Joshua Bocher’s Sartrean Moons

Joshua Bocher’s Sartrean Moons

Frozen Life

“There is nothing left for you here.”

The head of this shadowy figure
Tilts towards the ground.

Salt is scattered about,
Shimmering,

The snow a blinding mirror,

Human figures in the distance
Tiny as the hairs on his chin,
Visiting from
An old Chinese painting.

 

Queen of All Under Heaven

The moon reigns over the night sky,
Queen of all under heaven.

The stars serve her:
What she wants, she gets.

I stand below the kingdom
As the clouds cry tears.

With nothing to shield myself
I can’t find my way home.

The wind freezes, the air is still,
My breath is a dry cough.

I think of my love so far away
And feel colder still,

But on the surface of the moon
I spot her lovely smile.… Read more “Joshua Bocher’s Sartrean Moons”

First Gatherings and other True Myths

First Gatherings and other True Myths

I try to simplify things somewhat with this group, especially The Mermaid. Even when I painted in the real world, aeons ago, it could be said that over-painting was a trap I couldn’t always avoid. Thinking a bit more of this color here and another shadow there would make it all work, finally! More often than not, “too much of a good thing” prevailed. And sometimes, there was . . . mud.

Less is more isn’t just a hackneyed phrase. When it comes to art, to writing, to music — most things in the creative realm — it holds true more than one might think. Of course, just as frequently, the problem of doing too little strikes at the heart, and trying your damndest to simplify tends to lead to “That’s simplistic, damn it!”… Read more “First Gatherings and other True Myths”

Trilunar Phases and Cosmic Debris

Trilunar Phases and Cosmic Debris

Have been productive along the artistic front lately, though that old black magic, inspiration, seems to come and go. But I’m pretty happy overall with my progression these days, taking more and more chances with media and medium. The latter is the message, or so I’ve heard.

The two Cosmic Debris paintings are possibly the biggest departures from previous efforts, and made primarily in Gimp. I like the direction #34 is taking me, especially. Have figured out that I can actually blend colors, smudge them, pamper and schmooze them enough to go beyond previous limitations, though the program is still unpredictable at the oddest times. I’ll get my paint brush, colors, and vision just the way I want them, and then seem to lose the ability to increase the scope of the brush, despite desperate attempts at playing with various icons, drop-downs and tabs.… Read more “Trilunar Phases and Cosmic Debris”

The Equivalents, by Maggie Doherty

The Equivalents, by Maggie Doherty

What was and is lost, and all the work we do to try to prevent this, or at least reduce the fallout from those losses. The things we don’t do to include all, and the ways we choose to exclude. Our choice, even if it’s just to go along with the status quo. These are among the most important takeaways (so far) from Maggie Doherty’s fine group bio of several extraordinary women from America’s past.

Radcliffe, Boston, San Francisco. The enormous pressures in the suburbs and the city to conform. Dilemmas, macro and micro, swamp the lives of would-be artists and scholars. They swamp everyone, of course, but artists and scholars are the subjects here. To make a home, or make art? To build a family, or pursue unfettered artistic expression?… Read more “The Equivalents, by Maggie Doherty”

Horrid clichés, New Roads, and old Regrets

Horrid clichés, New Roads, and old Regrets

Photograph by Malcolm Lightbody

Nothing could be less true about life than this: If we just work hard enough . . . if we put our minds and hearts and . . . if we just believe, we can do anything! Nothing can stop us! Nothing!

No. A thousand times no.

Yes, it sounds wonderful to hear, to think, to feel — deeply, or on the surface, only — and the entire business and marketing edifice rests upon our blind acceptance of this sentiment. Beyond the merely commercial, too, it’s one of those “necessary fictions” we humans live for, which makes it far easier to swallow in any form, for any reason. Generation after generation bestows this “gift” (mercilessly) on its children.… Read more “Horrid clichés, New Roads, and old Regrets”

Sacred and Profane Gardens.

Sacred and Profane Gardens.

