A Taste for Imperfection: Selections from Remy de Gourmont

Translated by Fergus Cullen "Clair de lune" by Félix Vallotton, c. 1895 If beauty promises happiness, it is always imperfection that keeps the promise. Le Pas sur le sable (Paris, 1919), p. 19. Note Remy de Gourmont rose to prominence as a Symboliste poet, and to preeminence as a critic. He is rarely called a … Continue reading A Taste for Imperfection: Selections from Remy de Gourmont

The Art of Hunting

By Hayden Church "Still Life with Dead Game" by Willem van Aelst, 1661 Across the cattailled pond, clouds overcastLily pad the darling ocean glass sky,Hawkish portent becoming reborn inAubergine-specked shimmering nightfall.The hunting Bloodhound perceives the mallard’s grace,Spectacular array of mottled downRavaged viciously for the act’s beauty,Taming the fowl for morningtide’s glee.Blood-soil cotton sprouts oppugned perfectly—Chance … Continue reading The Art of Hunting

The Wheels

By Liam Holbrook "Dynamism of a Car" by Luigi Russolo, 1913 Flashing colors echo, break sound,And taste like the infinite sky!An expanding-all-ways wave where colorFuses the one with the other; whereIncestuously they bind themselves to movementWhen the sound breaks airAs wheels turn gentlyOn the asphalt seared.As movement breaks under momentum's gainAll bends, all bleeds and … Continue reading The Wheels

Songs in the Grass

By Hayden Church "Lake Suwa in Shinano Province" by Katsushika Hokusai, c. 1830-1832 Daring countryside,Poking snake headsEntombed in weeds—Orchids surviving still,Placid and historic.And even the chicksAre out now, dancingTo a song in the grassThat says, I hear God.Pondside insects hiddenBy volumes of rainingPetals of leaves to beRaked by the followingBreeze into the rippling,Humming body—A fish, … Continue reading Songs in the Grass

Pomegranate’s Prayer

By Jonathan Mizrahi "The Dessert: Harmony in Red" by Henri Matisse, 1908 Her perfume wafts around the bowl.Azure eyes below her maneAnd a placid demeanorShow the solipsism in a soul.The flushed cheeks of power’s end May burn the walls that you defend. Melting glass under wit’s rule Preserves the sense of Luce’s fool. A relic dreams of perfect love.Beyond … Continue reading Pomegranate’s Prayer


By Ted Metrakas Selection from "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Titian, 1520-1523 Ariadne is the horizon.Her smile is the earth itself smiling.That is what the horizon is,The earth’s smile to itself. Just as the earth smiles to itself, so tooDoes Ariadne. Why does she smile?As the earth smiles,A world is opened — that’s the horizon.The horizon is … Continue reading Horizon

Two Diptychs

By Roddy O'Hare "Grotesque" by Roddy O'Hare, 2017       I.Our modern grotto —BacklitBy damp eastern genii —Closed door blushing To be splitBy some arcade hand of Sugarcane — And skipping past  Walls will lay ashy Finger vain Down to unbreatheThe word —Basement ponds flickerShards of slicker oil And curdClotted, unfixed findsA soundUnheard by skin —           II.By cherry treeBoundRivering bodies TwineIn grounded soul In plasticine hand … Continue reading Two Diptychs