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A thousand chairs are like a thousand plateaus.
How elegant! How delicate! Not all as iconic

as Eames, the Egg, or the Wishbone. How strange,
mundane mass-produced disposable furniture

fills a million houses with its ancient dead fish eyes.
Where are those recherché chairs?

Why are we living with these replicas of dead fish?
These thousand chairs lying in books, in museums, in images!

But not in the rooms of every day.
Once I made a chair.

Styrofoam sheets wrapped around multi-shaped bodies
to find a good proportion—comfortable, sittable.

I built a model chair in Rhino. A skeleton ¼ inch in diameter,
with the drawings of plans, elevations, and sections.

I rang up eleven ironmen, only one of them
took my drawings and money.

His name was Ironman L.
The day I saw him,

12 steel tubes with a diameter of ¼ inch
lay on the concrete floor in his iron factory

Ironman L caressed and bent them
on a metal brake turning the straight tubes into curves

welded them together into the chair I designed—
skinny, graceful. Yet also mottled with creeping rust stains.

I ran to hug it, carried it back along the Schuylkill River
like two sacks of rice.

In the “spray room” I scrubbed it with sandpaper
hard like the Korean scrubbers scrub the backs

of the bathers with a scrub towel in a Jjimjilbang.
Bright white primer slicked the steel.

Creamy white paints, like fresh milk, sprinkled,
snowflaked onto the smooth skin of the back and legs.

Sheep yarns weaved across each other and the skeleton.
After three nights, a surface appeared like a new landscape.

Pom-pom balls attached to yarn, growing
like millions of dandelion seed-heads waving in a field.

Yarn hung from the pom-pom balls,
under the surface, like roots in spring.

Seeds of dandelions fly away,
sprout and grow again in another place.

The Growing Chair moves with me
from house to house, from place to place.

I carry it like two sacks of rice. It always stands
in the most important spot in my room.

I never sit on it.

Shuyi Yin is a PhD student in historic preservation at Columbia University, where she studies the relationship among politics, heritage, media, and memory. Inspired by poetry’s magic tapestry, Shuyi has a passion for reading and writing poetry.
Current Issue
16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Friday: Spear by Nicola Griffith 
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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