Scamble and Cramble: Two Hep Cats! The Poetry Episode

A new Scamble and Cramble episode has been posted to the Comics page! And, meantime, regular readers of The Coming of the Toads may notice a new format now in the works. Please browse around and let me know what you like or not of the new template.

How to Fix a Broken Heart

It is easy to get lost in the hospital. From the main artery grow several asymmetrical wings rising to varying heights. When one of the two main artery elevators opens, the landing pad presents an unexpected reception area, depending onto which floor you alight. I had thought room 3217 afforded a view of the Hope…

Photograph of Providence Urgent Care Waiting Room at Noon

Waiting room Center seat Back to window Squeeze my fingers Under a bitter blanket Opposite counter Vertigo Where? Merry-go-round stops. Wall clock running backwards You seem to have crossed some divide, a distance between following expectations and surprising the reference books on shelves marked Must Remain in Reference Room: No Check Outs – For Scholars…

Micro Poems with Eye Exam

Picnic Technique Moistly dripping sap pilly this juicy gusto pudding wasp crust paper crisp in cut grass. Sara Monaurally The staked sapling at the gibbet            gallowed silent squirming wail. Fit For a New Hat When you measured my head blue eyes saw yonder sea anemones in tide pools I wanted to hug you but…

Plato, Pablo, and the Poetics of Health Care

Plato considered poets dangerous and banned them from his Republic, and Il Postino (1994) illustrates his point, yet also shows that we are all poets, all who use language – to love and berate, to tackle and persuade, to testify and exhort. The movie, from the book Burning Patience, by Antonio Skarmeta, a fiction set…

Crain, Denby, Dylan and the Avatar of Health Care

“Now there’s nothing wrong with technology per se, and there’s nothing wrong with fantasy, either,” Caleb Crain offers at the end of his Avatar movie review (posted both on his blog and at n+1). And there’s nothing wrong with corporations, per se, either, he might have added, for, in any case, are not many of…

Ivan Illich, Education, and The Good Life

Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society (1972) exposes our assumptions that a degree is an education, that medicine is health care, that security is safety, that institutionalization of jobs in corporations, schools, and government creates our freedom. We’ve come to confuse degrees, medicine, jobs, and security for the good life. When what we value, what we want,…

Becker-Posner: fodder for rhetoric foragers

The shallow depth of the unstated warrants at the Becker-Posner blog makes for good fodder for rhetoric foragers. Consider this, from Posner’s half of their 15 Nov 09 post: “Should the U.S. economy grow more rapidly than the public debt, we’ll be okay. But the government’s focus appears to be not on economic growth, but…

Kierkegaard: A Good Self is Hard to Find

We enjoyed Gordon Marino’s recent piece in the Times, “Kierkegaard on the Couch,” about a distinction between despair and depression, the former, according to Marino, a kind of disrespect for one’s self, not accepting who one is, the latter a disease; the former our existential condition (for which Kafka said there is no cure), the…

The Retiring and Re-tiering Posner

The claim Posner seems to be making (a claim of value) is that federal taxes should not be used to support economically non-productive groups – the retired elderly is his example. If we accept his claim of value as something we should all want, then we should include all non-productive groups, which would include the…