Social Dreaming by Hattie Myers

There is a “deep and somber unity” when the different impressions of our senses enter into “correspondence.” So writes the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his seminal book The Poetics of Space. It is this “correspondence” that allows us to receive and transform the immensity of the world into the intensity of our intimate beings. There is an intimate “everydayness” that runs through all the essays in ROOM 10.22. And much as residual impressions from the day are transformed nightly into dreams, the synergy of these writers forms an unsettling social dreamscape.

My Back-Alley Abortion by Adrienne Harris

…It has a space to lie down. Other than that, the room is bare. I am tempted to use the word “barren,” which I think captures a fear I cannot articulate. All I can feel is how afraid I am. What am I wearing—a surgical gown? Perhaps just a slip and underwear. I remember already feeling shame and fear. I don’t or can’t really take in the specifics of my surroundings. I am terrified, shame-ridden, more singularly alone than ever in my life, though my life is not very long at this moment.

August 23, 2022: Kamianets-Podilskyi by Svitlana Matviyenko

I am sitting on the windowsill in my living room. It’s five in the morning of the 181st day of the war. The night was sleepless, sirens after sirens, when the valley with the river canyon amplifying the sounds give it such volume that the city landscape alone never does, as it swallows the city steers, activating dogs and most certainly birds much earlier than their time. After a short while of peaceful rest, after the sirens stopped, my town, covered with a thick layer of fog, is slowly awakening: the curfew is over. Everything here is now immersed in a complete silence that you can only encounter in a small town like mine and in that rare moment when the choir of morning birds is quiet already but the people are still not out on the streets. This silence is so surreal and overwhelming amid the war.

August 27, 2021: Philadelphia by Elaine Zickler

…I never walk in the city in order to make friends, although every encounter, for the most part, is a friendly one in the city. I am an old woman now, and the city has been ravaged even more than I have been, by death and sickness, by neglect and violent desperation, so I have the sudden realization that it has always been the city itself I have loved, the city itself that has been my friend.

Grace Bakst Wapner

Grace Bakst Wapner’s work with urethane or satin, clay or bronze, chiffon or pipe cleaners in an interactive dialogue between material and object has been determinative in her process. In the early 1970s she erected walls and barriers constructed from satin and velvet, alluding to the dual nature of our social interactions, and now, in the 2000s, after working for years with clay and bronze, on paper and on canvas, she has returned to working with fabric, sometimes conjoining the fabric with clay. Throughout, there has been a continuing belief that the implementation of color, line, texture, and form
can evoke abstract truth. She studied painting and sculpture at Bennington College and at Bard, where she participated in the MFA summer program. But it has been her intensive day-to-day studio practice and the looking at the work of other artists that have most significantly informed her work. She has had twenty-nine one-person shows, participated in over one hundred group shows, lectured and taught, and been the recipient of honors, grants, and awards. She believes that the singular and complex practice of making art both asserts and affirms our humanity.

Feeding by Roa Harb

It begins when any one of us living abroad confirms dates for a visit. My mother starts asking weeks in advance for our favorite foods so that she can core, stuff, mince, chop, and knead her way into neatly packed pans, ready to be thrown into the oven at a moment’s notice. On too many occasions, I’ve objected to this cheerful affirmation of the assumption that as expats we must be living in a state of food deprivation, possibly surviving on caloric stores between one visit and the next—to no avail. But it turns out that my younger sisters do have their favorite foods. It also turns out that I’ve had them—vociferously—in the mid-2000s.

RATATOUILLE: Sonnet for Shelly Bach by Eugene Mahon

Eugene Mahon, MD, is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research. He has published four books—Such Stuff as Dreams, A Psychoanalytic Odyssey, Rensal the Redbit, and Bone Shop of the Heart—and numerous articles on psychoanalysis. He practices in New York City.

Psychoanalysis at the End of the End of History by Sebastian Thrul

What is, or was, the End of History? The political scientist Francis Fukuyama claimed that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signaled the victory of the “Western world” in the Cold War and ended, definitively, the struggle between competing ideological grand narratives. Fukuyama’s theory asserted that the basic formula of human government had been settled once and for all in favor of liberal democracy and market capitalism.

Fire by Terri Greco

Terri Greco’s poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, North Carolina Literary Review, San Pedro River Review, Jacar Press, and Main Street Rag. She was the recipient of a James Applewhite Poetry Prize (Honorable Mention, 2020) and an honorable mention in Kakalak (Main Street Rag, 2019). She was a James Applewhite semifinalist (2022). She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Ghosts in the Bathhouse by Kevin Barrett

…The work on transgenerational transmission and healing of trauma has been focused on familial ties and attachment experiences. In the case of gay men, the generations are linked through an identity that isn’t familial. Thirty years beyond the worst of the AIDS epidemic, gay men who did not directly experience those years are still haunted by the history. In these cases, we aren’t able to speculate about transmission through attachment experience, so how do we think about the way this trauma has been transmitted to and worked through by subsequent generations?