Post Index

A Cat’s New Year’s Resolutions

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A common reader

…ant, ant, ant, ant, and ant: The Fiction Science of E. O. Wilson; or, What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

…more on the disappearance of newspapers

“Bury My Heart in the Muddy Mississippi”

“…light out for the territory…” at berfrois!

“Examined Life”: Socrates on Ice; or, Engaged Life: Riding the Clutch with Today’s Philosophers


“Mkgnao! Mrkgnao! Mrkrgnao! Gurrhr!”

“Moonishnessly”: for Susan, Who’s Been Reading the Toads

“Penina’s Letters” at The Boulevard

“Penina’s Letters”: Hawthorne Fellows at The Attic Institute

“Politics and the English Language”

“silent quicksand”

“The Works of Li Po The Chinese Poet: Done Into English Verse”

“this yr”

“What’s Happening?”; or, the Faux Social Finish of Verb People

“You Can’t Write Writing”

|||||| * The Believer * Ninety-First Issue: The Music Issue * July/August 12 * ||||||

153 ants

45 Embedded Ants

66 Breaths of Barstow for Babs

81 Snazzy Ants

99 Bottles Over the Wall

300 Lines from a Walk on the Beach

1000 Ugly Christmas Sweaters

A Cat’s Argument

A Cat’s Christmas Carol

A Cat’s Email

A Cat For All Seasons

A Cat’s Memoir

A Cat’s New Year’s Celebration

A Cat’s Prayer: Up to the Birds

A Different Brain: Reinventing Neuroscience from the Bottom Down

A Disambiguation of Living Alone

A Few Salient Notes on the Point of Punctuation

A Literary Thanksgiving Feast

A Lot Ado About Nothing

A Lyrical Poem of Vast Beauty Reluctantly Revealed Ridiculously; or, Possibly the Widest Poem Ever Written

A Monstrous Metaphor Fished from Walden Pond

A New Lear; or, Daughter Dissed

A Pepper & Tomato Graphic Story

A Pith Zany

A Plumber’s Noir

A Portrait of the Plumber as a Poor Speller; or, Wrong Word

A Portrait of the Retiring Reader

A Sentence Pilloried in the Stocks

A Short Treatise on the Writing Virtues

A Shuck of Stone

A Sixth Way of Looking at Walden: Deliberately Seeking Simplicity

A Word of One’s Own

A Year From The Use and Misuse of English Grammar

Abaft the Blues Fest

ABC Blocks

A-caroling we will not go…

Actually, Clarice Lispector

after pruning grapes in winter

After the Last Snow

Ah, Bartleby! Ah, Humanities!

AIG, APA and the Crashing of Institutions

Albert Camus on the Economic Collapse

Alice in the World Wide Web

Allotment of Melancholy

All Stung Over By Links of Googled Grace

Amid a Bevy of Red Roses in the Bed of a Twaddle Truck

An Academic Argument

An Argument of Definition: A Definition of Argument; or, The Light Without the Light Within

An Economy of One’s Own

An Imperfect Imposition

An Invitation to Celebrate Bloomsday with Frank Delaney

An Unlikely Place to Find an Argument

And then went down to the book: Gloria Steinem’s The Beach Book

Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life

Anti-anti-anti: The Deviancy of Poetry

Anything Read: 4 by Peter Mayle

APA Caution: Metaphor Crossing

Apropos of Nothing Alphabet Primer

Argument in the Time of Apples

Arrangement in C Major for List of 14 Selected John Cage Titles

As You Like It: Rules for Writing

At the Beach with Peepa and Moopa

At the Pumpkin Patch

B Flat Minor Seventh Flat Five

Back to “The One to One Future”: Permission Marketing and the 2011 S&P Market Coup

Back to School: An Interruption to Learning?

