More Fall Poetics . . .

Life is context. Poetics requires it. Requires multitudes. Leaning against walls, and the irony in words spoken, depend on both: multitudes and landscapes. Who is there with you. Why are they there with you. When, where, etcetera. Different friends, different lovers, backgrounds you share for years, or decades, or just for that night. All of that matters. All of that informs your rogue philosophies 101 thru 401 and beyond. Academics, Sports, Rock concerts, old school friends, new friends met on highways, hitching, carrying temptation in their lonely eyes. Friends just for a night. People who never leave your life, until the end.…

Fall Poetics and New Paintings

I’m many, many years away from attempting a decent expression of personal poetics, and I feel regrets regarding this, now and then. That it should already have been set down for posterity. Someone’s posterity, anyway. Thirty, forty years ago, in print, in book form, or at least in those Little Magazines of yore. I spoke it, of course, often, back in the day, leaning against walls (as mentioned in recent posts), and in other venues. In and out of class, in and out of special seminars, parties, walks along the strand with lovers and friends. Or just inside me own head.…

The Poetry of Place, Brick, and Stone

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry by S.R. Brown, Stephen Mead, and Duane Anderson.

Secular monasteries of the mind. Byzantine, Gothic, Romanesque ruins of the unconscious. I dwell in the space between ancient walls, vaulted ceilings, piazzas, and naves, bereft of their original spirits, inhabited now by something else. By my own pantheon — if I could will it.

Monastery. Photo by Tama66 (Pixelbay).

Watching Verhoeven’s Benedetta brings this full circle. Searching later for monasteries and abbeys online, going back to scenes from that film, I can see the illusions people create, how they need to be in those spaces too.…

Mark Zlomislic: After Francis Bacon

When I paint, I am taken into a different place that is boundless, without limits and constraints. Paint, brush, canvas or wood mix to reveal what may have been overlooked and left unnoticed. I paint to leave an imprint, a record of my time here. The colours are an archive of memory to be deciphered by others. I blend the poetic word with the mute witness of paint. It records my struggle to keep death away and yet I notice how faithfully it sits next to me, as if to say, I have not seen this before.

Las Meninas

Las Meninas, by Diego Velasquez. 1656

Perhaps the first post-modernist painting, well before the period assigned to that name. Pespective. Multiple perspectives. Meta. About painting. About the act of painting. Velasquez paints Velasquez. This is not a pipe. This is not Velasquez. Are we, the audience, looking at the painter painting us? Or, does our vanity blind us and prevent us from seeing that it is the king and queen of Spain in that mirror, not you? Or eye. Too easy, that one.

Mirrors. Pictures within pictures, plays within plays within plays. Rubens on the wall. Hamlet stages Shakespeare. Velasquez stages Nietzsche.…

Rothko’s Paradox

Mark Rothko, Untitled, c. 1950/ 1952, Oil on canvas. The Tate Modern Museum, London

 All art is paradox. But Rothko, perhaps more than any other modern painter, embraced the paradox and threw it profoundly in our faces.

The canvas is flat. You can’t enter it. You can’t go through it, if it’s hanging on the wall. At least without injury and perhaps a heavy bill from the gallery. But Rothko continuously tells the audience to do just that. Embrace the painting, enter it, walk into it, let it engulf you and torture you and shake you. Shake the core of you.…

Artemisia Gentileschi: Controversial Realities

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes.1625. The Detroit Institute of the Arts

Artemisia Gentileschi lived a stormy life, to say the least. A lightning rod of sorts in her day (1593-1653) and at present, her tragically violent existence creates alternate realities for some. Years ago, I watched the movie, Artemisia, which I thought good, though inaccurate historically. Some of the inaccuracies can be forgiven, for they added beauty to the story, to the look and flow of the film. But one change is unforgivable, possibly unconscionable: the movie depicts a passionate love affair between student and teacher, between Artemisia and the artist Tassi, who actually raped her.…

The Judgment of Paris

Le Déjeuner sur L’herbe, by Edouard Manet. Musee d’Orsay.

 Reading a very interesting book by Ross King, The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism.

About 70 pages in, the book concentrates primarily (so far) on Edouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier, the future and the recent past for art in France, cerca 1863. The pivot point being that year’s Salon and its Salon des Refuses, which Napoleon III helps insure. It’s detailed, without getting bogged down, and general enough to cover the ground necessary to carry us toward the first Impressionist showing in 1874.

King puts things in context by discussing the Second Empire, the bureaucracy that led to shutting out so many great artists from the main salon, and why.…

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