenias in my hair but no because of the ants and no to wear my red canvas pants and no and he kissed me under the trampoline and might well be him because I mean I asked him with my face to ask me no and then he asked me the place I would no to say no my light and fist. I put my arms and wish around him no and drew him down to me no so he no could feel me wholly and no tomorrow would change today no and his heart was a small horse and no I said no I will no. And no the apple cider had fermented too long and no we were drinking vinegar and scrapping the mold off of the sauerkraut and I thought no we weren't small fruits that just grow sour together but no I wasn't sure.

My father was teaching my sister to drive. She would not make left turns for fear of swinging too far out and colliding head on to another car. After the eleventh right turn we had surrendered to my sister's silent square dance. We became surprised that anyone had ever considered right turns safe and were more surprised that no one had joined us. We felt small when passing the same dog tied to a tree. He had shortened his own leash by walking in circles. I went along on a date between her and her boyfriend at the time. They were eating ice-cream and trying to pretend what was not real was still there. They were trying not to surrender their small dream of happiness, quiet conversations, mason jars filled with strawberry and rhubarb, early light, and the music that provides the mirrored vocabulary of the future. They were pushing around the melted ice cream in their cups and trying not to exist anymore.

We refilled our coffee cups and sat in silence. I wondered why you kept coming, and knew things would be bad when you left and wondered if you did too. You fell asleep in your chair. It was awfully cold outside. I thought how for both of us this was our first real winter. This was the first time we could see the clouds fall apart through the sky and recollect on the streets and sidewalks. You said I didn't have to walk you home. A minute after you left I ran after you and we scared each other again. We walked in silence back to your street. We were slowly realizing that everything: the sidewalks, the mugs, the exposed lightbulbs were the results of someone's hands and someone's time. And that the someones were just as us: young and small and that they probably did not like making the mugs and the lightbulbs and the small plastic trees that go on birthday cakes. We were looking at our own hands and wondering if there was any other way to spend our time.

Joseph Anderson is a writer living, working, and crying in New York City. He is a student at NYU and his poems have previously appeared in Potluck and Lines and Stars.