April 2023

Letters  Scribe1-cr  

Prior Letters

Kandinsky and de Hartmann
How wonderful to read this article, from Renaud's meaningful introduction, to 'touching' the real Kandinsky via his own feelings and words! It is – or should be – really amazing that Kandinsky's complete letters have not been published, or it seems even contemplated!... while so many have had that coverage... . In a way, we really do not know him, this private Kandinsky. I'm sure he put effort and thoroughness into his correspondence, as he did with all he had put his name to, so even a good-size selection of his letters would be revelatory, judging by this sample here! Kudos to the author and the two collaborators!... and please do not stop there...
Philip Gerstein
Jelena Hahl-Fontaine's and Lissa Tyler Renaud's article:
Kandinsky and His Closest Friend, Thomas de Hartmann

Summers in Saratoga
Ah, such a lovely reminiscence. Born and raised nearby and spent many a season at the Springs. Many happy memories: the weather, the scenery, the people and of course -- the racing. Something ethereal about the racing, unlike any other in the country. Thank you Ms Verdino-Süllwold, you are a merchant of dreams.
George Nierbasch
Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's Article: Summers at the "Spa"

Calling All Builders

This Gerstein painting is an "architectural" work. Can you imagine an entire wall with this painting stretching across it. Or the side of a windowless building. His colors alone are that constructionist. He never ceases to amaze me.
Sidney Siegal
Philip Gerstein's painting: The Glorious Union of Greenland with Iceland

Jack Kerouac Trilogy
Kerouac, Clarise Lispector, Edward Hopper all in one play! Silva is an ingenious playwright with a wicked sense of humor. This is the kernel of a future film or maybe as a trilogy, a tasty mini- series. As the Orange Cuckoo says: We'll wait and see.
Lou Laird

Jack Kerouac? Clarise Lispector? Edward Hopper? What kind of mind would put these three people in the same play, a Jack Kerouac trilogy? Altenir Silva's mind. He's Brazilian, like Lispector, and he's a NY Yankees fan, so he knows his Americana. Imagine what he might do in a longer form. Nós estamos esperando.
George Vecsey

Altenir Silva's play: 1. Clarice & Jack

How To Poem
Nicely stated. I'd only add: there are no rules, only good and bad choices, and if after all this, you find yourself unhappily having to force yourself to write poetry, quit! There's no shame in not writing poetry though the Creative Writing Industry would have you believe otherwise. However, becoming a sensitive and perceptive reader of poetry is a noble and worthwhile endeavor.
Jefferson Carter

Delightful. It reads as if Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley had put their heads together at the request of Harold Ross. And yes, poeming while driving or operating heavy machinery can be hazardous to your health!
Miles David Moore


I love what Greg Luce is doing in How to Poem. We need poetry now more than ever. So many good suggestions.
Karren Alenier

Gregory Luce's column: How To Poem

The Fire Next Time

Many thanks to Michael Bettencourt for reminding us that James Baldwin was a "trumpet on the mountain" of his time and still today as Frederick Douglass was in his time, and still today. Their voices can't be drowned out, as Mr. Bettencourt says: "Not at all ".
Berk Redmond
Michael Bettencourt's column: The Fire Next Time

Faeries et al
Here, dear Arthur, are a few thoughts from better minds than mine and I'm sure part of your Faeries' creed:
There are no facts, only interpretations.
There are no answers, only choices.
We are predetermined to repeat the past.
It took me a while and several read-throughs to realize that this essay is an undisguised sub-text with many interesting metaphors and shadowed similes. Clever, a trifle insidious, blandly provocative. It's a good read.
Betel Hershowitz

Sadly, I don't think there are any faeries left in the Americas. They were driven out by the Scots-Irish-British-German-Spanish invasions which replaced them with goblins, trolls and social medianiks. And that includes my ancestors who couldn't even spell the word correctly, uh... who couldn't even spell.
Michael Aptrow

Arthur Danin Adler's column: The Last of My Faeries

Evocative and Masterful

I thought Karren Alenier's "pennydreadful of a great nation" was absolutely brilliant. Each vignette or section is more evocative than the last. It really captured the horrors we are living through with wit, wisdom and sorrow for our current predicament. She has done a masterful job in capturing the sorry state of our nation; I hope that after November 3 she can turn her talents to celebrating a new dawn.
Nancy Braymer

    Thank you to Karren Alenier and to the editors of Scene4 for this entertaining way of using a past style of writing to set forth the horrors of our present situation. It tells our current and awful story, artfully presented!
    JoAnne Growney


