“Leaving So Soon?” – short fiction by Tony Long


Leaving So Soon?


By Anthony Long



          Toby Jenks looks up from his newspaper and freezes.


          Striding down the hill toward the café, laptop tucked under one arm and a sour look plastered across his thick, wheyfaced mug, comes Joel Kaplan, a thoroughly objectionable human being known around the place as the Human Air Vent. (“But does he suck or does he blow?” it was fairly asked.) 


          At the next table, a vagabonding young German couple have finished their coffee and are slipping the guidebooks into their haversacks and making ready to leave. She’s a pretty, dark-haired girl with a soft voice. Toby thinks she looks merciful.


          “Please,” Toby says. “Please stay. Don’t go.” She looks at him quizzically. In desperation Toby summons his dwindling reserve of high school German. “Bitte … bleiben Sie hier. Umm, uh, both of you. Nicht gehen, bitte. Nicht jetzt.”


          “I’m sorry,” the girl says, switching easily to nicely clipped British-accented English. “Is something wrong?”


          “Oh, yes,” Toby says, looking out the window. “In about ten seconds the worst person on earth is going to come walking in here and if you guys leave right now, he’ll sit down at that very table and my day will be completely ruined. Maybe my life. Please.” Toby gives her a beseeching look and another involuntary “bitte” leaves his lips. The Germans crane their necks to inspect Kaplan, and the young woman turns back to Toby with a distressed look of her own. Kaplan has that effect on people, even total strangers.


Tony Long lives in San Francisco’s North Beach, which serves as an inspiration for his writing. He may be reached at alittlechinmusic@gmail.com

Read more of Tony Long’s piece here: http://community.livejournal.com/chaos_zine/7500.html

David Selsky’s Photography


“It is a blessing to be alive and see such beauty”

I’ve been taking photographs for over 15 years. I don’t shoot thematically; consciously looking for something to photograph drains the subject’s power for me (though I know some would argue the opposite, perhaps even myself on occasion). However, I will splurge sometimes, just enough to satisfy a craving but not enough to consider it documentation. I enjoy editing, finding ways of structuring a series of photographs while avoiding one line of interpretation. I think these nine photographs hold together in sequence well. I photograph balance – in subject matter or in form. I photograph quiet, which is inherent to balance. I photograph people but mostly through their absence. Every moment with a camera is mindfulness meditation. It is a blessing to be alive and see such beauty.


Richard and Noel – a thought essay on plural, sentient consciousnesses

Plurality and selfhood
Plurality, as experienced by this system, is the subjective phenomenon of discrete, self-aware complex structures that have a concept of “I”, and share a brain with other entities that have similar self-perceptions. That is, these entities perceive themselves as individual persons, and parse other entities within the same system as “not me”.

Each person within this system has their own way of interpreting information, environmental stimuli and abstract concepts, and has the capacity to grow, learn and create, in the same fashion that separate-bodied individuals can. For example, when Kerry Dawkins joined this system, she considered herself rather apolitical and had a more conservative worldview, but as she matured, she became acutely aware of global politics, and developed a more inclusive, progressive worldview. The ability to learn, develop and process information is a hallmark of intelligence, and is a significant criterion for personhood*.

Each of us also has our individual concept of an “I”—that is, we are all capable of self-reference. Self-awareness, even more than the capacity for learning, is a sign of sentience. From a young age, intelligent beings are able to distinguish themselves from entities which they perceive as “nonself”, and think self-referentially. “I” is a self-sustaining idea, constantly looping on to itself with experiences, thoughts and self-observation (with apologies to Douglas Hofstadter). In plural systems, there are numerous sets of these “I” feedback loops. Each of us is a self-perceiving, self-analysing, self-referential entity; those of us given to metacognition are certainly capable of doing it. There are consistent patterns, leitmotivs, running through each one of us. Motivations, goals, dreams, aesthetic sensibilities, philosophies, emotions. When our neurones fire in a certain pattern, the result is each one of us, with each of our multifarious differences. For example, Darwin Ghia-Wilberforce, views herself as a separate individual, and is an internally consistent complex structure. She perceives others in the system, like Hess Sakamoto-Kalashnikov and Yavari Caralize, as separate entities from herself, similarly to how she would perceive someone who does not occupy the system’s shared brain. The same applies to the authors, Kerry Dawkins, Hess Sakamoto-Kalashnikov, Yavari Caralize, mutatis mutandis.

