Bells, part 3, Relax

We should probably be wary of statements beginning with the pronouncement, “Never before, in the history of the world….” Nevertheless, given our current world predicament, we might find ourselves in need of some relaxation – seemingly, like never before. In his little book titled “How to Relax,” the monk Thich Nhat Hanh begins: “You don’tContinue reading “Bells, part 3, Relax”

Coast Road Trip: Sans Pics

A perspicacious reader asked why I haven’t posted any pics from the road trip. I’m working on moving toward a new kind of blog, more like the one I started, back in December of 2007, which contained no pics, just short bursts of writing pleasure. I had in mind the kind of posts the venerableContinue reading “Coast Road Trip: Sans Pics”

Third Notes: berfrois in the Pacific Northwest

Writing grants access. To what? First, to one’s own thoughts, to one’s own experience. I wrote this; therefore, it happened to me, at least the writing of it did. So I have access to that, to the writing, another experience of the experience, another way to experience the experience. Are you experienced? Narrative becomes mirror,Continue reading “Third Notes: berfrois in the Pacific Northwest”

Second Notes on “Berfrois the Book,” “Queen Mob’s Teahouse: Teh Book,” and AWP19: Lonely, the Book

One day, almost ten years ago, down at the Bipartisan Café, in Montavilla, reading on my laptop, I was gobsmacked to find someone had published on their site a piece I’d recently written for my blog, The Coming of the Toads. At the time, I’d not yet heard of Berfrois or its editor Russell Bennetts.Continue reading “Second Notes on “Berfrois the Book,” “Queen Mob’s Teahouse: Teh Book,” and AWP19: Lonely, the Book”

Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer”

Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer” contains everything Hemingway left out of “The Sun Also Rises,” which had left Ernest with the tincture of  a refined sentiment. That is one difference between the Jazz Age and the Great Depression. Turned out, we didn’t always have Paris; most of us never had it. From page 1 ofContinue reading “Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer””

The Amateur Spirit in Writing – Revisited

As The Coming of the Toads nears its 10th anniversary (our first post was Dec 27, 2007), we reflect on why and wonder what now. The new book, “Alma Lolloon,” is out (“look inside” here). “Out” may seem hyperbolic – it’s now available. Others trying to write and publish will get the difference. Most writers,Continue reading “The Amateur Spirit in Writing – Revisited”

Notes on Jessica Sequeira’s “Rhombus and Oval”

Notes on Jessica Sequeira’s “Rhombus and Oval” (117 pages), 2017, What Books Press, The Glass Table Collective, Los Angeles: “Rhombus and oval” is the title of the lead piece in this collection of stories by Jessica Sequeira, a translator of Spanish and French and a writer. The text of twenty-one stories runs 112 pages, eachContinue reading “Notes on Jessica Sequeira’s “Rhombus and Oval””

Alma Lolloon – Work in Progress

Continuing from last Saturday’s installment, from chapter one of my work in progress titled “Alma Lolloon,” the first chapter titled “Casting On.” The book is finished, but I’m still proofing and editing. I hope to have it out in December. Meantime, I plan to continue putting up excerpts here on Saturdays: from chapter one ofContinue reading “Alma Lolloon – Work in Progress”

Penina’s Letters, a Novel by Joe Linker

Ocean Surfing Love Letters War Epistolary Bildungsroman Santa Monica Bay Beach Cities School Work Family Friendship Self-deception Literary Fiction Folk Song Narrative… “Penina’s Letters” takes place in the beach cities along Santa Monica Bay, with a fictionalized beach town named Refugio squeezed in between El Porto and Grand Avenue. The town of Refugio takes theContinue reading “Penina’s Letters, a Novel by Joe Linker”

Kirill Medvedev: “It’s No Good”

Kirill Medvedev’s poems are easy to get into. He explains situations, tells stories about people. You don’t mind listening and want to hear more. He’s contemplative and calm and reasonable, even when he’s making a wakeup call, dissing and dressing down, asking why things can’t be rearranged. The vocabulary isn’t hard. The figurative language isContinue reading “Kirill Medvedev: “It’s No Good””