New Poetry From Ricky Garni

New Poetry From Ricky Garni


Every time someone says

I see the word in my mind –
it lingers for just a moment

and then disappears into the æther
letter by letter, until only one letter remains

and the final letter that remains
keeps haunting me
late into the night

this letter of glory
that the wizards
and sages




Walking through town
carrying my purple suitcase
unless I wander into a neighborhood
filled with purple people
and my suitcase is not empty
but filled with gold nuggets
that sing of better



The overalls you wear
for good hard work
are lively ladies of
the evening.



Do you remember
the potato chips we ate
when we were young?… Read more “New Poetry From Ricky Garni”

New Poetry by Frederick Pollack

New Poetry by Frederick Pollack


It was a Japanese Space Agency
probe that landed and filmed. I imagine them
cheering, exchanging high-fives, bowing
to a boss who came through, beaming, to offer
deserved congratulations. Traditionally
poets, even lifelong slum-dwellers, knew
the names of birds, wildflowers, trees,
which enabled them to put readers
and themselves in a landscape.
I never did. I could learn –
the probe brought samples back –
the composition of those rocks, but
no need. Two peaks, a crevasse,
the one narrow ledge where it landed.
A constant snow of frozen nitrogen.
Absolute glare and shadow, rocks,
and sheets of sun-warmed gas “blowing” off
or emerging from funnels. I suppose
the gases create atmosphere enough
for their own small sound.


— by Frederick Pollack

Copyright ©2021 by Frederick Pollack.… Read more “New Poetry by Frederick Pollack”

Magnificent Somethings Continued

Magnificent Somethings Continued

So, yeah, the title. Kinda lame, right? Well, it’s all about a new riff, a certain spin, a re-imagining of the previous post, in which I wax philosophical about ancient times.

Ancient times and ancient vistas. We all have them, if we live long enough. And some of us feel that way even in our late teens about our earlier teens, as was the case with my friends and me, one of whom passed away well before his time, like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi. Way before.

We would drink and laugh and listen to The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Humble Pie, as if we were looking back from twenty years into the future, instead of two or three. Reminisce. Sadly, tragically.… Read more “Magnificent Somethings Continued”

Humbly Magnificent Origin Stories

Humbly Magnificent Origin Stories

Hieros Gamos, by Douglas Pinson. 1982/83. Oil on Canvas.

I am the most humble person the world has ever seen. There has never been such a humble personage as I. Therefore, I take it as my self-created birthright to tell the following story.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, an artist lived and loved and was convinced that only the representational could be “art,” and that anything else was nonsense. This is not to say he necessarily loved blue velvet paintings of dogs playing poker, or Elvis in his later years, even though these American icons could be called “realistic.” There were lines he drew, and lines he would not draw, and they tended not to involve velvet. At least not yet.… Read more “Humbly Magnificent Origin Stories”

The Best Thing

The Best Thing

The Magpie, by Claude Monet. 1869

The best thing in life
Without exception
Is chocolate fudge
Down on the boardwalk

Until you’re old enough
To buy some for the girl
You saw on the beach
Or diving through waves

Glistening in the sun
Like a teenaged Aphrodite
Set free from her parents
Set free from islands

Across the pond

The best thing ever
Is to sit with her
On the bench
By that beach

Smiling a goofy smile
She’s just fine with
And your thick glasses
And your shield-size braces

She doesn’t care
She just looks at you
Then the fudge
Then you again

In the sun
In the sun


— by Douglas Pinson


Black Keys and White Stripes

Black Keys and White Stripes

Yin and Yang. Yesterday and today. We follow soft and low with loud and high. This could be filtered, of course, biased and different due to age and so on, but I don’t care. As in, yeah, I’m a Classic Rock, Classic Blues kind of guy, but I want to see it burst into the present and beyond.

So what might represent the relatively new? At least 21st century Rock, Blues, Punk, Garage? This might be a pretty good start:

Jack White versus the Black Keys. Apparently, that’s a thing, too. A rivalry between fans, at least for some. Mocking each other’s commitments and abilities to recognize the real when it shocks and shakes the ears. You know. What we humans call “fun.”

This Jack White song mixes and flows with the raw, the cooked, the tease.… Read more “Black Keys and White Stripes”

She said idontwannabeyouanymore

She said idontwannabeyouanymore

Precocious is a beautiful word. Its shush sound is both warning and invitation — to be quiet, listen, and just pay attention for a moment or two. Perhaps not with a full Simone Weil unit (henceforth known as SW7). But at least turn off the damn phone!

Billie Eilish. July 21, 2017

Getting closer to the point, but some house-cleaning first: Yeah, I’m pretty late to the dance on this one, at least writing about her. Am embarrassed to admit I first bumped into her songs via an Apple commercial. And so much has happened since that time, to her, to me, to all of us. One would have thought, for instance, that time itself would slow down during a pandemic, but, no. Careers still rise and fall, awards are given, artists become old hat, too popular, overplayed, while others languish in various obscurities they fall into or design themselves.… Read more “She said idontwannabeyouanymore”

Alaska Reid’s Big Sky Blues

Alaska Reid’s Big Sky Blues

I don’t know why. Heard it on the radio and I thought a moment, a place, a thing or two. It’s likely not what she intended. But, artists know all about that. They know once they give birth, the child goes where it will.

So, that’s why, I suppose

Loneliness is not the same as being a alone. You can be profoundly, dangerously lonely in a group, a marriage, a family. You can be deliriously not lonely all by yourself. But when people are lonely, especially in our modern, atomized, exchange-driven, all too impersonal world, it can wreak havoc on the soul, or no-soul, or whatever is or isn’t there. It can be hell.

So what to do? Don’t let your loneliness lead the way. Not ever.… Read more “Alaska Reid’s Big Sky Blues”

Foxy Metaphors: Isaiah Berlin’s Playful Binaries

Foxy Metaphors: Isaiah Berlin’s Playful Binaries

Isaiah Berlin’s classic study of Tolstoy, The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953), is too short and just right at the same time. The title and premise are taken from a line by the Greek poet Archilochus, which reads (at least in one translation), “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” From that line, Berlin plays with dichotomies and various binaries, without taking himself too seriously. He puts writers and thinkers in two camps, and throws us some curve-balls along the way. The biggest, perhaps, is the idea that a person can be a fox, in “reality,” but desires the focus and mission of a hedgehog.

This is how Berlin sees Tolstoy, and he shows us why. It helps his case that the prose is crisp, precise, and accessible, and free of jargon and scholar-to-scholar formalism.… Read more “Foxy Metaphors: Isaiah Berlin’s Playful Binaries”

Anna North’s Outlawed

Anna North’s Outlawed

Cinematic. I saw what she saw. I smelled, tasted, touched, heard what she wrote. And even though it’s a kind of alternative history, or a parallel universe, or just good old-fashioned re-imagining worlds, the story is quite plausible, with few exceptions.

Anna North’s Outlawed. 2021

Anna North’s fine new novel, Outlawed, her debut, tells the story of Ada, a young refugee from a town with a witch problem. As in, it believes in witches, which, at the moment, doesn’t sound all that unfamiliar. Her town also has a kind of Handmaid’s Tale problem, which may, in this other-world, stretch far and wide in the America of the 1890s, at least in the parts that had previously suffered through the Flu. So, yeah, there’s been a devastating pandemic that screwed things up and made all too many people go half-crazy, and, yes, this was written (apparently) before Covid hit.Read more “Anna North’s Outlawed”

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