John Grey’s Morning Toast: Two Poems

John Grey’s Morning Toast: Two Poems


Waiting for the toast to be done.
Pouring coffee into a cup.
Morning dew like angel’s spit.
The sun – a critic who loves everything
it lights upon.
Apron of blue jays.
Sparrows suddenly on song.

The breeze.
The orange on the sill.
A game of solitaire not yet started.
Red queen on black king
sings the voice in your head.
Open the window.
Artificial pine scent meets the real thing.

Fish in the bowl
fed by fingers.
Mourning dove takes a dip in the bird bath.
Dandelions open-faced,
glad to steal the grass’s thunder.

The mirror.
Not bad for…
how many years is it?
Mind awakening.
Slippers still asleep on your feet.

Some things it might interest you to know.
Others oblivious.
Bright hazy windows.… Click to Continue “John Grey’s Morning Toast: Two Poems”

Mitch Corber: Three Poems

Mitch Corber: Three Poems

Eclair of the Heart

a man overcome with emotion cannot gloam
     or gloom his way home …

a snail occupied by a whale cannot prove
     nor dispoverish a dish of sardines …

a sack on a madman’s head serves as a hat
     dashed by the drive of who’ll keep him alive …

a doom served up by a saucer of milk heals
     the welcome of wolves at his doubled
     doorway to stay the night heaved by the blitz
     of battleshod crumbs at the dumbwaiter’s
     beck and call …

a posse of weak-kneed jehosophats splats
     head-on with the long grin of one who
     knows the most is missing from his puzzled

“gotcha!” – get me closer to the gotten
     of godspeak as the freak pries back
     his laughing garb to lodge a complaint
     at the ain’t-been-there-yet …

no solvent nor kosher dill whistle will fill
     you up like an eclair of the heart …


Sauna of Soothing Blues

The drunken dice pursue their final tumble
in the first of many tosses

What’s left is a past a paste of former selves
in the groaning dog days of irrelevancy

These weeks of rewind sure stymie a spring-forward
doorway through the clues of an isolating loop-de-loop

The gift of a peapod knocks at the guarded gate
in a Sauna of Soothing Blues

Prosy rosettes pose a wetness a shrewd meander
a coy coriander dipped in the inner inkwell

Spontaneous nerves in a slow syrup – the gaining
of eclectic touch in the much that there is


Vodka Victims

Vodka victims avoid the ovary
melancholy of wallet-sized apologies

When seven rolls a tollgate of telltale felons
in a flash of uppity passion
I string the ring of pithy possibilities
in penniless squirts of action

Votive channels waver in the windy scheme
a thing of barely the brass knuckles
on his fingers

— by Mitch Corber

Copyright© 2021, by Mitch Corber.… Click to Continue “Mitch Corber: Three Poems”

Bedazzled Humans, Dark City, and New Paintings

Bedazzled Humans, Dark City, and New Paintings

Just watched “Dark City” again, one of my favorite movies, ever. It’s been a while since my last viewing. More than a decade, in fact. Unfortunately, the version I watched wasn’t the remastered DVD version I had seen back in 2009, which had provoked this review in Spinozablue many moons ago.

It was still excellent, but just not as amazing as the extended version. It moved me, and reminded me that we’re creatures of the light, whether we live in darkness or not, and some of us live too much in that darkness.

The ancient, divinely obdurate sun. The blue surrounding that sun. Reflections of that light dancing on the water in myriad forms. The hope of seeing those colors up close, the desperate longing for that warmth.… Click to Continue “Bedazzled Humans, Dark City, and New Paintings”

Lauren Groff’s wondrous Matrix

Lauren Groff’s wondrous Matrix

Mother, womb, mater, matrix. An environment for growing, developing, thriving. A special place, an original story, a lasting vision in which evolution is still possible, even likely. In this case, an abbey in medieval England, or an abbess in that ancient home, or the mind that creates the character with surreal visions of new worlds.

Lauren Groff’s Matrix is all these things and more.

Her heroine, Marie de France, was real, but we know little about her beyond her poetry and translations of classical fables. This gives the author ample room to play with sacred and profane elements to her heart’s content, buttressed by extensive knowledge of medieval England and France. Her Marie is a tower of strength with the will power needed to implement her visions.… Click to Continue “Lauren Groff’s wondrous Matrix”

Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor

Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor

Aphasia. The Antarctic. The mystery of speech and the mind and the white noise between us, and how we recover from trauma, and how we never do. The hit and miss essence of working together to recover, or not. The small family dramas, the miscommunications between those with and without aphasia. The white noise and shattered ice thousands of miles away that never leaves us.