Back to the Futurism – What’s new in Poetryland: Flarf, Conceptual Writing, and Concrete Poetry

Bad Writing


Baseball and the parts of speech

Baseball and the run-on sentence

Baseball Breaks Sound Barrier

Baseball Drought Hits Northwest

Baseball Pitch Sequence Tracking and Guitar Chord and Scale Illustrations

Baseball Poem with Hidden Asterisk

Becker-Posner: fodder for rhetoric foragers

Becker, Posner, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Beehive Hairdo Bun Doodle; or, Tunnel Window

Berfrois Tuesday: Satisfactōrum

Beyond Yourself: Where the Poet Hides

Bicycling with Thoreau at Berfrois!

Big Dogs in Tall Grass

Big Sur Slide Poem

Binders Full of Women and a Pocketful of Moloch

Bio-Lego-Land: Building a Better Body thru Metaphor

Bless me critic, for I have read…

Blues Bus at Berfrois

Blues Bus to the Blues Fest; or, The Blues Concert as Lecture
Blog It As It Lays

Bob Dylan & Clarice Lispector: Bewildering, Transfigured, & Redeemed

Bob Dylan Knows in Singing the Highway Dust is All Over; or, The Tunes They are a-changin’

Books on Tee-Shirts: More on the Reading Crisis

Breakfast at Beckett’s

Buckley and the hard work of writing

Bukowski and the Three Flies

Bukowski for President! David Biespiel and Poets for Democracy


Cadmean Victory

Cage bop Monk lit

Caleb Crain and Becker-Posner Print Their Blogs

caMels, whEN to caPITalize, & concrEte POEMS

Camus and The Myth of Syllabus

Can Business Rescue the Humanities?

Cash for Cool Clothes: A Hep Cat’s Wardrobe

Casual Causality: Beyond Proximate Cause; or, The O-Ring Syndrome Revisited

Casual Theory of Causality

Carpe diem the light flight of the Frisbee!

Cat Couple Vacation: A Photo Trip

Cat Settings (a graphic novel)

Celebrating Earth Day at Berfrois!


Cheese Grilled with Sliced Banana Sandwich; or, A History of the World in 6 Innings

Child with Blue Cat on Concrete

Christmas Platterful

Clarice Lispector’s “Agua Viva”: Oyster, Rose, and Time

Coelho & Doyle on Joyce

Cold frame for improvisation

Comments to Flannery’s “Good Country People” Post

Common Earworm Remedies and the Mutant Earworm

Concrete Poem

Correcting, Grading, and Commenting: Right, Wrong, and Indifferent

Costume Chitchat

Crain, Denby, Dylan and the Avatar of Health Care

Cuff Links, Tie Clips, and Semicolons

Culturomics and Google’s Ngram Viewer: More Noise?

Dancing with really real stars

David Brooks and How to Be a Better Person

David Brooks and The Plaque of Alienation; or, the Consciousness Bubble

Dear Reader: “Charming Gardeners,” by David Biespiel

Degrading School

Dictatorial Decree

Didi and Gogo Feted with Lifetime Achievement Award

Distance of First Person Plural

Dogo and Gidi: 9 Spoonerisms on Samuel Beckett

Don DeLillo’s “Point Omega”: alt novel

Double Consommé; or, the Doo-wop of the Tweet

Double Shot, Hold the Book

Drum, drum, drum

E. B. White and the plumber

Earth-Glass Half Empty or Fuller?: Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

East Side Mt Tabor Photo Essay Walk

Eca de Queiros and a Metaphysical Googlelarity

Economy of Emergent Stuff

El Porto Waltz

Emily Post’s Rhetorical Garden: A Field of Claims, Evidence, and Warrants

Ending Net Asset Value; or, Hook up, hat up, and let go: “Calling Dr. Bartleby!”

E. O. Wilson’s Happy Ant in Mary Midgley’s Primate Picnic

Epizeuxis, epizeuxis, epizeuxis! in Thoreau’s Walden

Ere Words Were

Eric Sevareid, Italo Calvino, and NASA’s Watery Disappointment

Evergreen Review, Volume 1, Number 3, 1957

Every day is moving day on the Internet streets

Excerpt from a Conversation with Jean-Paul Sartre and B. F. Skinner


Fantasia Fragmental

Favorite Recipes from “An Eminent Poets’ Cookbook”

Fear and Loathing in Lexical Vegas

Fear of Writing: “After Midnight,” by Irmgard Keun

Fickle Moon

Find a New Year’s Resolution at Berfrois!

