El Porto, 1969

Santa Monica Bay, water like lead ladled from a plumber’s melting pot. Fog spills oily blue foam fills with air, pulls some green under. Close in, swells steam and foam, a salty dough of seaweed. Waterers wax boards, paddle out north end at 45th Street, first smoky light, shadows of refinery plant, dunes still in shade,…

Roddy Doyle’s “The Guts”

They were sitting in the living room, sharing stuff. – Your man Roddy Doyle has a new book. – I don’t have a man. – It’s just an expression. It’s Irish. – Are there any Sheas in the new book? – That’s El Porto Irish. – What’s my man’s new book about? – Your man…

Watermarks from a Night Spring

Embers of a partially burned ocean In a box in a dank basement molting notes A weathered surfer slowly descends the creaking Worn stairs, dark swells yawning Fish eyed and barnacle knuckled he climbs Finds and opens the box, peers in, smells the pages Runs salted fingers over the raised words Rusting paper clips, chiseled…

Ray, 1956

He feared drowning. He fell asleep on the bus, sleeping past his stop, and on down to Redondo Beach, the waves breaking, hard on hearing. He slept past the beach break at El Porto, his head bouncing against the beach-side window, his tools jiggling in his toolbox at his feet, past the Manhattan Beach Pier, the Hermosa…

To the Reader Staring at a Paywall

Behind this wall of paper lives a poem no subscription will reveal. The poem is invisible. No journal can hold this poem. There is no log-in, no fee, no access, yet the poem is free. The words spill into the paper like seawater over a levee. This poem must be imagined. Later, after the reader…

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

An excerpt from Chapter Six, “Light and Sculpture from a Surfboard on Santa Monica Bay,” from the novel Penina’s Letters, is now up in Issue # 5: Special Issue: Liberation, of The Boulevard, a publication of the Attic Institute. Related Posts: Penina’s Letters at The Boulevard. “Penina’s Letters”: Hawthorne Fellows at the Attic Institute.