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Month: June 2010

And Now for Something Completely Eccentric

And Now for Something Completely Eccentric

Found this by perusing Crooked Timber. Had never heard of them and now wonder why. They are funny, talented, don’t take themselves seriously at all, and their eccentricity seems well earned. Simply put, they make us smile . . .

So, without further ado, I present The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain!!!


The following is their finale, and it includes a remarkable composition based upon a piece by Handel, resulting in a surprising synchronicity of modern tunes following a classical frame.


For more information about this strange and funny band, visit their homepage:


  . . . Read more. “And Now for Something Completely Eccentric”

The Last Station

The Last Station

Leo Tolstoy, by Ilya Repin. 1887
Leo Tolstoy, by Ilya Repin. 1887

Back to back films, biopics of great writers. Thinking about the trade offs. First, Sylvia Plath and then Leo Tolstoy. Marked contrast between the two on so many levels. Most obviously, Tolstoy lived a long life, dying at the ripe old age of 82, while Sylvia Plath took her own life at the age of 30:

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.


Both movies portray the struggle, the conflict of life against art and art against life, of sacrificing loved ones for that craft and for genius. But in Sylvia, the betrayal runs too deep. There is no reconciliation, no final, moving, powerful reunion, as there is with The Last Station. . . . Read more. “The Last Station”

Happy Bloomsday! Plus New Poetry

Happy Bloomsday! Plus New Poetry

Sunflowers. By Vincent Van Gogh. 1888
Sunflowers. By Vincent Van Gogh. 1888

Nothing was as it seemed, when Van Gogh painted it. Roiling underneath the subject, flying above it, surrounding it, were his passions, his intensity, his flights into realms most of us could only guess at, if we can match him for moral imagination, or imagination period. With Van Gogh, a rose was not a rose was not a rose.

Ray Succre writes poetry along these same lines, or conjunctions, or coincidences, with a mask or two thrown in for good measure. Surreal, meant to be heard, meant to be spoken, they sing the uncanny.

Spinozablue presents two of his poems below.

*     *     *     *     *

In honor of Bloomsday, I wanted to point you in the direction of a fine little essay about the people, real people, and their descendants, who found their way into Joyce’s Ulysses. . . . Read more. “Happy Bloomsday! Plus New Poetry”

Two Poems by Ray Succre

Two Poems by Ray Succre

Flower Poetry

When the flowers first escaped the row,
having scattered their generatives in time with a good wind,
I used poison to contain them. 
All gardeners know you can only own beautiful things
if you keep them in a square.

These were hearty poison-eating flowers, I discovered.
Soon, they made the grounds, even rooting in the concrete walk.
Hurrah for wildness, hurray for its life, I thought,
leaving them be.

I remember too clearly the morning I witnessed
the first flower to get inside the house.
It was growing from the kitchen floor.
I contained this pretty creature by setting a large soup-pot over it.
By next afternoon, the flower had called a compatriot,
and the pot had been overturned. . . . Read more. “Two Poems by Ray Succre”

Mind Games

Mind Games

One of Those Days


The Atlas of the World
Outside the mind

But more than that
More than just maps and histories

The Atlas of the World as if
It were made for you
And you remake it every third or fourth hour

With time off for good behavior

An explosion of mirth overtakes the symphony
Then ideal pain
And ideal questions
An onslaught of daring never imagined

Before or since

A judgment day
A carnival
A tent for their tropes
Their troops of artists and saints

Your sinister rodeo

The eleventh dimensional map unfurled
Like a catastrophe on the boulevard
Before the barricades go up
Before Paris is ripe

Or Prague sees a new Spring



— by Douglas Pinson


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