Got in a good walk today, listening to music as I moved through the blue air. Strange beginnings, with “Revolution 9” by the Beatles spinning up first, splitting my head in two, then four, hoping “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” would follow, but she didn’t. Thought, too, about my most recent paintings, and about friends who have already left this world, one who also painted. He was self-taught, and could have been great if he had had the time. July 7th, 1979, and it was over. More on his life and art in the next post. 

Music often does that to me, as does walking. The push-pull of life and death, surprising joys and sorrows, spinning out from the notes and words and visual echoes competing for my attention, again and again.… Read more “Sacred and Profane Gardens.”

New Poetry, and Skyfields Falling.

New Poetry, and Skyfields Falling.

Clyde Kessler offers us a new poem and some wise words of advice when it comes to statecraft and balking skies, among other things of note. Spinozablue welcomes him back into the surrealist fold.

    *     *     *

Speaking of balking skies, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about their true colors and hidden meanings, their portents and judgments, which only we ordained Magi can see. That is, of course, unless a non-Magi person has synesthesia. If they’re so blessed, their seven senses easily overcome the lack of ordination, and more. My own images, seen below, are sadly limited to just six . . .

Just beginning The Equivalents, by Maggie Doherty, which is a fine book so far, and timely, and has me thinking (already) a lot about all the wasted talents through the millennia — because.… Read more “New Poetry, and Skyfields Falling.”

Clyde Kessler’s Poetic Diplomacy

Clyde Kessler’s Poetic Diplomacy

EMBASSY

I am teaching a few diplomats
about some skeletons that keep walking
with their words that sound like extra
ribs squeezing a breeze from a stump.

My powerpoint is almost pointless,
snitches, flogs, knuckles, slumbers, skulls,
during the late morning of being alone
with so few. They might soon speak like me,
with ghosts, with sunlight turned in a rifle scope,
and with a treaty that has no bullets for one hour.

This is where I think I am being locked up
with my words. This is where my old farm
ancestors laugh and ask why bother the ambassador,
why explain any notion of peace, why mumble
about tottering back home at the end of a poem.
The sky is balking like a mule on a rush hour freeway.… Read more “Clyde Kessler’s Poetic Diplomacy”

New Year Poetry and Photography

New Year Poetry and Photography

We’ve had some strong additions recently to our Spinozablue archives, most of them by previous contributors. Poetry by Hilary Sideris, Ricky Garni, Sean Howard, and Frederick Pollack grace our pages in 2021, and Ricky Garni brings us some of his photography as well. Please give them a close read/look and add comments on the Contact us page.

    *     *     *    

Have started another book by Elisabeth Roudinesco, Why Psychoanalysis? Of special interest to me so far is her depiction of French society as generally depressive and obsessed with pharmacology as the answer, not the old Talking Couch — which she prefers. Various social, economic and environmental factors come into play, as do the writings of Lacan, Foucault and a host of other (primarily) French intellectuals.… Read more “New Year Poetry and Photography”

Sean Howard: definitions (poetic gestures)

Sean Howard: definitions (poetic gestures)

definitions (poetic gestures)

voters?
X slaves

*

descartes, the man
who saw himself
in half

*

prose racket –
poetry’s
mime

 

The Art Lovers (Departure Lounge, Cork Airport)

Shadows slowly
brushing barley –

cheers from The
Last Call

bar

 

ridge (poetic height)

the oak, statues
of silence,

gesture grand-
ly to the

planes

 

being poems, main-à-dieu bay

plo-
vers,
tou-
ch
&
go

*

wil-
let,
car-
ved
dou-
bt

*

seal-
pier-
ced
mis-
t

 

—by Sean Howard


 

Copyright © 2021 Sean Howard. All Rights Reserved.

Sean Howard is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Unrecovered: 9/11 Poems (Gaspereau Press, 2021). His poetry has been widely published in Canada and elsewhere, and featured in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2017).… Read more “Sean Howard: definitions (poetic gestures)”

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