4 Dedications, By Type and Narrative, as Suggested in the Photographs of Catherine Lord.

Teresa Carmody

Queer Is...

3. James Baldwin, For LUCIEN, I am the man, I suffered, I was there. –Whitman

Type: A Dedication to Feel and Be Felt

Narrative: James Baldwin liked to wander through strange cities. He learned street corners could be deceptive and intersections often led to parallel roads. Main thoroughfares provide one kind of study; he described them as crowded habits, well-grooved and finely-made, yet hardly known. Alleyways were another. He liked to wait in cul-de-sacs and see who might come next. He knew to be careful. For while the cities he wandered through were strange because he was new to them, they weren’t new to him. He knew their reputations, how they would see him either as a threat or not as all. One time, on a very small street in the middle of a mid-size city in the middle part of the United States, James Baldwin met a man he’d known in a very large city in the southern part of Europe. It had been several years since they’d seen to each other, and their sudden meeting came with the equally sudden recognition of passing fashion.

Teresa Carmody is the author of Requiem (Les Figues). She is also the author of several chapbooks: I Can Feel (Insert Press), Eye Hole Adore (PS Books), and the chapbook Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne (Woodland Editions). She is a co-founding editor of Les Figues Press, and the co-editor of its anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing By Women (2012). She is currently pursuing a PhD in English/Creating Writing at the University of Denver.

This work was commissioned for Suggested Readings, an exhibition of visual art inspired by specific literary techniques, curated by Kristine Thompson, Fellows of Contemporary Art (FoCA) Gallery, Los Angeles, July-September 2011. "4 Dedications..." appeared in a limited-edition catalogue that accompanied the show.