George Spencer: god: a quarterback without a playbook

god gets nervous when we get too close to him
— rene leclerc. god and his ways 

attention flutters, takes a walk. the narrative grinds on
boards so marched over aging thespians throw lines away.
cell phones buzz. messages zing round our heads. 
red onions eavesdrop and gossip underground.
all’s so bland road-kill is news  as a worm is cut in half by the gardener’s shovel  
but still they repeat beautiful the dew, lovely the garden

 there’s blood in my ear now and i’m happy to spin a song of small sins,
of the deceit of love’s sticky ropes
 from which sad young wannbe icarus tried to escape,                                                        
mounting the diving board over the empty swimming pool.…

Quick Note on Blackbox Manifold, #5

Robert Mueller, a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor for Spin­oz­ablue, has added to his list of pub­li­ca­tions in other venues. He has a poem in the #5 issue of Black­box Man­i­fold, and will be review­ing works by Robert V. Wil­son in the next issue of that mag­a­zine. Robert also wrote the introduction for George Spencer’s new journal, Far Out Further Out Out of Sight, and helped him with the launch. George Spencer has contributed several poems to Spinozablue as well. We wish him the best of luck with his new magazine.…

The Unnameable

Kandinsky’s Composition X. 1939


 Composition as Cipher, or Number. The work after his ninth, or a painting to represent all paintings. Whatever his intentions regarding the title, the painting strikes me as musical, like pretty much all of his art, and he wanted that music to come from within all viewers so that they could become seers like Kandinsky. The inner artist meeting the work on the wall and turning it into a tunnel back to themselves. A tunnel with ears.

In your works, you have realized what I, albeit in uncertain form, have so greatly longed for in music. The independent progress through their own destinies, the independent life of the individual voices in your compositions is exactly what I am trying to find in my paintings.

George Spencer: Untitled

No Title


You can’t say it that way any more. / Bothered about beauty you have to/Come out into the open, into the clearing,/ And rest.  Certainly whatever funny happens to you/ Is OK

And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name,  John Ashbery


The greatest problem in the arts today is the title; this tag that tells us what something is about: Battle of…,  Portrait of….,  Bowl of… Of course this gives even the most humble subject a coat of arms, presto a seigniorial dwelling, white picket fence and garden, all the dignity it deserves and Sunday painters so admire.…

George Spencer: Get it Right the First Time

Alexander Calder, 20th century neglected master, said a piece is finished when the dinner bell rings. Clearly he knew truth was ass-backward. Beethoven’s Ninth is pretty good backward too; maybe better. Poor guy, a captive of his times, pressured by the Imperial Court. He had to code his message but he should have outfaced the constabulary and started with the hosannas and cheering and work back thru the darker parts, slogging thru piles of hubris. It’s clear it’s music about a type of joy that’s temporary. Myself, I always bear this in mind. Anyway it’s finished when it’s finished, when it’s as good read backward as forward.

The Mystery of the Rose

Mysteries, by Knut Hamsun. 1892

Okay. So, yes. The title of my blog post is a bit misleading, if not melodramatic. It’s a bald attempt to merge two new additions to Spinozablue — by Alexis Wingate and George Spencer, respectively. Here and here. Alexis brings us a provocative essay on Knut Hamsun’s novel, Mysteries, and George gives us his unique improvisation from a line of Barbara Guest’s poetry.

But there is a precedent for that merger. Women and roses have been connected for millennia, in obvious and covert ways. Mysterious ways. Wild, secret, deep under the surface ways. Secret societies used The Rose as a multi-faceted symbol for woman, growth, love, birth, beauty, the unfolding of life, surprise, shock and awe.…

George Spencer’s The Guesting Rose

A Line from Barbara Guest’s Roses

That air in life is important but may be less so in the arts interests me. But we are 60% water and worth $28.49 in bone, fat and chemicals so should we focus more on water and $’s and less on air. But you may respond the atmosphere that encases us is all air but this is not completely true since there is pollution and those little filaments we see when light shafts float into a room and illuminate the air. Then we see what we think is truly there. Of course this ignores the question of the further reaches of space where air may be solid and water may be a gas.…

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