• this issue:
    Peter Nesbett proudly works for a major arts funder in Philadelphia and, with Shelly Bancroft, curates exhibitions about art but without art in far-flung locales.
  • The ten-year-old crack in the windshield of my 1985 Toyota Pickup won’t be fixed. The shimmering ribbon winds its way across my sight, reminding me of the city’s showcased imperfections (the Liberty Bell, the Large Glass).
  • A year after my cat bit me, a year after three nights in the hospital, a dozen IV-bags, two surgeries, and four-months of sickness-inducing oral antibiotics, the meandering scar is visible and my hand still aches. This morning, while I type, my cat is curled up next to me—a black cushion on a brown settee. Tonight we will share a bowl of oatmeal.
  • At 23rd and South, the fountain’s weather-softened basin tilts just enough to drool its water down one side. (Centuries ago someone designed and leveled it to spill rain from its perfect circumference.) In late April, cherry-blossom petals fell like confetti onto its sun-dappled surface, gathered with reluctance near its unintended spout, and dripped one-by-one to the cobblestones below.
  • The stooped man picks at a chocolate chip cookie on a crenellated paper plate. It is 8:45. I pass by again at noon and he is still there. Aloof, he looks out through his glasses, out through the enormous plate glass window, to the sidewalk. His wife, her dark hair streaked with gray, leans, squints, and whispers through a devilish smile into his ear. I watch this scene every day. The man, a once accomplished surgeon, has been hobbled by a stroke. Life will become this, I know.
  • Brecht wrote an ode to worn and broken things. Bertolt, not George. “Such forms seemed to me the noblest,” he wrote. I agree: Artwork should be broken, accidently, like a tea-saucer. Or deliberately, like the glass that encases the fire extinguisher. How else will it reenter this world? Profane a first-edition book by writing in its margins. Leave a gum-wrapper on the Brancusi bench in the museum. Compassion grows in these moments. “All this delights me.”