    Gertrude Stein, Jonathan Swift and Terry Southern walk into a bar: That's my description of Karren Alenier's "pennydreadful of a great nation." It is exactly the sort of witty, all-encompassing satire we need right now, and kudos to Alenier for providing it. Meanwhile, may the actual Penny Dreadful we're living through have a happy ending!
    Miles David Moore


    Wow !! This IS something. What a consciousnessraising. I love how she represents so many viewpointsall. She will be like Shakespeare - making up new words by combining them: moonbeam, farmhouse, dewdrop ....
    Mary Anne Braymer

Karren Alenier's column: pennydreadful of a great nation

Knitting and Guillotines
Claudine's piece is laugh-out-loud hilarious. She captures well the landmines of language laid out for us today, where even the simplest statement, such as Jack's "Bob, you want to go first?", triggers grievance and retribution. As she says at the end of her essay, our language hubs these days are like the Bastille: "no yogurt and chocolate, only knitting and guillotines."
Michael Bettencourt
Claudine Jones' column: Gobshite

Delightful Changes
Once again I am delighted, with the October issue of Scene4. I can't stop talking about it and sharing articles and photographs with my colleagues and throughout my social media networks. This was a tough month for me, losing several good friends to chronic illnesses and just when I thought I couldn't smile again, Scene4 changed all of that for me. The Seven Dawns brought me the greatest delight. I also loved reading about the Arts of Thailand, The Summer of Spa that reminded me of many good times from yesteryear and I was moved by Michael Bettencourt's article about James Baldwin, especially with everything that is happening in the world today. Sometimes I can't tell if I am living in the year 2020 or in the 1800s. The fear of racism and hatred feels the same to me. I also enjoyed Miles David Moore's article Mea Culpa on What I Missed. Loved it. I apologise for writing too much and being so overjoyed with the beauty of Scene4 magazine. Thank you and I am already on pins and needles waiting for the November issue.
October Issue


The Color of Seasons
Thank you for this. It is so sad that the exhibition was not to be. As lovely as this presentation is, it never matches the truth and beauty of the actual paintings hanging for all to see, there to feel the presence of the artists. Ms Newberger's painting is sumptuous and subtle, as she says: "Everything is interesting". And Mr. Gerstein's painting is so beautifully nuanced, I do not see anything "abstract" about it all. I also appreciated the enlightening essay of Brian George. Wonderful. Bravo Scene4.
E. Goldenthal
The Presentation: The Color of Seasons

Surprising Photos

Photos in this month's magazine were all excellent. I was surprised to see a twist in Jon Rendell's section this time around. It was a pleasant surprise that made me smile a lot. Again, thank you for all the wonderful articles, photos, paintings, poems and everything that you provide to all of us that love Scene4 so much.
Mikael Wagner
September 2020 Issue

Life on the Small Screen

I couldn't agree more with Miles David Moore (and the emphasis is surely on more more more) about missing the experience of going to a movie theater and comparing it to a two-week vacation. The small screen at home just isn't the same as the big screen in the dark cinema. That said, Moore still makes us feel we have experienced the full breadth of theater in his full-spectrum reviews of 7500 and The Truth. While I'm not partial to small spaces like the cockpit of a jet under terrorist seige, I might give 7500 a try because of this reviewer's thoughtful comments. The Truth sounds more suited to my tastes and goodness knows we Americans are struggling these days with a deluge of books on that theme of relative truth. Good choice, MDM. Thank you for overcoming your justified misery about missing the movie theater.
Karren Alenier
Miles David Moore's review: Life On The Small Screen

A Pause for Praise
2020 has been the most challenging year in my life. Each and every day seems to be the same as the day before and I can't seem to tell the difference between one day from the next. There was a time that I would be so excited on Thursday knowing that TGIF was coming around again and I would be able to see friends and enjoy each other's company. Those days seems to have disappeared. The one thing that my mind and soul seems to be aware of is when Scene4 Magazine is coming out. Usually on the day before the notice comes out I am already tingling about the wonderful magazine. There aren't many magazines that grab me the way Scene4 does. The articles are well thought out and brilliantly written to grab my attention. This month's article about Quarantine Love grabbed my attention because I feel exactly the same way and the time period is allowing me to learn to so many new things through practice and reading. I loved the article on Meth and Tattoos because of previous work in the field and it's well written in a very user friendly way. The Native American poetry also meant a lot to me too. Last but not least, the photographs by Jon Rendell continue to take my breath away. Fog on Hobsons Bay was spectacular although I am still holding on to the visuals from the July issue of the beautiful pelicans that he managed to photograph. Overall, Scene4 brings me so much joy and I wanted to take a pause and say Thank You to Scene4 and all the wonderful creative people that come together to make it so incredible. 