The argument from complexity

The human brain is inherently given to complex structures, so it would not be much of a stretch for any given brain to support a plural system. Even non-plural individuals can harbour mixed feelings and complex states of mind, and may see themselves as being different people at different stages in time. We believe that plurality lies on a spectrum, so why can there not be several levels of separation? The idea that a brain must absolutely contain one conscious, self-aware identity is more Western cultural trope than scientific reality, and this oversimplification of cognition is pernicious. It delineates, rather unfairly, whose brains are “correct” and whose are “pathological”. Assuming that plurality cannot exist, and must be delusional, presupposes that human brains must essentially be simple structures. The argument that “simple is better than complex” makes little sense where humanity is concerned; human brains have evolved to be complex structures. This is akin to arguing that someone who has an IQ of 50* is “better” than someone with an IQ of 150 because the concepts that person understand may be simpler than those understood by the person with the IQ of 150.

The argument from the memetic school of thought

There is also the idea that a contiguous, single “self” is an illusion in the first place, and that thoughts are composed of varying patterns that arrange themselves according to both internal and external factors. Susan Blackmore posited this idea in her book The Meme Machine, which combines a novel interpretation of Richard Dawkins’s concept of the “meme”, or a unit of socio-cultural transmission, with her own views on the idea of “self”. While we do not agree with Blackmore’s repudiation of the concept of self in and of itself, her idea that people’s thoughts are largely influenced by cultural elements, and are collections of competing ideas, may be relevant here. In “typical” brains, collections of memetically transmitted ideas may compete against each other in an “evolutionary arms race” of ideas that results in a clear winner (or winners), and in “plurally inclined” brains, those collections of ideas may live in mutual co-operation. The “memetic view of plurality” is rather reductionistic, and we ourselves—with the possible exception of Kerry Dawkins, who does view the existence of subjective space as an element of subconscious memetic transmission—do not adhere to it to describe our own experiences, as we find that personhood is more complex than competing memes, but those who prefer reductionistic models of cognition may find this explanation appealing.


There is no logical reason why people should have such a visceral reaction to plurality as a philosophical or cognitive concept. We should have the right to revel in our personhood as others do, rather than having to sublimate it for the benefit for those who cannot, or choose not to, understand us.

* This is not to say, however, that those who have difficulty parsing certain types of information should be denied the right to personhood; we believe that members of sentient species should be automatically accorded personhood.

* We do not believe that IQ is an absolute determiner of intellectual reasoning; it is merely used as shorthand here.

Further reading
I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter
The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins (specifically the chapter on memetics)
The Meme Machine, by Susan Blackmore
Richard Ghia-Wilberforce and Noel Dawkins are members of The Fen Group, a plural system based in the western United States. Their system website, Ex Uno Plures (http://www.exunoplures.info) features many articles about plurality from a philosophical and cultural standpoint.

Spontaneous poetry – Finn Gardiner


a study of caffe trieste

untrammelled conversation, the intimate back-and-forthing
of wayfarers and local characters and assorted visitors
old women with curious eyes and investigative spirits
paying their respects to dispossessed artists and isolated dreamers
the pleasant din of copper-bottomed pans and baking tins and forks and knives
performing a silverware symphony
with the counterpoint of the jukebox
hearkening back to fifty years ago
history’s pouring out of the jukebox
history is painted on the walls and suffused throughout the building
and in the silverware and in the people
and in the black-and-white photographs on the walls
and on the slightly faded mural on the wall with gondoliers and sunbaked buldings
it’s in the poetry that was written and
stories told, and stories untold, and stories yet to be told

seasoned conversation

the scent of roasted olives and sundried tomatoes
wafting through the building
olive oil and crushed garlic
basil infusions and fire-roasted peppers
with an admixture of lively conversation
of fires and friendships and failures and findings

was sarah there?

