Happy St. Paddy’s Day (2023)!

Not a lot to say about it, other than I wish I were there. In Ireland. Going round the Ring of Kerry, perhaps, among other stops and stays. Wandering amongst this and that, especially to see the Skellig Islands once more. Where I want me dust to go someday. Somewhere close to Tír na nÓg, to be sure. Which, in times long gone, was right around the corner, I’m told. Though some bards say the blessed isles are to the west of the Cliffs of Moher.

Cliffs of Moher. County Clare, Ireland. Photo by Douglas Pinson. 2003.

Should go to the places I missed out on, too, like Yeats Country.…

John Grey: Empathy Guy


From what I hear,
there’s this long, long epic of a tale
and my particular story
is told in one particular paragraph
out of a trillion trillions of the things.

And, within the paragraph,
my life doesn’t go beyond one measly sentence,
and, in the sentence itself,
it hardly merits a word.
or even a letter for that matter.

I think of myself
as being on the curve of an S
and in the shadow of the preceding apostrophe.

I’m part of the possessive case.

For what I possess,
for what possesses me,
read on.


Winter solstice rain,
dark at the window,

a flake of ice
skims down the glass.…

New Poems by Cherene Burdett

Greek Sense

Incendiary imagination
Innocent itch
Love starved luster
Maelstrom magnet
Eros’s day off of erratic erections
Plantar fasciitis gingivitis
Malevolent incline
Surreptitiously dipped
Spear-minted Troy-umphant
Achilles’s day off his feet
Solidarity in confinement woes
Cold imprisonment
Jubilant jailbreak
Sun-crazed fanatic
Icarus’s day off in the shade
Sailing toward an identity crisis
Epic maritime tourist traps
Calypsonian lover’s toll
Penelopean couch-surfer
Odysseus’s day off from travel


Stillborn Prairie

Jim never plowed
Before he went off to college
He got a job in the city
She was a stillborn prairie
His ww1 to end all ww2 forms
A rebirth into his childhood
Distilled clear body
Pure, hard, Hera dancing
Aged, built into beauty
Long-grain yellow Van Gogh depression
Foreign bodies waving in still air
Pulling sands down
Into obscurity
As sound, like death, comes

Scorched providence windowpane, glazing
Dust bowl iron ox
Fragments of sun-down shadows
Immense slow motion
Plough waving gently
Her lips, his dreams
In water, in brush, her lips
Those lips in brush strokes
Hot yellow water spinning
Pagoda of goldenrod, sensual and saintly
Night turning light down
A porch swing night
Childhood destiny left behind
Left waving,


— by Cherene Burdett

Copyright ©2023, by Cherene Burdett.…

Foster: Claire Keegan’s Art of the Unsaid

It is no small feat to make silence an essential part of the story, to make it a character of sorts, or a part of the landscape itself. To let the unsaid speak volumes and tear at our hearts. Other mediums, of course, have baked in access to the power of silence: film, paintings, and photography, especially. Music can also make use of sonic absence to heighten the power of each note, each break in time, and give us more space to process the evolution of emotions. But in the field of letters, mastering silence — and her noble cousin Brevity — requires extraordinary skill.…

Recent Readings and Intros

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry from Shira Dentz, Dominic Rivron, and Adam Day.

The Last Pomegranate Tree, by the acclaimed Kurdish writer, Bachtyar Ali, is a magical, moving story of war, its volatile aftermath, and the search for a long-lost son who becomes two, then three. Translated from the Kurdish by Kareem Abdulrahman, this fascinating novel mixes allegory, magical realism, and mystical flights to tell the story of Muzafar-i Subhdam, a Peshmerga fighter released from prison after 21 years in the desert. Muzafar soon embarks on a journey of discovery, hoping to find his son, Saryas, born just days before he was captured and thrown into prison.…

Quipo, by Shira Dentz


Today starts as a comment.
I’d like this one to be a ray
though mostly, I get split ends.
They’re free though.
A day like an open half shell,
part of a collection.
Clouds re-draw the day,
the wet wool of it.
You can ravel their knobby weave
into a knot for a seat on their pendulum.

Copyright ©2023, by Shira Dentz. All Rights Reserved.

Shira Dentz is the author of five books including SISYPHUSINA (PANK, 2020), winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Prize 2021, and two chapbooks including FLOUNDERS (Essay Press). Her writing appears in many venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, Pleiades, Plume, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Idaho Review, New American Writing, Brooklyn Rail, Berkeley Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Apartment, Lana Turner, Poets.org,…

Astronaut, and Other Poems, by Dominic Rivron


No need to move
from the chair
where you can sit
fooling everyone
who forgets that the moon
(along with the blackbirds)
exists only in our heads

all it takes
is a word
and before you know it
you’re setting off
your pockets full of poetry
and apples


The Things We Saw on the Way

a man with a bicycle
pushing it uphill

a hole in a wall and car
upside down in a field

a waterfall turned to icicles
the river below it to ice

the moon behind a tree
that looked like a man

turned to stone
while waving his arms

or was it a man
turned to stone

who looked like a tree?…

More Blakean Twists and Turns

The Higgs book grows more and more fascinating with each page. I’m now up to Chapter Eight, and have journeyed through a host of issues, historical, scientific, political, and artistic. The author does a fine job of walking us through the relevant facts, setting up context, and bringing in other historical figures, past and present. When he speculates about Blake’s mind, he gives us quotes from his works, from people who knew him, or others who studied him. And his close readings of the poems are sound. But perhaps the key to the biography so far, and Blake himself, is the power and centrality of the imagination, and how Blake used it to create his worlds, his mythologies, and his philosophies.…

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