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Month: November 2008

Just Like a Muddy Rolling Stone

Just Like a Muddy Rolling Stone

 A confluence of factors, almost like Delta streams, has me thinking about the Delta Blues and Chicago Blues and the man who did the most to electrify them, Muddy Waters (1913 – 1983).

A new movie due out next week, Cadillac Records, tells the story of a truly revolutionary period in American music. Chess Records was pivotal in bringing great Blues and R&B legends like Etta James, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters to a larger audience, and is the subject of the film. The brothers Chess — Leonard and Phil — recognized the commercial potential for a wide array of musical genius, and helped set the table for Rock N Roll. The new film stars Beyonce Knowles, Jeffrey Wright and Adrien Brody.

Beyonce Knowles (as Etta James) just rips the heart out of this song and plays it back to us, updated, tremendous:

Cadillac Records

Retrospectives provoke us. Send us. Bring new rounds of revaluations. They often create new … Click to continue . . .

Coincidence in Cape Breton

Coincidence in Cape Breton

Belle Côte Wharf. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Photo by Doreen LeBlanc
Belle Côte Wharf. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Photo by Doreen LeBlanc

 

 

We have new poems from Doreen LeBlanc and an essay from Sean Howard on tap. Both authors hail from Cape Breton, though Doreen splits time between Nova Scotia and Massachusetts now. This is her first publication, and we look forward to more poetry from her in the future.

Sean’s work brings together a host of subject fields — psychology, philosophy, linguistics, science, poetry and poetics — to startle us into reading new bridges, new metaphors between them.

 

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I have some of my own poetry on display in Private, an international review of photography and text. You can see them by clicking here.

 

Poetic Synchronicity, by Sean Howard

Poetic Synchronicity, by Sean Howard

Poetic Implications: Synchronicity and The Language of Meaning

A Personal Reflection by Sean Howard

Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Cape Breton University

November 2008

 

A few months ago, I began work on a project I’ve been putting off for over a year: an account of my time in the clutches of what Jungian analysts call the ‘puer aeternus’ complex, or neurosis; an inflated sense of the self as a precious, creative but foredoomed ‘eternal youth,’ destroyed, to quote Jung’s colleague Marie-Louise von Franz, by a chronic “unadaptedness,” which “frequently results in early death”{{1}} if not shaken off by the sufferer’s mid-twenties – the age, incidentally, I told myself as a teenager that I (like two of my heroes, Shelley and Keats) would die. After struggling through a long, difficult section on the central dilemma confronted (and shirked) in the complex – ‘how to truly be yourself,’ or ‘how to not be someone else’ – I tried to relax with … Click to continue . . .

Belle Côte Bog, by Doreen LeBlanc

Belle Côte Bog, by Doreen LeBlanc


Belle Côte Bog



Nestled in the dense moss
Hanging by threads
In the squishy spongy bog
The ripe fruit
Coated in a
Purple misty fog
Turning bright
Cranberry red
From the warmth
Of my cold fingers



By the Wharf


I stand at the wharf
As the fishermen unload
They know their work
I stand amazed
As my young cousin deftly filets
A mackerel for me
Tossing the guts
Overboard

I know my own work
Back in the city
But it seems stale
As I smell the briny planks
And listen to the water
Lap against the boats
As gulls and terns call out
For their share of the catch

My cousin is a young man
But his hands are
Rough pitted and scarred
Aged by the biting salt
We share Acadian roots
Generations of hard slog
I tuck my cold smooth hands
into warm soft down pockets


— by Doreen LeBlanc


____________________

Doreen LeBlanc lives in Massachusetts and spends vacation … Click to continue . . .

After the Vortex

After the Vortex

Composition VII, by Kandinsky. 1913
Composition VII, by Kandinsky. 1913

 My poem from yesterday was about many things, but chiefly about fighting the inability to write. Poems, prose, in journals. The painting above is about something else, though it ties some things together for me. Kandinsky, in this work from his Der Blaue Reiter period, was painting in part theoretically, putting theories into his paintings, arming his colors with monads of thought. Color as spirit. Spiritual color(s). Color to invoke the spiritual. And music as the bridge of bridges.

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” — Wassily Kandinsky

He, too, would paint improvisationally, in a way similar to my poem In Medias Res. But it is often easier to paint musically, spontaneously, and make it effective as a composition, … Click to continue . . .

Vortex at Midnight

Vortex at Midnight

The Night Cafe, by Van Gogh. 1888. Yale University Art Gallery
The Night Cafe, by Van Gogh. 1888. Yale University Art Gallery

 

 

In Medias Res

 

There is a flurry of noise
Of images and batterings

As if I weather more than storms
More than wild winds

The flurry surrounds and confuses
Distorts and narrows
The field my focus
My open-ended vision

I’m too much a part of the world
– right now
Too much a swamped victim
Of my own acquiescence

Flattened like pictures
Floating down

pre-Raphaelite

streams

 

— by Douglas Pinson

 

Regions of the Great Hourglass

Regions of the Great Hourglass

Bruno Schulz
Bruno Schulz

Sixty-six years ago today, Bruno Schulz was murdered by a Gestapo officer in a concentration camp in Poland. Now recognized as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Schulz was little known outside his native Drohobycz during his lifetime, though he had made fruitful contact with several important Polish literary figures of his generation. He was friends with Stanislaw Witkiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz and Zofia Nalkowska, among others, exchanged letters with them and sometimes reviewed their works. His connection with the larger world was chiefly through literature and art.

Schulz was a rarity in a multitude of ways. He was a small-town, provincial intellectual and artist, a public school drawing teacher who rarely ventured beyond the confines of that small town. He did not seem to feel the need to live in the center of literary and artistic ferment — the closest city like that would have been Prague. He traveled little. But his mind was filled … Click to continue . . .

The Plural of Desi

The Plural of Desi

The Plural of Some Things, by Desi Di Nardo
The Plural of Some Things, by Desi Di Nardo

 

Desi Di Nardo, who has graced our site with her wonderful poetry, has a new book coming out soon.

From the book blurb:

Title: THE PLURAL OF SOME THINGS
Author: Desi Di Nardo
Format: Trade Paperback
Published: December 1, 2008
Dimensions: 75 Pages, 5 x 8 x 0 in
Publisher: Guernica Editions
ISBN: 9781550712964

To purchase The Plural of Some Things: click here

The Plural of Some Things illuminates the subtle and poignant flashes of experience which shape the way we evolve and flourish and from time to time digress as human beings. Written with a probingly sensitive eye and a profound fervour for the natural world, The Plural of Some Things invites the reader to journey towards those encumbered truths embedded deep in the heart’s home.

Reviews:

Desi Di Nardo’s energetic and exquisite poetry is already a major force, and a distinctive