so he said and she said and they said and you said and
did they come to the party and were they there and did you see
mary’s lovely white dress at the dance and did paul bring you
the old edition and did sarah come did sarah come please tell me
did she come? yes she did, sarah was there, sarah was there with her long perfect hair and her sparkling conversation and impeccable taste and other literary cliches. what did she do? what did sarah do? tell me what she did, oh, please, oh, please! sarah was never a good girl, was she? was she, now, was she? i always knew she was trouble behind that perfect smile. now mustn’t avoid the topic, don’t let’s ignore sarah. what do you mean, sarah’s business is hers? explain, explain, this is sarah we’re discussing. pray tell, pray tell, tell me her story.

joy in simplicity

subtle conversation under the innumerable stars;
old volumes in letterpress, letterforms slightly eroded with
the passage of time;
classical beauty on stretched canvas in gilt frames;
the symbols of the Universe’s hidden Platonic forms;
dew forming pointillist landscapes on primroses and proper roses;
verbal puzzles of typography and intricate mazes of words;
women’s airy voices set against lush electronic soundscapes;
the sinuous curves of calligraphic words on slightly porous creamy coloured paper;
sublime figures cast in marble and precious stone;
and the wonder of knowing that I am an “I”, observing myself and you and this
multifarious universe.

Finn Gardiner resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, and created these pieces on the spot during our January reception. He may be reached at sodalitas.paludis@googlemail.com and welcomes comments and feedback from other writers.

Wild, Wild West: Sun Gallery’s call for submissions (Hayward, CA – out of area submissions OK)

small sun logo300dpi copy.jpgA Call for Cowboy, Western, Ranch or Native American Art

The Sun Gallery will host an exhibition called “The Wild, Wild, West II”, to run in conjunction with Castro Valley’s Rowell Ranch Rodeo. The show dates are April 14 to May 15, 2010, at the Sun Gallery, 1015 E Street in Hayward, California.

We are calling for submissions of art for this exhibit.  Artwork can be any media including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, glasswork, ceramics, drawing, photography and assemblage. Artwork will be juried for entry digitally or by photo at no cost to the artist. The deadline for consideration of your work is March 20, 2010.


Submission of Works:

You may email your contact information, including your E-Mail address and phone number, along with your jpeg images to amy@sungallery.org with Wild, Wild West II in the subject line or by regular mail to 1015 E St., Hayward CA 94541-5210. JPEGs should be no larger than 8″ in height and 300 dpi maximum. Please name your files as follows: firstinitial.lastname.title.jpg. If you are submitting via CD, please use the same criteria.   

If you have any questions, please contact us by email: sungallery@comcast.net or amy@sungallery.org

Artists will be notified on an ongoing basis if their art has been selected for this show. If your work is chosen to be part of the show you will be E-Mailed a contract and an inventory list.

The following are the guidelines and fees for the show:

1) A fee of $65 will include a discounted membership, invitations, and a hanging fee for up to 6 pieces not to exceed 24 sq. feet in wall area. You can pick up the invitations prior to the event at the gallery, or if you want them mailed to you, add another $5.00. If you already are a Sun Gallery member (2009 memberships have expired), the show fee will be $45. (Please make your check  payable to Sun Gallery.  If you wish to pay by credit card you can come to the gallery or call during regular business hours)

2) Artists must identify their work with a label attached to back of the piece with: name, title of the art piece, medium, and price.    All of this information must also be submitted on your inventory sheet.  This info will be used for the wall labels.  All wall mounted work must be wired and ready to hang, matted and framed or edges gallery wrapped and finished. No special installation requirements and no ceiling mounted works are eligible. We reserve the right to refuse accepted work that arrives damaged, is too fragile to be exhibited or was misrepresented in submission.