Flannery O’Connor and the Coen Brothers

Flannery’s Joy

Flarf Factorial; or, Epiphany Needed

Flaubert’s “A Simple Heart”

Four Dubliners and a Scholar’s Mirror

Four Short Statements on the Sentence

Frames and Paints

Frank Delaney On Blogging

Frank Delaney: The Last Storyteller

Free Parking at the Library of Congress

From a Buick 6 to a Luxury RV: Crazy Road

From bookface to facebook

From Iran: “Don’t send me no more letters no,” not unless you Twitter them.

From the Gutenberg to a Gatesian Galaxy

Gaggle Me-Researcher Project Spilled on WankiLeaks

Gaston Bachelard’s book as shell

George V. Higgins’s On Writing

Get Your Chops Back: Good Writing and Bad

Global warming in The Great Gatsby

Gold in these pines

Good Grief, Robert Duncan

Good night, my some-corpus one

Grading Etiquette

Grammar Hammer: Vertigo Swinging the Grammar Pickaxe

Grammar Shock: Person, Tense, Time, and Sense

Hamlet’s Status (A Play in Six Posts)

Hank Williams sings Huck Finn

Happiness and the Humanities

Happy 50th, CSUDH

Happy Bloomsday!


Harold Bloom’s How to Read and Why

Health Care: Bringing It All Back Home

Heart’s Apron Sestina

Hemingway surfing and writing

Hep Cats in Love: Valentine’s Day Comics

Hey, where did that Tweet go? Never-mind, check this out: Cat Twitter and Blog Beautiful

Home Run for John’s Birthday

Honor and Shame: Born Again Off Maggie’s Farm

Hoot and Nani: Music for Halloween

Hootenanny Revisited: Photo Essay of Old Songbooks

How Do Professors Think? More Crisis in the Humanities

How Literary Critics Think

How to Live Happily to 106: Happy Bloomsday, Mr. Leopold Bloom

How to Teach College Writing to Nonreaders


Hybrid Reading and “Sex and the vote”


In the Yakima Valley

In Twosome Twiminds: News from the Stroke Club – “Who are We?”

International Women’s Day, 2013

Into the valley of rejection rode the 850

Invective Bagful

It is told in sounds in Thoreau’s Walden

It’s “After Midnight” at Berfrois

It’s No Good; It’s All Good – at Berfrois

Ivan Illich, Education, and The Good Life

J. D. Salinger’s Advice to Adelia Moore: Write as a Child

James Joyce Occupies Wall Street

James Joyce on Writing: “write dangerously”

James Joyce’s Guitar Chord in the 1915 Ottocaro Weiss Photo

Jane Kramer tosses a toad to Montaigne

Janet Groth’s The Receptionist: A Reflection


Jeeves and Bertie Wooster in Facebookland

Jerry Lewis at the Paradise

Jesus and the Jazz of Being Existential

John Cage and Attitudes Toward Reading Today

John Cage, Cowboy Surf Shop, and Garage Jazz

Joyce’s “allforabit”

Joyce’s agenbite of books and boots

Juice and Joy

Kicking E. B. White When He’s Down

Kierkegaard: A Good Self is Hard to Find

Kirill Medvedev: “It’s No Good”

Lady Gaga Sitting Cross-legged on Her Gomden

Leisurely reading habits

Lenten Surf Season

Leslie Fiedler and the Either/Or Fallacy of Poetic Criticism

Letter of Ourself

Literary Influences

Live Reading, Patricia Marx

Locke, Freud, Tinker, Tailor

Lord I’m 500 words away from home

Losing Forrester Behind the Window

Love and the Age of Democracy

Mapping a Reading of Thoreau’s Walden

Max Shulman’s “Love is a Fallacy”

Me epistle on “Moopetsi meepotsi”

Memorialized in Memo; or, where what we purpose proposes to parody

Memories and Hallucinations, Real Nostalgia: Bill Bryson’s “The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid”

Menand’s Meandering PhDs; UFOs; and Joyce’s Jejune Jesuits

Mkgnao!9: Alien Cats from Outer Space (A Minidrama)

Montaigne: The First Blogger; or, Nick Hornby’s Surprise

More on reading influences and touching again on the reading crisis

More on the reading crisis

More On Trees

Mosaic Writing

Mushroom Heart Self Portrait

n+1 clips The Believer’s sneakers

Neuroscepticism: Exploring the Dark Matter of the Brain

New Excerpt from “Penina’s Letters” at the Boulevard

New Outbreak of Grammar Influenza

New Poetry at Glasgow Review of Books

New Repost at Berfrois!

