Robert Mueller: On the Poetry of Mary Orovan


From Mary Orovan a Touch of e.e. cummings if You Like

by Robert Mueller

These Elective Affinities, what are they?  You do not have to believe ce personnage distingué in Goethe’s novel who has a way of explaining things.  Thus der Hauptmann, supreme intellect with superb practical bent, can speak of a situation to which his old friend the Baron (and spouse) have invited him.  Put, or putting himself, in charge, he can explore it fully, and in the new relations as he finds them discuss and explain fully.  The upshot is that the Wahlverwandtschaften of the novel’s title relate analogically to any sort of relations, such as salts and acids, where the expelled element sinks back down and is recuperated.  Similarly, the main actors in the tale, four in number, may cross in their quadrant of attraction and distancing to express their wishes and their choices.
But you need not be so schematic about it.  You may make of your Elective Affinities what you … Click Here to Continue . . .

New Poetry by Rehan Qayoom

Years of research and a line of verse
The paper detritus is left behind
My pipe is full of butt-ends from the grate
Fit them all in anywhere

How much do you want of me?
How much can you take?
What do I have to do to win your emotions, or am I beyond redemption?
*ני לעצמי, מה אני; ואם לא עכשיו, אימתאם אין אני לי, מי לי; וכשא

This city fell a long time ago
Taken (not by impercipiently asking octogenarians)
By Blairian barbarians
Search now in vain for her lime green bowers
Try to convince yourself they do not know
Try not to cough in case it notices

This city is too big for you
Its current crop is rotten to the core
Its streets are being cleared of the remains
So then why this constant need for companionship?
I cannot say But if you had stuck out your thumb, yes
You would have stopped any of the 3 trains to Paris that have … Click Here to Continue . . .

Death and the Mountain

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC


The splinter of sunrise in the mind
Before the wind shifts

And the beacon fades

All of life is a furtive glance
By death

By death in life
Unless we laugh and make that splinter

Make it manifest as full beam

As entire sun
Entire world


Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

Blue Ridge Mountains, VA


The girl feared no one would care
She feared no one would come after her

But Van Gogh watched
And Van Gogh cared

As she walked into the horizon alone
Into the auburn and ochre

On her left
And the reds and greens

On her right

Black crows circling
Cawing above her

Mimicked in a sky
Like brushstrokes

Like golden bluish redish
Swirling heavens of new life

Overcoming death and fade
Death and forgetfulness



— by Douglas Pinson


Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes formed in 2009 in Athens, Alabama, with Brittany Howard on lead vocals and guitar; Zac Cockrell on bass guitar; Heath Fogg on guitar and backing vocals; and Steve Johnson on drums, percussion, backing vocals. Their offbeat, highly idiosyncratic sound draws from blues, rhythm and blues, roots revival and, surprisingly, heavy metal bands like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. But what drew me to their music was the crazy, raw and beautifully strange voice of Brittany Howard. Able to warp it rough and gritty, throw in shocking highs and lows, twist her phrasing into pretzels and come back to hit you in the gut again, Ms. Howard gives “distinctive” new meaning. And while their sample size is fairly small, at two albums, they don’t appear to be in the mood to ever produce the same old same old.

This is a band to keep one’s eyes and ears on for the foreseeable and very bright future.


New Poetry and the End of Purity

Spinozablue welcomes Colin James to its list of fine poets. Please send us your feedback regarding his poem, the site in general, the world as it is and ought to be, or whatever else is on your mind.

Garden With Courting Couples. 1887. By Vincent Van Gogh

Garden With Courting Couples. 1887. By Vincent Van Gogh

Finished Franzen’s Purity a few days ago, and was surprised at the sudden drop off in the quality of the novel, especially when the character, Tom Aberant, narrates in the first person. It was, frankly, agonizing to get through, and I couldn’t wait for the author to get back to the story of Pip (Purity) Tyler, but that didn’t happen until nearly the end of the book.

From this reader’s point of view, the problem lay in his decision to focus on the love/hate relationship of Tom and Anabel, diving into their respective neuroses to a fault. While deep psychology wounds, torments and a character’s way of coping with them can sometimes make for a riveting story, there is … Click Here to Continue . . .

New Poetry From Colin James



On the theater’s door
a few written words,
“This Theater Will Be Closed
Until A Run On Sentences
Adequately Compensates.”
The leather chairs
varnish their legs.
A thick green compensates
carpets and cashier.
No coming attractions, instead a slat
beneath a portrait with one eye
missing occasionally.
No mints either,
just the smell of insatiable consequence.
As if the balcony stairs could be arrogant
or led away.



— by Colin James



Copyright © 2015, by Colin James. All Rights Reserved.


Colin James has a chapbook of poems, A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY,
out from Pski’s Porch Press.