Thomas Devaney

Will Brown and Thomas Devaney, The Picture that Remains, The Print Center, 2014

The Picture that Remains

The Print Center, 2014

Will Brown’s photographs are absolutely astonishing, like the best of Rudy Burckhardt or Aaron Siskind or Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Thomas Devaney’s poems pay stylish and profoundly even-gazed attention to Brown’s wonders. The evenness of Devaney’s gaze its unwavering honest regard for the “poignant and stubborn”—is a marvel.
—Wayne Koestenbaum

from The Picture that Remains

The Picture that Remains

Buzzing in the glass,
the soda water has gone to my head.

Sitting at the counter, looking
back out the door, the street’s
vacancy is demanding:
I continue to look: the green
on a dark green plywood sheet
where the window used to be.
Someone’s second best suit.
A Buick Special that clicks, starts, and goes.
The Shoe Man’s silhouette, a sign itself.
The storefront window of the Wire Works.
The cross Old Timer will have none of it.
Of what?
The oldest old mean guy
who stops by the luncheonette every day,
and says “Clear as a comb.”
And “In living memory of the James A.Garfield

Across the street, the street noises
no longer enter the room.

So what good is the silence?
It won’t even hold up the windowpane.
Nothing does. It could crack
or crash any minute.

In the front window sill two cats have scrunched
into the last patch of sunlight.

The largest of the pictures was deinstalled.
The crew carried it away,
and this is the one that remains.