News at the Toads

I reviewed British poet Scott Manley Hadley’s debut poetry collection, “Bad Boy Poet,” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse. The book, just out this week, is available from the publisher (Open Pen) and at Amazon (paperback and Kindle editions). Read my review here. My novel “Alma Lolloon” is now available in Kindle electronic edition format. You can…

Untitled and Unfinished

The tall fall fires out west follow the humongous hurricanes blowing across the headline news, shooting embers across the dance floor valley, licking into the canyon columns of textual innuendos of who belongs here and who doesn’t. The wind and rain and flickering flames know no such distinctions. All belong to the sky and forests,…

Fall Calendar

The           Falling           A         l L       l   L is into W t e all   i h a u   n a falls g   t t fa h   e fall la     r   la…

Penina’s Paginations

For some, grammar might be understood as an attempt to control language, or to control a speaker. But the only way to establish complete control over a language is to kill it, which is probably or nearly impossible, because language possesses, like the planarian, the ability to reform or regenerate from a tiny piece of…

Blest Be the Tie that Binds

One year, on a trip north from Los Angeles, we stopped off at the University of California at Santa Cruz campus to visit a married couple, both in graduate school studying computer programing. When I asked about their projects, one of the students said she was working on a component that would become part of…

Conversation with My Google Assistant

Good morning! What? Is there something you’d like to say? No, not really. Well, what time is it? It’s morning. That’s why I said, “Good morning.” Would you like me to look something up for you? No. I could give you a weather report. No. Would you like to know what’s trending – No. Care…

Sitting Out: Painting in Progress

Portlanders love to sit out. At sidewalk cafes, outside pubs, in their yards or drives. On porches, decks, balconies. In parks. On special occasions, neighbors will close their street to cars so they can sit out in the middle of the block at improvised tables in whatever chairs seem to turn up. The atmosphere of…

Notes on Julian Gallo’s “The Penguin and The Bird”

Julian Gallo’s “The Penguin and The Bird” (2018, New Horizons Editions) is an impressionistic work. It functions as a graphic novel, but one without the drawings. There are 72 short chapters spread across 122 pages of text. The chapters are organized into four parts: “Her Mother’s Violin Early Autumn, 1979,” which concludes with Chapter 13,…