Month: August 2023

New Poetry by Dave Shortt

The Ritardando


hands & feet are replaced
by machines that break down &
find their way to the bottom of the sea,
a day comes when nothing works,
forcing new scenes of passionate art
as artists briefly liberate angels
into their first awkward moves,
struggling not to turn into pawns or hangnails
about to be cut off

the number of joules spent during each feeling,
does it have to be learned?
before the reflexes were stunned into misses,
bedeviled again by insect bites,
words recounting them
failing to improve the skin’s unfoolproof defenses

jets thrust themselves down
into hands which are still feeling out
all their curious voyages,
as foreheads speed towards a piece of ore
appearing at first as a reserved seat
then as a wing of fire

earth’s minerals complicate eyes
which cut across each lightyear
stretching between them & a star:
was it jet lag
or chemical combinations
inhaled back in that county where the sky
was just as beautiful?

Imaginary Musical Dialogues, Part Etcetera

Conversations are often difficult, no matter who’s involved — at least among people. One self among a host of selves is usually present, but at times many vie for attention, clamoring to be recognized, understood, even loved. Confusion often reigns, if only underneath the surface, so it’s little wonder we talk past each other and ourselves. It’s little wonder we miss the meaning in play, and they miss ours.

Perhaps with animals it’s different. Perhaps for a dolphin, it’s just one dolphin self talking to another dolphin self, so they invariably make the right connections, and it’s all so natural.

Nick Weller: Three Poems


He has a soul like money,
Nothing purer.

Fungible, or, Ever-Present

The Janus Key
Which puts the hand
And the gate
Into relation,
Unlocking all sides
And undoing them their passions:
Solvent, Imperator.



Fire burns in one direction:
Forward to ash,
Up to the sun.
Retaining only itself:



War is the common property of mankind.

Not an atom fungible.
Not a word can be crossed out,
Taken back.

There is no reflection.
There is no light.
There is no void.

Breathe in deeply,
Taste the great work.

—by Nick Weller


Copyright ©2023, by Nick Weller.

More New Poems and Paintings on Tap, plus Sinéad

Spinozablue welcomes new poems by Jordin Swanson, D.R. James, and Hilary Sideris, plus new paintings by Edward Lee.

In recent weeks, the world has lost more than a few beloved artists, singers, and writers. Tony Bennett, Milan Kundera, Robbie Robertson, and Sinéad O’Connor come to mind right away. Those who knew them and/or their works have their own takes, their own special memories, and I won’t try to sum those up or suggest the proper way to honor them. Who am I to define them for anyone else? That’s not my desire or intent.

But I will throw a few thoughts into the world, concentrating on the wild Irish banshee, Sinéad O’Connor, primarily because I’ve never forgotten the way she burst on the scene in 1987, and her protean, mercurial life since then.

Jordin Swanson: Oppenheimer


Oppenheimer had the best hats.
Look at pictures of him—
He looked like Indiana
Jones meets James Dean.
He was always smoking
A cigarette…chicly, like a Parisian.
Some of his hats
looked like mushroom clouds.

He knew how
To wear a three-piece suit,
Should have been a model.
He was much more handsome
Than Ken and not
Made of plastic.
He was real, real as
Radiation poisoning.


— by Jordin Swanson

Copyright ©2023, by Jordin Swanson. All Rights Reserved.

Jordin Swanson has an English Degree from the University of Oklahoma and has been writing poetry for 20 years. It’s a lifelong dream for him to be published, and he’s working on his first book of poetry, tentatively called Our Gas Station.

D.R. James: Two Poems

Rash Whine

Gilded wisps skirt a vacant abstraction like satellites whose spheres are dissolving in a haphazard sky. So? Signs shriek shnocked proclamations: “All’s awash!” “Waterlogged!” “Blue puddles like splotchy slugs footprinting eroding concrete and encroaching fast!” But shun such convulsions, will ya? The crux of broadcasting one’s garbled conceptions—reflections feared, sneered, steepled gossip—is: it’s too stupid! (The best is yet to come!)


Imagining a Demise

—after Pablo Neruda’s “Youth”

A profile like a pasty corpse robed in silk pajamas inside ‘the home,’ laughter like ashes in their ring, the psalm of grief hovering like a period, the calm shadowy fraud, the jokes, the riddles, the emergency moans buttoned into blind lounges, the waterfalls singing of the grass, the gory gray ocean breathed in from below, from a quaking basement: elder-agings, lurching like barks blown in the wind.

Edward Lee: Paintings Inside the Idea

Copyright © 2023, by Edward Lee. All Rights Reserved.

Edward Lee is an artist and writer from Ireland. His paintings and photography have been exhibited widely, while his poetry, short stories, non-fiction have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll. His poetry collections are Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge, The Madness Of Qwerty, A Foetal Heart and Bones Speaking With Hard Tongues.

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