Mikael Wagner
August 2020 Issue

Patrick Nagel
Just to let you know that there is a new Patrick Nagel discussion group, where fans, collectors and anyone else interested in Patrick Nagel's life and work can explore and converse. You can ask, buy, sell and discuss anything and everything about Patrick Nagel, and meet others who enjoy his work as much as you do -- and there are always more people becoming more interested in Nagel every day.
Rob Frankel
Patrick Nagel in Scene4: it's in the eyes
Patrick Nagel Discussion Group

Fog on Hobsons Bay
Love these aqueous studies of the waterscape just at our front door. Keep up the good work as in this challenging time we need your insightful 'artistic vision' more than ever.
Anne of Avec Pleasure
Jon Rendell's photography: Fog On Hobsons Bay

A Wonder
This is brilliant, beautifully written, and populated with wonderful photos. I wish I had seen 15% of the films you cite. You've seen so many it's a wonder that you've had time to write poems, including the interesting one with which you end the piece. Kudos.
Miles David Moore's Review: A Fine Madness

Hat's Off to Steiny
This is a fine essay about a fine poet. My hat is off to Steiny for her clear presentation and appreciation of Don Krieger's work and deep thinking.
Gregory Luce
Karren Alenier's column: Discovery—Poetry from a Brain Expert

Who Made New York?
This is such a deceptively hilarious little play, seemingly tossed off by the playwright, backward in time. My only question is: who is John Brawl? Brazilian anagram for the playwright?
Lou Laird
Altenir Silva's play: Who Made New York?

True Comfort Zone
Every time Claudine (Jones) speaks, she takes me into her home. It's as if I'm walking through the front door and she shows me around. Her anecdotes and reminiscences, laughter and tears are part of our conversation even if I truly don't speak. Even though I do, talk to her every time she speaks. We've been talking and speaking for years and I look forward to our monthly conversations.
Ann Marie Cuzca
Claudine Jones' column: Comfort Zone

On Hitchcock
Thanks to Miles David Moore for an absorbing and insightful look at this great director's work. He is such a major influence on today's movies but no one comes close to his clean and precise and harrowing filmmaking. Well, maybe, Christopher Nolan does.
Dean Sprigett
Miles David Moore's article: Hitchcock- Master of Claustrophobia

Portrait of a Lady On Fire
What a wonderful film review. It readily brings this exquisite film back to mind, touching upon all major themes in it – and then generously expanding our understanding of it by bringing to light the director's references, to other movies, to painters, writers and historical figures. Particularly relevant and valuable is Stendhal's underlining at several points the distinction between the female gaze vs its all too familiar patriarchal equivalent, and her apt comparison to such rarely mentioned movies as Rivette's "La Belle Noiseuse". If anything, I wish she expanded further on that... . Ultimately and happily, as full and enrapturing as this movie experience was, Stendhal's detailed explication of it does not detract, but rather enriches one's recollection and understanding – which is an accomplishment and a rare gift for a film review!
Philip Gerstein
Renate Stendhal's article: Portrait of a Lady On Fire

From Gaudi to Kandinsky
What an arc of architecture this is and so complemented by the rest of the issue (February 2020). If everything is wiped away by climate change, the visions and minds of these two great artists will bring it all back. Kind of over hopeful, huh? Kudos to Stendhal, Wolfe and Renaud.
Lou Laird
Renate Stendhal's article: Art and the City
Ross Wolfe's article: Kandinsky and Architecture

Some Joy
This issue (February 2020) is simply amazing and congratulations on continuing to always do an outstanding job every month. The photographic work of Jon Rendell in this issue blows my mind. He certainly has an eye to see what's really going on out there. The black swan's photo is beautiful and the way he captures the smoke from the fires in Melbourne takes my breath away. Thank you so much and also great thanks to all the other writers and artists because I love their work just as much. Whenever I see the new Scene4 Magazine I start to smile before I start to look at it. Thank you for adding joy to my life.
Mikael Wagner
February 2020 Issue

Making Sense of It All
"Human beings are the only creatures on earth with the potential to make themselves the only creatures on earth." As usual, Michael Bettencourt has that marvelous writing skill to merge cynicism and optimism into a stand-still overview of the human condition. I only wish that he were there every day. But Scene4 is a monthly. It's a long wait for good writing.
Tom Pierman
Michael Bettencourt's column: Making Sense of Non-Sense

