New Poetry and the Penumbra Effect

We’ve added new poetry from Joshua Bocher, Sean Howard, and Avery Tuck. Please leave comments on our Contact Us page, if you’re so inclined.

Recent readings/rereadings include the aforementioned Maggie Doherty’s The Equivalents, which was excellent. It makes a fine pairing too with Square Haunting, by Francesca Wade, which I read last year. Group bios about unfairly neglected women in the arts help set the record straight and expand our horizons in the bargain.

Just finished The Lamplighters, by Emma Stonex, a very fine and subtle story about lighthouses, the men who once kept them running, and their families.…

Joshua Bocher’s Sartrean Moons

Frozen Life

“There is nothing left for you here.”

The head of this shadowy figure
Tilts towards the ground.

Salt is scattered about,

The snow a blinding mirror,

Human figures in the distance
Tiny as the hairs on his chin,
Visiting from
An old Chinese painting.


Queen of All Under Heaven

The moon reigns over the night sky,
Queen of all under heaven.

The stars serve her:
What she wants, she gets.

I stand below the kingdom
As the clouds cry tears.

With nothing to shield myself
I can’t find my way home.

The wind freezes, the air is still,
My breath is a dry cough.…

The Mind as Haiku

For November, Spinozablue welcomes the poetry of Virginie Colline, Joshua Bocher, Greg Mackie and Kyle Hemmings.


Making poetry, making art, comes naturally to humans. For all we know, we’ve been doing this since the dawn of time. It probably brought immense pleasure to the first Neanderthal and his or her tribe when they made speech rhythmic, flow, condense the life around them into a proto-song. I can imagine them delighting in the sounds of brand new lyrics, forcing them to dance, and then delighting in these new movements they had never encountered in themselves or others before.
Laughing. Grunting with joy.…

Joshua Bocher: The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

Bai Juyi (772-846) was a seminal Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. He wrote in a direct and accessible style and was extremely popular, influential both in China and Japan. He served in various positions as a government official, though he spent a few years in exile for his outspoken views on government early on in his career. He was well-known for both his socially conscious narrative poetry, as well as his touching personal lyrics.

“The Song of Everlasting Sorrow” is one of his most famous poems, mythologizing the love affair of Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Guifei which took place during the An Lushan Rebellion, the beginning of the decline of the Tang Dynasty.…

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!



Joshua Bocher: Real or Imagined Light

From Meditative Fragments



I don’t like to complain
But I like having
Someone to complain


Happy is the husband
Whose wife is beautiful
And few know it


There is no dialogue
In television
It never hears
What I have to say


In my sleepy stupor,
I can’t solve all
The world’s problems
Or all my own
Or one


To be in awe
Of everything
Sounds exhausting


To overcome


I don’t need to know
What it means — just
The promise of meaning


Unable to see,
By any light
Real or imagined


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