Sudden storms. Unbridgeable distances. The worst possible moment for things to go terribly wrong, and they do. Too far away from centers of rescue. Too far away, given their almost ancient conditions, even with modern technologies in place.

Told mostly in short sentences, McGregor shapes his prose to fit the catalyst of the story, to stay with that catalyst, to be a vehicle into and (almost) out of aphasia.… Click to Continue “Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor”

Night Sweats on the Chaise Longue

Night Sweats on the Chaise Longue

A thought or two on some recent music. One relatively new song, “Chaise Longue,” from June of this year, and another, “S.O.B,” from 2015. Wildly divergent genres, eliciting wildly divergent reactions. Couldn’t be more different, I suppose.

Wet Leg is a band from the Isle of Wight, headed by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, names seemingly taken from a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. The music they make? Not so much. More like something out of Boris Vian, by way of Sally Rooney. Their first single is delightfully weird, and oh so “cheeky,” as the Brits might say. It’s also joyfully infectious.

The video adds another dimension, and another reference or seven for me. It’s something A24 Films might make, but in a much lighter vein than their norm.… Click to Continue “Night Sweats on the Chaise Longue”

More short fiction plus Campbell

More short fiction plus Campbell

We’ve added a short story by William Kitcher to the Spinozablue mix, and some more paintings by yours truly. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Finished Campbell’s fine collection of lectures and informal talks, Goddesses, and had some additional thoughts to share.

First off, I imagine my main takeaways are not the same as other readers, and what stands out for me now may not resonant with the majority. This is likely the case, as they probably wouldn’t have resonated all that much with my younger selves. I remember focusing more on the mythological stories as stories in their own right, their beauty, strangeness, and mystery, mostly delinked from current concerns or implications. When very young, I think I read them at least in part to escape from the present, not to find those links.… Click to Continue “More short fiction plus Campbell”

Joseph Campbell and the Feminine Divine

Joseph Campbell and the Feminine Divine

I’ve been reading Joseph Campbell since I was nine. He was foundational for me, along with Robert Graves, Lady Gregory, and Jane Harrison, sparking a greater love of world mythology, its roots, its scope and diversity. Going back to him as of late, I’m uncovering things I either forget about or missed entirely the first go round, and it has me rethinking more than a few things these days. Nearly halfway through his posthumously published book on goddesses, and I’m hooked again.

Goddesses (2013) is basically a collection of his lectures and talks between 1972 and 1986, with a focus on the Female Divine in myriad incarnations — Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Hindu — and a few mentions of its tragic, world-altering suppression along the way.… Click to Continue “Joseph Campbell and the Feminine Divine”

Free Will, by William Kitcher

Free Will, by William Kitcher


She returned home and, as usual, put her keys on the hall table and walked to the back of the house carrying a book she had just bought, to the study, where, as usual, he was sitting at his computer, writing.

He turned and smiled, and went back to his writing. She kissed him on the top of his head, squeezed his shoulders lightly, then flopped onto the sofa.

He looked at her again, and smiled with recognition at her predictable and comforting way of stretching out on the sofa, book in hand. She smiled back at him and opened the book.

After a few minutes, she put the book face down on her lap, and said, “Huh,” as a sign of odd understanding. She looked over at him.Click to Continue “Free Will, by William Kitcher”

The Transitory Nature of Envy

The Transitory Nature of Envy

Jealousy, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2021.


Jealousy II

I’m jealous of Jimmy Stewart’s time
With Kim Novak in Vertigo
Looking at her looking at him
Through all the doubling of characters

Hitchcock and Freud
Judy and Madeleine
The dated dynamics
The bald confessionals

It would have been something
To have rescued her from the Bay
And then the Set
And then the downward spirals

I’m jealous of Zhivago’s time with Julie Christie
And Sharif’s time with Lara
Not so much because their love
Nearly froze to death

While the howling wolves applauded

But because War and Revolution
Snow and ice and balalaikas
Were no match for their technicolor
Passions — wrong or right

I’m jealous too of all the people
Who said wise things to the Buddha
To change his Way
To change his Path

Knowing they’d never get the credit
They deserved or the royalties
     Not that he ever did
Or will

But most of all I’m jealous
Of the waves
Because they see everything
Carry stories on their backs

Like Homeric dolphins
Just far enough
To finally reach Ithaca
And then some



by Douglas Pinson