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”
Wobbly Little Streets

Wobbly Little Streets

Wobbly Little Streets, by Douglas Pinson. Virtual oil on virtual canvas. 2021.

Did you ever? Or, as Peter Frampton once asked, back in 1976, “Do you feel like I do?” If only I could have played guitar back then — or now. Oh, the fun I would have had! I do play the piano, but as I’d sometimes mention to the young women I tried to woo, it’s not very portable. Polite responses typically ensued. No tomatoes — yet. I’d risk them, certainly, by adding, “I play by ear, but it hurts after a while.” Fewer polite snickers followed the previous ensuing.  Tomatoes at the ready.

There was, of course, party-talk and much swagger. The best kind in those college years. Disquisitions, between drinks, on James Joyce and the Molly of his heart.… Read more “Wobbly Little Streets”

The Hills are Alive with Deeds of Light

The Hills are Alive with Deeds of Light

The Hills, by Douglas Pinson. Virtual oil and water colors on virtual canvas. 2021


A dash of this, that and the Other. Some homage to Kandinsky and Van Gogh, plus my own dreams and walking visions.  It’s been much too long since I. Far too many months since I. Since I found my mountain tops. Since I floated there, with the wind, and music, and grief. Glad grief because of where I was, and where I floated. Because the sun was shining down on me and mine. Me and my shadow dreams.

This is what it will be like soon. As spring approaches and slams us against soft walls, for fun. As it kicks us into seventh gear. And it has to be seven because that’s lucky times however many.… Read more “The Hills are Alive with Deeds of Light”

Julien Baker’s Quiet Punk Rebellion

Julien Baker’s Quiet Punk Rebellion

Labels can get us into trouble. They can needlessly restrict the mind and the heart. They can truncate views, and hopes and dreams. But they also save time, or terabytes, or bandwidth, as the case may be.

No one likes them. But they can be kinda sorta useful for a moment or two.

Okay. So with this singer/songwriter, a past band-mate with a previous subject on Spinozablue, Phoebe Freakin’ Bridgers, I’ll throw out a few to see if any of them stick, walk away, or heal the world:

Indie musician, Ex-addict, Christian Socialist, In-transition, Quiet-punk, Surprisingly quiet rebel, Surprisingly able to belt them out, Gay.

Moving away from labels a bit, listening to her music makes me think that something is happening here, to borrow a phrase.… Read more “Julien Baker’s Quiet Punk Rebellion”

Homage to Guernica

Homage to Guernica

Abstract9, by Douglas Pinson. Virtual painting on virtual canvas. 2021

Picasso’s great painting, Guernica, along with visions of stained glass, shattered, remade, lost and found, provided the spark. Another step along the way.

Today, I mixed the two built-in software programs, Paint, and Paint3D. Used the first to draw the lines, make the shapes, play with the different colors, and then the latter to fine tune the fill aspect. Also skimmed online for information about mixing colors on the virtual canvas, primarily because I miss that, miss watching the process, missed the improv, ad-lib, jazzy-eureka moments as they occurred before my eyes. Missed the way that colors dance with one another, merge and mutate, flow and morph. Meta and more meta. Standing back, eying the deeds of light, diving back in again.… Read more “Homage to Guernica”

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