Nicholson Baker, Nicholas Carr, and Googling Clothespins

Not the Rubric Itself, but Ideas about the Rubric

Notes on Experience, Story, and Voice

Notes on John Fante’s “Ask the Dust”

Notes on n+1’s “MFA VS NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction”

Notes On Reading Caleb Crain’s “Necessary Errors”

Notes on “Stoner,” a Novel by John Williams

Notes on the Difficulty of Reading a New Poem

November Day Along the River

Now is the Science of our Discontent: E. O. Wilson and the Sacrifice of Science

Now Playing at Plato’s Cave: “The Reel World”

Of the Quest of Sir Petersilie of Pestlebrawl of the Order of the Snail; or, The Slug that Slew the Knight Errant

Off Leash

“Off with their heads!” Rhetorical Images of Heads of States

Ocean Surfing Photos From the Late 1960′s

Old Towels

On Angels

On Another Modest Proposal; or, Twitters with the Editors

On Boredom

On Description

On Discussion

On Downgrades and Grades; or, Dude, Score Thyself

On hasty writing and reading

On Jury Duty, Poetry Gaze, and Yu Xiang’s “I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust”

On Poetry

On Prayer and Poetry

On Reading Well

On Setting and Narration

On Shoes: A Barefoot Existentialism

On the Doodle

On the ice with Thoreau

On the Moon

On The New Yorker On Twitter; or, Drink, Memory

On the Noise of Argument, where John Cage meets Seneca; or, There is No Silence – Bound to Sound

On the Trail of Diaper Fish Wraps and Hot Hot Dogs

On the water writing

On Thoreau On Clothing

On Universe: A Conversation Between Thoreau and Bucky

On Words

Online # 1

Online # 2: Laptop Notes From Underground

Opening the Patient in Open Access Week; or, the Great Research Hoax

Our 2007 Believer Book Award Choices

Our 2008 Believer Book Award Choices

Our 2009 Believer Book Award Choices

Overhearing one’s own writing

p-1: The Evil Hill on Mariposa

Paper Should be Abolished

Peccadilloes; or, The School of No Sestina

Penelope Fitzgerald

Piano Keys

Piracy off the Coast of Gramarye

Plato was a Neuroscientist, too; or, Plato’s Purple Haze

Plato, Pablo, and the Poetics of Health Care

Plumbing & Writing: A Review of the Literature (at the Toads)

Poem for Stevie Smith in a Manner of Stevie Smith

Poetry Footprint

Poetry, Politics, and the Mail; or, Fishing Without a License

Poetryphobia: Muriel Rukeyser’s “The Life Of Poetry”

Point of View

Prayer & Poetry @ Berfrois

Precursor to Garrison Keillor

Private Music, Public Music: Vandals Trash Kumbaya – Is Music Making Us Stupid?

Problems, Inventions, and Implications

Progress Report: Our Disappearing World

Prufrock’s Cat

Psychosomatic foghorn earborn earworms!

Punctuation Theory

Punk Villanelle

Rap Phonics Rhapsody: Eating the Alphabet and Spitting it Out

Ray, 1956

Reading at a masquerade ball

Reading declines, unobtrusively

Reading Directions for Thoreau’s Walden

Reading influences

Reading Roland Barthes’s Writing Degree Zero on Line 15

Recommended On-line Reading: “Chick Blogs”

Remembering Grubbs

Remembrance of Things Past: or, The Card Catalog – ACCESS CLOSED!