3)    A one page framed artist statement or bio will be displayed near your work if you submit one.

4)    Sun Gallery does not provide art insurance on your work.  The Gallery will take every precaution to ensure the safety of your pieces, however, we cannot be held responsible for theft or damage to your work while on the gallery premises.  Each artist, if they wish, needs to provide their own insurance.

5)    Sun Gallery will keep a 30% commission on any sale of artwork.                           

6)    No artwork will be removed from exhibition during the show.

7)    Out of Area Artists:    Artists are responsible for their shipping costs for the show. Work should arrive between March 27 and April 7, 2010.  Should your work not sell, you will be responsible for the shipping costs for their return. Work should be shipped in a reusable carton/box or packing crate.  No Styrofoam peanuts please!     Please include a $10 check payable to Sun Gallery to cover the labor expense for uncrating, storage of crates, re-crating your painting and contracting a shipper for return.  In a separate check, include a check made out to Sun Gallery to cover the cost of return shipping unless you provide your billing account number with a shipping company.  Both checks should be in an envelope inside the crate with your artwork.

8)    Local Artists:  Deliver uncrated, ready to hang or show, artwork to the Sun Gallery on the following dates:  Thursday, April 8, 11a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, April 9, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 10, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

9)    An artist reception will be planned for Saturday, April 24, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  The participating artists provide the food or drinks.

 Here’s a glimpse of last year’s successful show:


WildWest small.JPG


From the Beat Museum – Help Restore the Jack Micheline Wall, Diane di Prima speaks in February


From our friends at San Francisco’s Beat Museum – honoring the historical literary, artistic, and musical heritage of the Beat Generation. If anyone’s interested, here’s a way to help support the preservation of some of our world artistic history (and if any readers have a similar project or fund in your own towns/countries for your own cultural heritage, please feel free to email me or comment and I’ll make a post.)

They mentioned purchasing something from the museum during the slow California winter months…a great choice would be the film Beat Angel, about what would happen if Kerouac came back from the dead for one day, to inspire others. We’re reviewing that in next month’s issue, fantastic film!

Wanted to put out this opportunity to celebrate and support the arts! By the way, the Beat Museum is right around the block from our reception at Caffe Trieste – and they’re open till nine on Fridays now.

Jack Micheline
was a beloved character in North Beach and all of San Francisco for many years.  A friend and confidante of many of the writers and artists who made up The Beat Generation, he was often called The Poet’s Poet.  Jack was well known for his live poetry performances and unique painting style.

We had a sudden and magnificent opportunity presented to us recently that required us to act fast and ask for help and support later.  A local bookstore, The Abandoned Planet located in the Mission District in SF, closed on December 31, 2009.  Micheline spent a lot of time over the years at The Abandoned Planet and became friendly with the owner, Scott Harrison.  At one point Scott asked Jack to paint a back room and Micheline covered it floor to ceiling on all four walls with his images and poetry.

With the sudden closing of Abandoned Planet we worked closely with Scott, Poet Jack Hirschman, Matt Gonzalez and the building manager Claude Marks to salvage Jack Micheline’s masterpiece and bring it to The Beat Museum.

Now we need to restore, preserve and display this magnificent piece of Beat Generation and San Francisco history.  The wall (all 25 linear feet of it) is now stored in pieces in our back rooms awaiting restoration.  We figure we need to raise $5,000 to restore and rebuild the wall so we can put it on permanent display at The Beat Museum.

Please consider making a donation to our Restoration Fund so we can achieve our goal of raising $5,000 so we can get to work on Rebuilding the Micheline Wall.  I realize this may not be the best week to ask for donations given so many of us have been riveted by the news and doing what we can to help the people of Haiti.  But my belief is we all do more than one thing at a time every day of our lives and there’s no reason we can’t help the people of Haiti and rebuild the Micheline Wall at the same time.  You can donate with either a credit card at Kerouac.com or via Paypal.

