Again With the Yevgeny

We have a new essay on Zamyatin, and new poetry on tap as well. Robert Mueller and Tony Jones return with more lyrical and creative writing.


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Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman, in Casablanca.


My own writing and reading has slowed a bit as we move to the end of 2008. The holidays have seen me sinking into movies primarily. Nothing of stunning note, though I did enjoy watching the classic, Casablanca, again. My guess is, however, that my own thoughts would not add anything new to the libraries of critical assessments regarding that great story of Rick and Ilsa and the madness in Morocco.…

Blind Spot: Two Poems by Tony Jones


Blind Spot


The scam: the scene in Punch Drunk Love
where the heroine is bleeding and
Adam Sandler takes a tire iron to
the toughs that just wrecked his
car and his life.

What I find disturbing is the concept that
inevitably someone with issues like Sandler’s
must of necessity find true love. I am the age
of his character with neurological issues
of my own, and I haven’t seen its ananke.
A sweet film, but false advertising.

Will the comet shearing a rut through
the heart of the sky, so beautiful
and seeming benificent now on the horizon,
destroy us or is that law of physics
going to be suspended as well?…

Tony Jones: Deep Will Call Unto Deep

Emily Dickenson


[Guest blogger Tony Jones]



Blindered by heat-flashes
of banality; the sacred barnyard
tells us nothing except it has
no room for us without our becoming
at once greater and smaller.

This is what it means to have
the mind of Christ; to become as a child
with the heart-space of a 1000 goslings,
arrow-tipped with lightning.


One of the reasons it’s hard to write good religious or spiritual verse — and I am well aware that the terms spiritual and religious are not synonyms — is that the “truths” of religion/spirituality are so public — known by millions and millions — of people that to even utter them in their publicly known form is to start from the realm of cliché and banality.…

Tony Jones: Pizza Space

[Guest blogger du jour Tony Jones]

Master Po and Kwai Chang Caine

What’s the mystique about mysticism? (Or is the question itself just a misleading fork in the road, excluded middle term, dun leaves dead on a worm-ridden tree, as in “not seeing the forest for the … ”, regarding spirituality).

When I watched Kung Fu as a young child, then as now I was entranced by the mixture of action and the ambiance of a kind of deep inner peace that drove it. I think I missed the master-pupil “grasshopper” dynamic, but I was only two or three years old.…

New Poetry and a Short Film

We have some new poetry on tap from Sheema Kalbasi, Alessio Zanelli and Tony Jones. Sheema also tipped me off to a very good short film and hopes our readers will view the movie here.

The filmmaker in question, Hossein Martin Fazeli, is also a poet. One I hope to publish here soon.



If I had another life to live, I think I would be a filmmaker. The ability to make art that way, to combine prose, poetry, music, soundscapes, landscapes, paintings, photography, motion. It has it all. And I don’t think that “all” has been fully exploited.…

New Poems by Tony Jones




Grind your teeth on atonement pangs. Lone rocks crop the low sky. You reach up with a steady hand. The clouds elude you.

Walk the brown stream, dip in your hands and face, drink deep. Forget the water leads always down. Brown drops crumble in heat to ascend, as must you.

You’ve got to stumble three times. You try to walk, and that staggers your first summers. Drink love and fall forever.

You enter the brown room, where an hour stretches to blackness before time, songs flash bright between your ears, there is no difference between the song and your voice, your mind.…

Tony Jones: The Perils of Binary Thinking

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Another way of saying “binary thinking” is “dualistic thinking.” It’s become something of a cliche in postmodernity to decry “western dualism,” so I’m going to avoid the phrase to stave off my own boredom and perhaps make a more trenchant point.

I’ve noticed that North Americans are terrible about seeing things in (cliche again) “black” and “white”, good or bad, this or that. To some extent, just to use ordinary conversational english you have to employ antonyms but that’s not what I’m talking about. Somehow for Northams (I’m not going to use the term Americans b/c of course that includes our friends in Canada and Latin America, and I’m not talking about them in this critique, mainly because I have little knowledge of whether they tend to see things the same way, but I suspect not.…

Enumerations: (On Listening to Hendrix) by Tony Jones



I am sitting in a wooden upholstered chair built in the nineteen fifties (I know because the table it came with had the original sales receipt from 1957) at my computer desk listening to Jimi Hendrix performing with the Band of Gypsies on New Years 1970 at the Filmore East almost two years before I was born.

My cat Sibyl is sleeping behind me. She is almost 13. Hard to believe. She looks five and has the most beautiful black/orange tortoise-shell fur I have ever seen. She also has an incredibly sweet and talkative disposition. (I have known many cats and by far she is the most gregarious)

I am 36.…

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