Robert Frost and the LHC

Roddy Doyle’s “The Guts”

Rolling Stone’s 50 Reasons to Watch TV

Rothko at the Portland Art Museum

Rows sans end

Ruddy Rubescent Red

Ruth Reichl Comforts with Apples, Beckett with Words

Salad Days

Samuel Beckett’s “Molloy” p. 161

Satisfactus: “Charlie is My Darling”

Say what you see (look-and-say) sequences

Schopenhauer’s Blues; or, On Jazz & Folk Music, from Hoedown to Hootenanny: A Happening Post

Sea Chanty at the Wave Door Inn

Sea Monsters in A. C. Grayling’s Secular Bible; or, Humanity’s Greatest Endeavor

Selections from Foulings Phonebook

Sestina Ends Current Hiatus

Shakespeare of Main Street: How We Should Teach English

Sentence Fragment Run-on

Sestina’s Angel

Sestina’s Radio

Seven Variations on a Sentence

Sidewalk Chalk Pastel with Haiku

Signs of Summer in the Offing

Sister Mary Annette and Shakespeare’s Ambiguous Advice

Sister Maryquill’s Style Guide: An APA/MLA etc. Primer

Skylark, have you anything to say to Billy Collins?

small wave riders

Small Wave Riders 2009 anuual surf trip video

SMP: Sine Mascula Prole – Preparatory to Bloomsday

Solstice Sestina: Whiteout on the Whiteboard in Winter

Solving the Texas Textbook Massacre, Scandal, and Mystery

Special Host Spring Yard Photo Post

Spring Reading List: The Double Dream of Baseball

Spring Waltz

Stanley Fish, Full of Ethos

Strangers to the future

Stuffed Post

Styled Obsolescence: New Editions for APA and MLA

Sunset photo, Kodachrome slide, around 1970

Super Bowl Debriefing: Understanding Games and TV Tribal Culture

Surf Noir: “The Tribes of Palos Verdes”

Surf Surge

Surf’s Up! at Berfrois

Susan Among the Zen Monks in the Gorge

Susan Sontag and a Valentine for Flannery O’Connor

Swimming Pools

Taking the facebook Pledge; or, The Allegory of the facebook Cave

Tales of X & Y: 1 – Teeter-totter

Targeting the Philistines: The Diversion of Literature and Disease of Criticism

The amateur spirit in writing

The Anxiety of Imaginary Literature

The Art of the Bus Stop

The Art, Woe, Slop, and Toe of the Book Review

The Assumption: A Graphic Post

The Audience

The Bad Hop Boat Poem

The Ballad of the Happy Cafe: Mimi Pond’s “Over Easy”

The Bare Bodkin of the English Major

The Business of Poetry

The cover’s title

The Elite and the Effete: From Access to Egress

The Eloi and the Morlock

The Eutobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Feng Shui of Car Chit Chat

The Forest, the Haircut, the Pothole, and the Hedgehog

The Glass Guitar Ceiling: Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”

The Happy Humanists of Main Street (a Fragment)

The I Ching (Book of Changes); or, where one should not try to be all-knowing

The Idea of Self-Portrait Writing, or A Portrait of the Writer as Reader

The Look of Love

The Myth of Adolescence: James Woods on Jean-Christophe Valtat

The Old Factory Blues

The Phrenological Slope of the Post

The Pine Jay the Scree of the Mock Orange

The Poet Who Would Rhyme Orange

The Pope Tweets

The Postman Always Rings Twice, the Plumber Rarely More Than Once

The Retiring and Re-tiering Posner

The Root of the Matter

The Rubrish of Poetry: Taming the Beast; or, Crossing the Rubric-con

The Sea Far Away

The Sick Roses of Suburbia and the Epiphany of a Picture

The smell of print culture

The Sneeze

The Syllabication of Desire

The Toads Goes to The Movies: “Moneyball”

The Toads Transfigured at berfrois!