SS. Burrus
There is so much spirtuality in SS. Burrus' painting, so much rich and mysterious feeling. Thank you for publishing this retrospective of her work, especially of her last artworks.
Sophi Dietrich
The Art of SS. Burrus: Eye to Eye

Impossible Bird
What is so delightful about this display is that it is not a fantasy. It is real, and your photographs are wonderful, there really are black swans. Moreso, the portait of the swan, up close and personal, is a breath-taker, especially when it is presented on the cover juxtaposed eye-to-eye with Kenneth Branagh as Shakespeare. Happy for you that you are back in Australia and I gather that you are too. More, please, more.
Charla Tintari
Jon Rendell's photography: The Impossible Bird

How Anorectic Can A Homily Be?
Hilarious as this is, it also churns my anxiety (which doesn't need much churning these days). A one long sentence that flashes through dangling its invitation to be read again and again. Very clever! But what happens is that my "future" brain matter collides with my "past" brain matter and raises so many questions, such as: Who the hell is Clementine? and How did your good doctor ever get a Ph.D.?
Louis Laird, Ph.E.
Arthur Danin Adler's column: A Brief Anorectic Homily On Time

Lives of the Lens

There's no doubt about it, Penn was brilliant and so is Freson. I met Penn once in New York and always followed his work especially his photojournalism. I believe and still do that he edited his shots in the camera, in his eye, in his mind and didn't rely on darkroom wizardry to capture and produce the image. How far we've come from Penn's vivid and nuanced portraits to what passes for photography today: filmless, paperless and mindless. Today, the camera shoots the photo, not the photographer.
Hans Ivganz
Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: Lives Intertwined by the Lens

Banjerd Lekkong
Yes, a very world class artist. Janine Yasovant writes about him with compassion and trust. She lets him speak and he speaks with the passion and strength that he creates in his sculptures. He should be in the art headlines everywhere, but then we would lose him to New York and Paris and Thailand cannot afford to lose him. Bravo and thank you for this inspiring view of a great artist.
Timo Sunchai
Janine Yasovant's article: Banjerd Lekkong

Votes for Women
I think of Gertrude Stein's Tender Button, "Mildred's Umbrella," which one may posit has something to do with the Suffrage Movement(s). "A cause and no curve..." Perhaps sons, grandsons, et.al. should come along for this ride, too! A thank you to Karren Alenier for her report on this exhibition.
Teri Rife
Karren Alenier's column: Votes for Women

Journal Regrets
Whatever the reasons, Patrick Walsh echoes those of us who cannot reconcile our innermost thoughts and memories with the everyday life we lead. Journals are important, I agree, but they are also destructive and deadening in that they stalk our living memory, which continues to change, and make it blurred and forgetful. Who are journals for anyway? Certainly not the journal keeper.
Andrew Mendelsen
Patrick Walsh's column: The Journal I Never Kept

From Satie to Monk and Back
This is a very hip analysis. Thank you Gregory Luce. You give us a slant that spurs a thousand angles. The one that tickles me the most is what if Monk came first and Satie after. Would he lap up the great Thelonius? No doubt in my mind as his great protege Maurice Ravel drank up the jazz of his time. Monk still cuts through the noise and leaves space for Satie to follow.
Michael Aptrow
Gregory Luce's article: The piano ain't got no wrong notes

Man Sex

I think Gertrude Stein once said: A man's Sex is a man's sex is a man's sex". No she didn't but I'm sure she would. Ms Selena you're on your toes and in the race.
Olivia Minton
Selena Zachai's poem: A Man's Sex

Divas: Maria Callas with a Dash of Gertrude Stein
Excellent article, which is both an engaging review of the film as well as a commentary on Callas's life and career reaching beyond the film. Now I'm primed to see the Habanera aria from "Carmen" as performed by Callas. If only Callas had loved her body, as I believe Ms. Stein did hers, she might have had a longer career... and that is something to dream about.
Teri Rife
Karren Alenier's column: Divas: Maria Callas with a Dash of Gertrude Stein

Pivoting Backwards
If 1968 was a pivotal year, what does that make 2018? Les Marcott's take on that timeline is on the mark. His comment: "We can learn from the events of 1968 or we can repeat its follies." is particularly poignant. And we're wallowing in repetition, aren't we?
Lou Laird
Les Marcott's column: LBJ and the Pivotal Year of 1968

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April 2023

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