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1 July 2021
Vol. XI, No. 7

July 2021

“My struggle is to preserve that abstract flash―like something you caught out of the corner of your eye, but in the picture you can look at it directly.”―Andrew Wyeth

“Day Dream,” by Andrew Wyeth (1980).

“Day Dream,” by Andrew Wyeth (1980).

“Crown of Flowers,” by Andrew Wyeth.

From Elizabeth Boleman-Herring: This July, Weekly Hubris features the poetry of Becky Dennison Sakellariou; and Yvette R. Murray (via Poetry Editor Claire Bateman); humor (well, sort of) by Ross Konikoff; single-panel cartoons by Mark Addison Kershaw; photographs (of roses, by any name) by Chiara-Sophia Coyle; and essays (speculative, on everything from P.G. Wodehouse to Near-Term Human etc. Extinction to reentering life-with-others, post-pandemic) by Michael House FRGS, Dr. Guy McPherson, and Diana Farr Louis (who tucks in for us all a recipe for Yogurt Soufflé).

About the paintings featured on our July Home Page: The unveiling, in 1986, of Andrew Wyeth’s 247 studies, many nudes, of his German-born neighbor, Helga Testorf, rendered between 1971 and 1985 without the knowledge of either the artist’s or model’s spouses, set off a perfervid debate in the international art world. The dust has yet to settle as regards the merits of the Helga paintings, but, as critic James Gardner, noted, Testorf “has the curious distinction of being the last person to be made famous by a painting.” Wyeth himself said, “The difference between me and a lot of painters is that I have to have a personal contact with my models. . . .  I have to become enamored. Smitten. That’s what happened when I saw Helga.” In a short film by videographers Jesse Brass and Bo Bartlett, released by “The Atlantic” magazine in 2019, Testorf finally spoke on camera about the experience of being painted by Wyeth: “Overnight, I was reborn. Somebody was really looking at me—really seeing me.”

Ruin of a Turkish aqueduct, Lesvos.

Where Words Go 

“Her Landscapes: New Poems,” By Becky Dennison Sakellariou

ATHENS Greece & New Hampshire—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021Becky Sakellariou writes: “I have lived most of my adult life in Greece. I start with this statement because of the unexpectedly vast impact and weight this fact has had on my world views, how I ‘translate’ and survive in my surroundings, and, naturally, what—and even how—I write. The cultural and physical landscapes of New England, where I was born and raised, and those of the Greek/Mediterranean where I have lived for so long, mingle, merge, and even coalesce in intriguing and often inexplicable ways in my poetry.” (Read more . . .)

Poet Yvette R. Murray.

Speculative Friction

“The Poetry of Yvette R. Murray,” By Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—Poet Yvette R. Murray received her BA in English from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been published in Fall Lines, The Petigru Review, Catfish StewBarzakh, Genesis Science Fiction magazine; and has poems forthcoming in Emrys Journal and Call and Response Journal. She is a 2020 Watering Hole Fellow and a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. (Read more . . .)

Vintage ear trumpet cum mutton chops.

Vintage ear trumpet cum mutton chops.

West Side Stories

“What Sorry Beef Fondue, Huh!” By Ross Konikoff

MANHATTAN New York—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—I just finished Ebaying all but a few of my essential (ha) trumpet mouthpieces in order to help finance one of the latest state-of-the-art hearing aids for which you see occasional ads popping up on Facebook between posts about puppies, Pompeo, Putin, and Palestine. This new model features noise reduction, sound shaping technology, six tiny high-grade directional microphones, an unobtrusive size, and can take calls, play music, and narrate the Kama Sutra in the sultry voice of Sally Kellerman. (Read more . . .)

Addison-shallow waterAddison

“Athwart July (and August),” By Mark Addison Kershaw

ATLANTA Georgia—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—Mark Addison Kershaw, like the greatest of cartoonists (and there should be a better collective noun than cartoonists,” which does not nearly suffice) stands at a certain remove from the quotidian. Vis-à-vis the quotidian, Addison demands a preposition, or adverb, such as athwart.” He and his cartoons, and the quotidian, run wildly athwart. Regarding the meaning of athwart, here’s a line from Coleridge to ponder: But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted/Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !” (Read more . . .)

Rose 1, by Chiara-Sophia Coyle.

Clicks & Relativity

“An Ode to Roses,” By Chiara-Sophia Coyle

SONOMA California—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) composed a constellation of riddle poems that we are meant to solve, but one of them was freighted with such ecstasy that the poet just could not help herself: she divulged the answer, herself: “A sepal, petal, and a thorn/Upon a common summer’s morn—/A flask of Dew—A Bee or two—/A Breeze—a caper in the trees—/And I’m a Rose!” (Read more . . .)

P.G. Wodehouse in 1960.

P.G. Wodehouse in 1960.

The Polemicist

“P.G. Wodehouse & The Critical Code of The Woosters,” By Michael House, FRGS

KING’S SUTTON, NORTHANTS England—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—Pelham Grenville “P.G.” Wodehouse, KBE (15 October 1881–14 February 1975) was the greatest writer of English of the 20th century. The snootier critics don’t agree. He is rarely bracketed with Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell, or D.H. Lawrence. He was too frivolous and he wrote too much. To be a great novelist in the eyes of the critics, publish no more than ten novels. If you turn out nearly a hundred, however good, you are a human sausage-machine, especially if you write funny stuff. You are fiddling while Rome burns. You must have social purpose. (Read more . . .)

Comedian/Social Critic George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937–June 22, 2008).

Comedian/Social Critic George Carlin.

Going Dark 

“Seven Phrases You Can Never Say,” By Dr. Guy McPherson

POULTNEY Vermont—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—American comedian George Carlin first spoke about seven words that are taboo on television in 1972 with his monologue, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” The words for which Carlin became famous seem relatively mundane nearly 50 years later: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. (See? Not so bad in 2021.) In this essay, I describe seven phrases that are now taboo on television, albeit for reasons other than those that applied to Carlin’s seven. (Read more . . .)

One of the many types of orchid found in our corner of Kifissia.

A Greek orchid in Kifissia.

Eating Well Is the Best Revenge 

“Unlocked Syndrome,” By Diana Farr Louis

ANDROS Greece—(Weekly Hubris)—1 July 2021—Dearest Friends and Rellies, sorry it’s been so long since you last heard from me, but since the lockdown ended on May 14, exactly a month ago as I write this, I’ve had no wish nor time to sit at the laptop composing epistles or even jotting a quickie update. And while I’m grateful, extremely grateful, to Zoom for bringing classmates, cousins, and yoginis into my living room for company, gossip, and a modicum of exercise, it has suddenly become urgent to see friends we hadn’t seen in the flesh for a year or even two. (Read more . . .)

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