To Read the Story and See Photos of the Disassembling of the Painting at Abandoned Planet click here: 

To Make a Donation to the Reconstruction Fund and Receive a Free Gift from Kerouac.com, click here”

Watch a video of Abandoned Planet’s closing (includes footage of Micheline’s Wall):

Also, Diane di Prima’s San Francisco’s new Poet Laureate, and she’s coming to speak at the public library on Larkin St. in a few weeks! Go women Beats, and other under-recognized Beats!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 – 5pm – 8pm

        *Poet Laureate Address*
Locations: Main Library Koret Auditorium
Address: 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
Library Sponsored Public Program

San Francisco Poet Laureate inauguration address
Poet laureate Diane DiPrima discusses Poetry as Spiritual Practice.
Click here:  http://tinyurl.com/pnso4

Reminder – our semiannual reception’s this Friday the 22nd, SF’s North Beach Caffe Trieste

Everyone – reminding you all about our second reception, held this time at San Francisco’s Caffe Trieste, North Beach neighborhood, 601 Vallejo Street, Friday the 22nd, drop-in from 5 to 9 pm. Come on out and enjoy drinks, pastries, and pizza, come meet and network with some of our artists, writers, and featured nonprofit and business leaders!

RSVP appreciated but not required. Trieste is very casual, open to all ages…no need to dress up but you may if you like! Pets, skateboards, manuscripts, children, friends, dates, colleagues, people you just met ten minutes ago and pulled in with you…all welcome!

We’ll discreetly accept donations on behalf of Haiti’s earthquake survivors (Red Cross) and two contributors who are in dire financial need (homeless, medically disabled, etc.) So please give if you can, but still come one way or another!

Trieste is the historical watering-hole of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and other Beats…great literature and jazz came out of Trieste, as well as a celebration of food, drink, friendship and other gifts from the neighborhood’s Italian-American heritage. Pictures from fifty years of history decorate the walls, and harmonica and mandolin music groups still come by for occasional visits.

A word about transportation – you may catch the Muni 8X bus from Third Street, in front of the Office Depot and near Montgomery BART, then get off at Columbus St. near City Lights Books. On the way back, some bus lines have been discontinued so your best bets are either catching the plentiful cabs for a $6 ride back to Montgomery BART or taking the 8X Muni back northbound and waiting a few minutes till it circles all the way around. Please feel free to call me, Cristina, with any questions or if you get lost, at 510-589-8252. See you there!

Please feel free to bring manuscripts, artwork to show off, resumes, business cards, etc. If you’re looking for a mentor for your creative efforts, this would be a great place to find one.

Workshop for Poets Seeking Publication – Sunday the 17th, Pleasanton’s Towne Center Books

Sunday, Jan 17 2-4:00
Towne Center Books, Main Street, Pleasanton, CA
Kick off the year by learning  from a poetry pro! Get some common sense advice and strategies on how to navigate the path to publishing your poems from Connie Post, the first City of Livermore Poet Laureate (2005-2009).
Connie has been published in over 30 national print journals in the past four years. Learn how to navigate editors, submissions guidelines-and rejection-and get your poems published! At this special workshop (cost is only $10), you’ll receive handouts to jump-start the opportunities to get published. 

Reservations are helpful, although not required. Please contact us at

From Yahoo’s Buzz Log – ways to help earthquake survivors in Haiti


From the link http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93314?fp=1

With Haiti still reeling from Tuesday’s devastating earthquake, the Red Cross has stated that it has run out of medical supplies on the island nation.

More supplies are on the way, but it is unknown when they will arrive. Meanwhile, on the Web, people eager to help are seeking out unique ways in which they can help.

