We recently had a little event commemorating the first edition (Winter) of our “Geist” magazine of literature and art, which was very nice. The magazine is still available for sale at our web shop (we already had a few orders!) in the print version, or to be read or downloaded in pdf format for free here.

We are now planning a second number for Spring, to be published by the end of May, so if anyone wants to send either texts (short stories, poems or articles) or art (paintings, photographs, illustrations), just contact us at our email.

The theme is free, although it can be related to Spring, either directly or indirectly. Contributions are unpaid, but you get a free copy of the print magazine (There will also a free web magazine available for all).

Thanks! Happy Easter!

A new book of original short stories is now available. All the stories (except two) were written during the recent “pandemic” that started on February 2020 and is still going on. A few of the stories are thematically related to current events, but others are not. Some are science fiction, some are humorous, some are a bit dark. Still, they all seem to match together somehow. The book can be purchased on Amazon in both print or ebook format, or at our own little shop.

We are creating a new series of one-minute videos to promote our book “Our Pets and Us” (available at Amazon and at our shop. The first one is about the domestication of dogs. Enjoy!

I am not usually a great fan of contemporary poetry, but here’s a pretty nice poem by American poet Christine E. Black about living under lockdown. Republished from here.

Ragamuffins in Lockdown Time

I want to be the child
In my neighborhood,
Kicking a ball down a wet street,
Dirty snow and ice crusting cars,
Paint-chipped wagon
And a pile of bikes in the yard,
His little brother
And a gang of more children,
Trailing behind. One bangs a stick
On the ground, all their clear
Brown faces shine, eyes dance
In the cold. His immune system
Wrestles earnestly, playfully
With wondrous germs of the air,
And on the skin of his little brother,
In the slobber of the dog,
The grime on the ball
From the corner of the basement
Next to the crumple
Of his father’s work clothes,
His mother’s nurse’s aide uniform,
Blood splattered on a sleeve.

I want to be their parents,
Gathering at a neighbor’s house
For Holy Communion.
They made a hand-lettered
Church sign for the yard,
Invited the priest to hold Mass
In the living room
For all the neighbors.
And after taking the body and blood,
Those words made flesh
By breath and speech,
I kiss an old aunt, press my cheek
To hers, smell her hair and skin,
Remembered from childhood.
My breath deepens, quiets the cells,
Bathes them in strength and health.

I want to be one of the Boys and Girls
Club children, still driven
To the closed school
Because her mother has to go work
At the chicken factory each day.
The mask they make the girl wear
Drags her chin while she plays
With twenty or so other children
In the abandoned school gym
Or outside behind the vacant building.
She sits in the grass across from a friend,
Clapping patterns, telling stories,
Their caretaker, reading her phone.

I want to be one of the children,
Following behind their father,
Who can’t have them inside
One more day this winter, playing
Video games, watching TV.
They head into the trampoline park,
Dark for months, but now somehow
Open, a few cars in the lot.
Inside, high school and college students,
Who have to have the job
Are face-masked seven or eight hours,
Like all the others, delivering Dominoes
Or Grub Hub, waiting tables
In half-capacity restaurants,
Stocking Walmart shelves, scanning,
Bagging at grocery stores, their glasses
Fogging, acne worsening, minds dulled
From low oxygen, wondering what
In the world may happen next.

I want to be a child piled in the family car,
Driving narrow, steep West Virginia roads
To a mountain cabin, where they’ll meet
Maybe a dozen or more family and friends.
Some will forage for mushrooms
Or bow hunt, they’ll tell stories,
Wade in cold streams, build a fire
To cook meat at dusk. I want to be
One of their parents in a sleeping bag
With my husband, by the fire
After everyone else has gone to bed.

The first number of our magazine is now in its print version, in very limited number, but high quality. With A4 size, 250g glossy paper, and full-quality colour images, it is really a sight to behold.

The magazine can be purchased in our shop, or read in the online version.

It contains short stories and poems in different languages (all translated to English), plus illustrations and photographs by several very talented artists.

Art and literature – to combine them in a beautiful way was the idea behind this project. I hope you like it and read the magazine, be it in print or online (we recommend print – it’s always nicer to read in print).

I have to admit I never liked Dr. Seuss’s books. I don’t know why, but neither the illustrations nor the poems were attractive to me either as a child or as an adult, and they were not part of my childhood in any case. I was reading other stuff, such as Tintin, Asterix and classic fairy tales.

That said, the current announcement that the company now representing Dr. Seuss’ work will no longer publish some of his books because they can be “offensive” for readers is a bit troubling. The modern mania of changing the past to accommodate to the present’s preconceived ideas, as if we were somehow more enlightened or wise than any people in the past, is a form of insanity; in that case, we should “cancel” almost all literature written before the 20th century.

The books “cancelled” are not the most well-known or Dr. Seuss’s biggest best-sellers, so perhaps the publishers just wanted to discontinue them anyway, and this was just a good excuse. It is a bit suspicious that, while the books are characterized as “offensive”, none of the news articles explain exactly why. I had to search for the actual text of the books, and even then, the only thing I could find was that one of those books mentions, once, the word “Chinaman”, which has fallen out of favor. In other books, it appears that the problem is the illustration of foreign cultures in stereotypical clothes, but again, nothing particularly very “offensive”, except to modern sensibilities.

The reader can judge by himself. You can find two of the no-longer-to-be published books in pdf form here: “If I ran the Zoo” and “And I think that I saw it in Mulberry Street“.