Seventh Avenue Looking South from 35th Street, Manhattan by Berenice Abbott
Paired: Berenice Abbott + Lydia Davis
In the Garment District
A man has been making deliveries in the garment district for years now: every morning he takes the same garments on a moving rack through the streets to a shop and every evening takes them back again to the warehouse. This happens because there is a dispute between the shop and the warehouse which cannot be settled: the shop denies it ever ordered the clothes, which are badly made and of cheap material and by now years out of style; while the warehouse will not take responsibility because the clothes are paid for and of no use to the wholesalers. To the man all this is nothing. They are not his clothes, he gets paid for this work, and anyway he intends to leave the company soon, though the right moment has not yet come.
Davis’ works are more often referred to as short stories, but they have also been considered poetry and prose poems, and have been included in numerous poetry anthologies and quarterlies over the decades.
"In the Garment District" appeared in her 1997 book "Almost No Memory," but was apparently first published in the early eighties. (PDF)
Ms. Abbott’s photograph shows Manhattan south of the Garment District, but was in fact taken from a building that was firmly within the southern border of the District.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’re introducing a new series called Paired, which will feature a 20x200 edition alongside a poem selected by a team member, friend, or collector each day in April. Submissions are welcome! Please write us at email@example.com. A big thanks to Andrew Long for this submission and background info!