The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth

The Twitterers (after Walter De La Mare’s “The Listeners”)

The Value of Time and Pressure

The way in is the far out

The Way We Don’t Age Now: Unhappiness and Hunger in the Land of Plenty

The weightlessness of existentialism

Theo Jansen and Advanced “Avatar”

Theodore Dreiser and Flannery O’Connor were Neuroscientists, too

Theory of nothing, something, and everything in between

“Therapy”: A Kierkegaardian Sitcom

This is Portland for Christmas

This Is Your Brain On Books

Thoreau Posts

Thoreau’s Bicycle

Thoreau’s Meanly Men and Manly Ants

Ticker Tape Sentence


Titles in “The Reader” Series

To the Reader Staring at a Paywall

To Whom It May Concern: An Invitation to Silence and Composition

Transition: From Walled-in with Thoreau to Take-off with Buckminster Fuller

Trees of Christmases Past

Trick Photography and Trees

Trilling’s “The Meaning of a Literary Idea”; or, the Essay as Argument: Why The Research Paper Should be Abolished

Two Graphic Novels: Gipi’s “Notes for a War Story,” and Rutu Modan’s “Exit Wounds”

Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma

Two Hep Cats and the UFO

Two Hep Cats on Thought

Two Ocean Surfing Poems at Berfrois – and a gallery of old ocean photos

Two Poems for Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany

Union Maid: Made and Unmade

Unpacking the Aphorism to Pull Out the Pith

Unmoving Literary Works; or, Needs Editing, “Ha Ha Ha”

Update on the Universe; or, Where we “canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth”

Verlyn Klinkenborg: “Several short sentences about writing”

Virginia Woolf’s uncommon reader

Vocabulary Building

Vowel Trial Balloon

Walden: From “The Pond in Winter” to “Spring”

Walking thru the park one day

Wall Street Journal Springs Honorifics from Sports – Cut in Pay?

Wallace Stegner’s On Teaching and Writing Fiction

Walt Whitman, McTeague, and We Go to the Movies

Waltzing with a Loon to the Tune of a Whippoorwill

Watermarks from a Night Spring

We Ain’t Gonna Wait In Maggie’s Line No More

Weather Retort

What Should We Keep? The R. Buckminster Fuller Archive

What some others have said about Thoreau’s Walden

What we will miss when newspapers disappear

What will happen to books?

When Reading Was Everything

When we read and write, we argue

Where 23 Poets Float the Amazon

Where Crossan’s historical meets Beckett’s hysterical Jesus

Where Dylan Thomas meets Atul Gawande; or, Let Go Gently, for Here Comes the Night

Where Everyone is a Writer and a Reader

Where Flannery O’Connor meets Julia Roberts on Late Night Talk Shows

Where jazz and literature get encaged

Where John Cage Lip-synchs with Lloyd Thaxton while Playing Guitar Hero

Where Listening Gives Rise to Silence and Fizzles

Where Marilyn Monroe meets Helmut Schmidt in a field of Mellow Yellow

Where Michael Kinsley Meets William Faulkner; or, The Beat Goes On

Where Pascal metaphorically wagering meets Borges bird-watching

Where Pigs Sing: “Pigsong,” by Frank Delaney

Where readers eSurface but authors lose control

Where Richard Rodgriguez meets Bartleby, the Scrivener

Where Sarah Palin Meets Andy Warhol

Where The Gutenberg Galaxy Wanes While the Zuckerberg Zone Waxes: How the Founder of Facebook is Destroying the Printing Press

Where the Palace of Wisdom is Loaded with Vice

Where we Freak Out! and blame it on the cat

Where we go from Greil Marcus to Humpty Dumpty

Where weather and writing merge

Where Winston Churchill meets Roddy Doyle; or, the Library is not a Zoo

Why Read Poetry?

Winter is icummen in, Lhude sing Line 15

Without you tonight

Women Under the Glass Ceiling: Parity and Power in the Pipeline

Word Pics

Word Put Upon Word

Writer’s block

Writer’s list

Writing and its Discontents: Lady Gaga to Replace McChrystal

Writing and the Wickets of Croquet

Writing Inventions

Yes and No

Yet More on the Disappearance of Newspapers; or, Welcome to Spring Training!

Yevtushenko Vinyl and the Freedom of Discernment

Your Poem Will Start in 21 Seconds