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.…

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.

Dilemma, Take Two


Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

I can breathe here. With exceptions, like when large groups of tourists descend upon the mountains. When engines rev too high. When children flock to the trails, run, scream at each other, in joy or out of spite. Mostly, it’s quiet enough to hear the mountains. If you listen carefully, you can hear them breathe, too. Not like my breath. Especially not like my labored breath after I walk up trails.

Walking down them is much easier.

But that’s not the mountain’s breath. Its breath is slow and long and like a controlled blast of wind.…

The Amateur’s Dilemma

Over the years, I’ve become more and more interested in photography — in taking pictures, myself. When I was young and pursuing a degree in Art, with painting the focus, I was ambivalent about it as an art. I couldn’t really see it at nearly the same level as painting, as involving the same degree of talent, much less genius. Of course, at the time, my list of snobbish opinions regarding a host of different things was too long to detail, and would fill a book or two. Snobbery about books was, perhaps, at the top of that list.

Bridge of Shadows

But with age comes, if not wisdom, then at least some understanding of one’s limits — perhaps because those limits are starting to manifest themselves in ways we simply can no longer shrug off.…

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!



Chronicle of the Wind-Down Bird

Skyline Drive, Virginia

September brings us new poetry by Ali Zaidi, A. J. Huffman and Raymond Farr. Returning champ, Donal Mahoney, writes about the well-springs of art.

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How does one’s health impact writing, reading and making art in general? How does it derail or derange one’s sense of priorities and connection with life’s mission? I am certainly not alone in thinking about such things in moments such as these, when faced with certain severe alterations to the norm. Pick up most any biography of most any artist and you’ll find maladies aplenty — some so painful, endless and agonizing, you almost feel embarrassed for ever uttering a complaint about your own scenario.…

The River

Shenandoah River, Virginia

The river is real and metaphorical at the same time. Or, perhaps, a shade or two off the instant. It is real only before and after the photograph. When I look through the lens, I’m already behind the times and separate from my river. When I look at the photograph, I am further removed in time and space — there and not there. Being as if. Not being as one.

Such musings are more or less obvious. But what is not so obvious is that the river terrorizes me and makes me laugh with joy and fate as well.…

Patterns Emerge

 I was walking the other night and fell in love with shadows. The play of shadows on the street, in the lamplight. Thinking, as I walked, what it might look like in a photo, I framed a scene here and there. I abstracted part of reality and placed it inside a box, a rectangle, removing it from its natural place in the scheme of things.

This was wrong, in a nagging, somewhat ambiguous way, and it was perfectly, naturally right all the same. Wrong because it meant I was isolating things and removing them from their relationships to one another, discriminating, splitting up what is whole.…

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