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Month: March 2021

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.

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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


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.

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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)

X slaves


descartes, the man
who saw himself
in half


prose racket –


The Art Lovers (Departure Lounge, Cork Airport)

Shadows slowly
brushing barley –

cheers from The
Last Call



ridge (poetic height)

the oak, statues
of silence,

gesture grand-
ly to the



being poems, main-à-dieu bay







—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)”

Hilary Sideris and the Winds of Italy

Hilary Sideris and the Winds of Italy

Olea Europaea

Considering the microscopic
scales that let your silver-

green, shimmering leaves
retain water in desert sun,

your fruit so fraught with
energy it fueled clay lamps

in Greece, I feel more squat,
gnarled, tolerant of heat,

admire without envy
your thousand-year life span.


Winds of Italy

La Tramontana blows tra monte,
between mountains, female in a land

where wind, vento, is male.
La Bora bears down from the Adriatic,

makes harsh Slavic sounds. Dante
called il Grecale the slave wind

under which the whole peninsula
shivered. Il Levante dumps rain,

hails from Gibraltar, Lo Scirocco,
from the east in Greek,

brings waves of homicidal heat.
Farmers most loathe Il Libeccio,

the Libyan, which stirs up squalls,
stings skin like the Sahara sand.



Today we talk about babies.… Read more “Hilary Sideris and the Winds of Italy”

Click Click Domino: Best rock song of 2021?

Click Click Domino: Best rock song of 2021?

I’ll cast my vote and go further: it’s arguably the best rock song of the 21st century — so far. Penned, sung, riffed and hit out of the park by the British duo, Ida Mae (Christopher Turpin and Stephanie Jean Turpin), this checks all my boxes for entrance into the Hall of Cool, and its niche, Foot Stomping Slanky. “Click Click Domino” is what rock used to mean, and apparently still does to some. Lester Bangs would be proud.

Divine echoes of Etta James, a dose of Humble Pie at the Fillmore, and an early southern-fried Led Zeppelin fill the room right now. It’s also naturally au courant x 10, and I imagine they just don’t care, one way or another. The lyrics tell us that, their stream of consciousness and surreality, updated for (and in opposition to) the Twitter age.… Read more “Click Click Domino: Best rock song of 2021?”

Elisabeth Roudinesco’s Philosophy in Turbulent Times

Elisabeth Roudinesco’s Philosophy in Turbulent Times

Philosophy in Turbulent Times

There is something about the French, a certain . . . No, I won’t say it. But their best writers can abstract and poeticize deep, dark thought in a way that somehow “lightens” it (paradoxically), connects it with other worlds, and sends it to the stars. Thoughts dance in windy minds. They run off in their own directions, joyous (in a sense), even when the darkness of the topic engulfs you. No one seems to be able to make death dance like the French, though this can sometimes grate on certain Anglo nerves. Perhaps those who have less/no Celt in them are more susceptible to anger due to this, tempted as they may be to see it as frivolous and disrespectful.

Hrumph!Read more “Elisabeth Roudinesco’s Philosophy in Turbulent Times”

Sugar Jazz and Learning Curves

Sugar Jazz and Learning Curves

Further exploration of the shadow, shape, color and angle — plus, software. Various. Gimp2.10.22 takes some work, learning its setup, its all too small icons. As king of the world, I would ordain larger icons, or death, to go with the previous writ of no more shaky cams. Bow or leave us! Tiny icons make the climb that much steeper. As Gertrude Stein likely never said, myopia is myopia is myopia.

Three more digital paintings below, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of things. Actual joy in the process is sneaking up on me too. I’m not there yet. But I see it on the horizon, like Turner’s ships in windy yellow light. Which reminds me that nearly everything is still offshore these days—triste!—distantly… Read more “Sugar Jazz and Learning Curves”

Cosmically Fresh Mixed Greens

Cosmically Fresh Mixed Greens

To uncover and explore. New things. Even software. Yeah, I know. It’s not like Brendan the Navigator reaching the New World 1500 years ago. But, well, it’s new to me.

I use a mix of “free hand” drawing and painting, plus the help of geometric shapes here and there, on two of three digital paintings below. With “Cosmic Sunday Blur,” it’s all free hand, using Microsoft’s Fresh Paint app. The latter is interesting, if a bit glitchy. It mimics the act of painting well, and can blend colors too, though it’s far less predictable than old-school, real-world painting.

Read more “Cosmically Fresh Mixed Greens”
Photography by Ricky Garni

Photography by Ricky Garni

Ricky Garni’s poetry has graced the pages of Spinozablue more than a few times, but this is our intro to his excellent photography. The scenes above are set primarily in North Carolina, where he travels freely. Unlike yours truly, he uses actual professional gear to create his photographic visions. The difference is noticeable.

His photos can be found in many venues across the Internet. I list two such links below:

Ricky Garni on Flickr

Checkerberry Pastures

“As a photographer, I prefer the unposed to the posed, the unlit to the lit, people to places, unfancy to exotic, and the old to the new.

Read more “Photography by Ricky Garni”
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