Toward a Rhetorical Ocean

When does a bummer become a hell? For the average surfer, an ocean with no waves is but a bummer of a morning. The lull will pass. Need to pull some maintenance on the surf rig, anyway. But one can’t escape the hell of other surfers when the swell does come in. “All those little…

Anniversary

when cold time frost slips cross moon & sun snivels buff’s hug mist yr fingers & toes fixed to warm grass high above buttered beach swells swirled since our first buss this dovetail tally recalls slips & falls shorts & talls sols wherewithal counterclockwise tetherball pole wrap round & round we

Look Inside “Coconut Oil”

“Coconut Oil” is ready, the “look inside” feature enabled, paperback and e-version. Forty years have passed since the close of “Penina’s Letters,” and Penina and Salty return to Refugio, a fictional beach town on Santa Monica Bay, in “Coconut Oil,” a sequel to “Penina’s Letters.”  Salty is again our first person narrator, and “Coconut Oil”…

Coconut Oil – A Novel Book Launch

Salty and Penina, the war torn, young couple from “Penina’s Letters,” return to Refugio in “Coconut Oil,” a sequel. They come home to Refugio (the fictional beach town located north of El Porto and south of Grand on Santa Monica Bay) in an attempt to retire a bit early. So forty or so years have…

Penina’s Letters: Excerpt at Berfrois

A short excerpt from the “Separation” chapter of “Penina’s Letters” appeared on Berfrois this morning. Swim on over and have a look. Below, some pics from the period and locale of the book’s setting:

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 the…

Cold Reading

“Yr lines, sunny boy, bingy, not calm, head busy jabots,” read Madame Fraus, by the tide that rips rocks thru yr palms. “Saline swim, bit sweet lit life, palms stage aligned, neck aflame, hair shorn horizon frizzled smile. Silverfish whitecaps aquiline wings smack & bay across draft brow. Paddle out, palms cupped, plod, slog, moil,…

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,…

A Fourth of a Poem

All around us, the plants whisper in dry brittle voices, “water us, water us.” Sotto voce, there is no water, and what falls is not wet or gentle, but drops of chthonic fireworks, urban, rural, coastal infernos. The plants dig and pray to Hades, and cooler there than here in this air.

Seaweed Cabbage

What was that she said about the skin on his hands and forearms, seaweed cabbage boiling on stove, “That looks bad.” Blue dark wet orange oil damp oars drift awake dawn dress coffee smoke brown falls upon brown slow walk down curved sandy path to the water empty nets sea grass tired boats in fresh…

Seachange

Blue neon pales the alley and nothing calms the woeful sea if won’t come she to the window. No, too drouged to hear. Her golden green hair billows across the Motel Fregata bed, and deep her foghorn bellows mute in pillowed sleep. So solo out off the beam down to the coaly beach, flip flop…