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.…

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.…

The Way of the Harvest

Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Harvesters, 1565

Spinozablue welcomes in the month of October with new poetry from Alessio Zanelli, Kyle Hemmings and Joshua Bocher.  


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Hilary Sideris, one of our contributors, has a new book of poems out. It’s called Sweet Flag, and you can purchase it through Finishing Line Press. Congratulations, Hilary!



Form is Emptiness. Emptiness is Form

Spinozablue welcomes the poetry of Virginie Colline, Hilary Sideris, Changming Yuan, Kenneth Pobo, Joan McNerney, and the fiction of Shanna Perplies.

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A tip of the hat goes to nnyhav for the link to Tim Parks’ excellent article in the New York Review of Books, The Chattering Mind. While most of the article is about modern literature, there is a section on the Buddhist quest to still the mind which I found brilliantly concise and relevant to past and future discussions here. The entire article being relevant, of course . . . .

Sitting for ten days on a cushion, eyes closed, cross-legged, seeking to empty your mind of words, it’s all too evident how obsessively the mind seeks to construct self-narrative, how ready it is to take interest in its own pain, to congratulate itself on the fertility of its reflection.

Hilary Sideris: The Keith Poems



The best thing that happened
to me (after they dumped me

from Boys’ Choir when my
voice broke) was being a scout,

learning to tie those knots—
the bowline, the sheepshank.

I read all Baden-Powell’s manuals:
how to pluck a fowl, gut a squirrel,

ignite a fire with dry twigs
& a magnifier. It gave a boy

a chance to swagger, badges
on his sash, knife in his belt.
I got promoted to squad leader
& I say this in earnest: I kept

my men together & on task.
Years later in our Saint Petersburg

suite, I watched the hundredth
anniversary on tv.…

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