John Grey: Empathy Guy


From what I hear,
there’s this long, long epic of a tale
and my particular story
is told in one particular paragraph
out of a trillion trillions of the things.

And, within the paragraph,
my life doesn’t go beyond one measly sentence,
and, in the sentence itself,
it hardly merits a word.
or even a letter for that matter.

I think of myself
as being on the curve of an S
and in the shadow of the preceding apostrophe.

I’m part of the possessive case.

For what I possess,
for what possesses me,
read on.


Winter solstice rain,
dark at the window,

a flake of ice
skims down the glass.…

New Poems by Cherene Burdett

Greek Sense

Incendiary imagination
Innocent itch
Love starved luster
Maelstrom magnet
Eros’s day off of erratic erections
Plantar fasciitis gingivitis
Malevolent incline
Surreptitiously dipped
Spear-minted Troy-umphant
Achilles’s day off his feet
Solidarity in confinement woes
Cold imprisonment
Jubilant jailbreak
Sun-crazed fanatic
Icarus’s day off in the shade
Sailing toward an identity crisis
Epic maritime tourist traps
Calypsonian lover’s toll
Penelopean couch-surfer
Odysseus’s day off from travel


Stillborn Prairie

Jim never plowed
Before he went off to college
He got a job in the city
She was a stillborn prairie
His ww1 to end all ww2 forms
A rebirth into his childhood
Distilled clear body
Pure, hard, Hera dancing
Aged, built into beauty
Long-grain yellow Van Gogh depression
Foreign bodies waving in still air
Pulling sands down
Into obscurity
As sound, like death, comes

Scorched providence windowpane, glazing
Dust bowl iron ox
Fragments of sun-down shadows
Immense slow motion
Plough waving gently
Her lips, his dreams
In water, in brush, her lips
Those lips in brush strokes
Hot yellow water spinning
Pagoda of goldenrod, sensual and saintly
Night turning light down
A porch swing night
Childhood destiny left behind
Left waving,


— by Cherene Burdett

Copyright ©2023, by Cherene Burdett.…

Recent Readings and Intros

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry from Shira Dentz, Dominic Rivron, and Adam Day.

The Last Pomegranate Tree, by the acclaimed Kurdish writer, Bachtyar Ali, is a magical, moving story of war, its volatile aftermath, and the search for a long-lost son who becomes two, then three. Translated from the Kurdish by Kareem Abdulrahman, this fascinating novel mixes allegory, magical realism, and mystical flights to tell the story of Muzafar-i Subhdam, a Peshmerga fighter released from prison after 21 years in the desert. Muzafar soon embarks on a journey of discovery, hoping to find his son, Saryas, born just days before he was captured and thrown into prison.…

Quipo, by Shira Dentz


Today starts as a comment.
I’d like this one to be a ray
though mostly, I get split ends.
They’re free though.
A day like an open half shell,
part of a collection.
Clouds re-draw the day,
the wet wool of it.
You can ravel their knobby weave
into a knot for a seat on their pendulum.

Copyright ©2023, by Shira Dentz. All Rights Reserved.

Shira Dentz is the author of five books including SISYPHUSINA (PANK, 2020), winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Prize 2021, and two chapbooks including FLOUNDERS (Essay Press). Her writing appears in many venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, Pleiades, Plume, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Idaho Review, New American Writing, Brooklyn Rail, Berkeley Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Apartment, Lana Turner,,…

Astronaut, and Other Poems, by Dominic Rivron


No need to move
from the chair
where you can sit
fooling everyone
who forgets that the moon
(along with the blackbirds)
exists only in our heads

all it takes
is a word
and before you know it
you’re setting off
your pockets full of poetry
and apples


The Things We Saw on the Way

a man with a bicycle
pushing it uphill

a hole in a wall and car
upside down in a field

a waterfall turned to icicles
the river below it to ice

the moon behind a tree
that looked like a man

turned to stone
while waving his arms

or was it a man
turned to stone

who looked like a tree?…

Adam Day: Two Poems


The assaulted,
hemmed in
among lungwort
and drone glow
like a plover
inside a crocodiles mouth,
blinking the clouds
from its eyes,
sounding out names,
eating its own light
against a body
that can’t do anymore.


The Protest III

In winter’s blue light
and fires settling
into sleep, white frost
gathered on scarlet
maple leaves, women
arm-in-arm march
down an industrial street
like an old oar pushing
the waves away
in a sea of sleet.


— by Adam Day


Copyright ©2022, by Adam Day. All Rights Reserved.

Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Award.…

Poems by D. R. James

Cement Garden

It’s spring again, silvery buds on branches,
the garden violent with hydrangea sticks.
Grandma has wandered to her front-porch chair.
There, her toes barely touch the floor, her gown
screens her sighing knees, her newspaper masks
sink and cupboard undulating behind
her eyes. Apology’s necessary—
this is not her style: beyond the gate flash
lime and lemon groves along steep park lanes,
their peeled bone crash-glittering in her sleep.



::dive in anywhere::::go ‘round and ‘round
on pearl or coral::::cross on cobalt::
::stall against the black mass::::the black
slabs that finger under rivers of rose::
::your hazel eyes will search unmirrored the
rings like years::::vibrato’d, banded angles::
::your sparrow childhood will scan for
the far mouth of corn stalks::::inflict patient
waiting before screaming::::scrawls in clay
will cue the silliness of ancient glyphs::
::saplings will bend and sing to the wind::
::darkened leaves will unhem and dawn’s
paradise will shatter, the constellations
of fine lines torn apart for a merciless
afterward waving like harsh flags::
::but then a familiar vermilion will send
autumn’s frost dissolving, diurnal hours
zigzag-falling like freewheeling feathers::
::until tonight ages into its sedate pitch::::those
baffling coils slacken into cool-jazz Taps::::and
you view the horizon glimmered and wobbled::


Flanked by Fallacies

Trepidation carved its corridors toward calm,
tapered—dissolved—defeat, drizzled delicious
consciousness over recalcitrant fate.…

Fall Additions to Spinozablue, and More Paintings

Fawn at Noon, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2022.

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry from James Croal Jackson, Mitch Corber, and Howie Good, plus new fiction by David M. Rubin.

If you’d like to submit your own work, please go to the Submissions Page, and fill out the contact form as per instructions. You can bypass that form once we’ve made First Contact . . .

I recently experimented with horizontal usage of the Waterpaint Soft Edges brush from Krita. Had been using it primarily in a vertical way. I like the results. As before, using the brush(es) freehand, trying to incorporate more color selections and different textures to augment the background.…

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