In the Search box, some of the biggest queries are for different ways to “text to help.” For example, the Red Cross has set up a system where a cell phone user can text “Haiti” to the number 90999. The text message will result in a $10 donation to the Red Cross. So far, the campaign has been a massive hit. According to Mashable, the texting option has already raised over $800,000.

Another popular option for cell phone users eager to help: Text “Yele” to 501501. Doing so will result in a $5 donation to Yéle Haiti, a grassroots organization started by singer and Haiti native Wyclef Jean. Over the course of the day, Web searches on Wyclef and his organization have soared to record highs.

Wyclef, famous for his participation in the Fugees as well as his successful solo career, has been outspoken in seeking donations, especially via his Twitter account.

We could find no stats on how successful his drive has been, but based on anecdotal stories from the Web, text-to-give campaigns have the potential to make a big difference. The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed several young people who have made donations and have also asked their friends to donate via social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Even if you’d rather not donate via text message, there are other ways to give your support to those who need it most. The official sites for the Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and Wyclef’s Yéle Haiti are all accepting donations. Searches on those organizations surged tremendously on Wednesday afternoon.

Readings by Kate Evans, author of For the May Queen and Complementary Colors, in discussion with other writers in San Jose, California


Hi all,

If you happen to be in the Bay Area this spring, I’m scheduled to give two readings so far:

1.  Thursday March 11, 4 p.m., with Cecilia Woloch, MLK Library on 4th St., 2nd Floor Meeting Rooms (at this reading Cecilia will read her poetry, and I will be discussing how poetry functions in my new novel, Complementary Colors).

2.  Wednesday April 7, 7 p.m., MLK Library on 4th St., 2nd Floor Meeting Rooms (a reading from my new novel, with audience Q&A)


Red Cross ‘Wearable Art’ Fashion Design Contest – San Francisco


Design Competition! Wearable Art with a Lifesaving Message
Please Circulate!

What Is Wearable Art?
Wearable art, also known as Artwear or “art to wear”, refers to individually designed pieces of (usually) hand-made clothing or jewelry created as fine or expressive art. While the making of any article of clothing or other wearable object typically involves aesthetic considerations, the term wearable art implies that the work is intended to be accepted as a serious and unique artistic creation or statement. Source: Wikipedia

Design Competition! Wearable Art with a Lifesaving Message
Sponsored by the Silicon Valley American Red Cross Heroes Celebration.

Fashion designers, high tech designers and artisans with the right mix of talent, irreverence and flair to compete in the inaugural Red Cross Wearable Art Competition. Win the opportunity to showcase your design at this year’s highly visible fourth annual event, honoring local heroes and supporting the life-saving programs of the Silicon Valley Red Cross Chapter.

Finalist will mix and mingle with more than 500 of Silicon Valley attendees including major technology, business, fashion and art industry luminaries.

Finalist will be highly visible through-out the Bay Area through press coverage, website features and other marketing opportunities.

On May 8th, at the City’s freshest must-attend fete – The Heroes Celebration at the Santa Clara Marriott, winners will be selected from all attending finalist by our celebrity panel of judges. The crowd will also select a favorite!
Grand Prize: Lots of press and some serious bragging rights!

Initial Deadline: February 19th, 2010

For more details please Visit This Blog: http://www.facebook.com/l/af3ee;wearableartdesign.blogspot.com/

To enter this contest – Visit This Site: http://www.facebook.com/l/af3ee;www.siliconvalley-redcross.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=426&Itemid=331

Check out our events here – http://www.facebook.com/l/af3ee;www.sanfranciscofashionindustry.com/

Owen Geronimo

Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest – open for entry


Dear friends,

The 2010 Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest
Judged by Elizabeth Robinson
is Omnidawn Publishing’s first annual
chapbook contest
open to all poets writing in English.

Prize includes $1,000.,
Fall 2010 publication by Omnidawn &
100 complimentary copies of the chapbook.

The entry fee of $15 entitles you to a copy of
the winning chapbook if you send an SASE.

Submission period: 1/1/10 – 2/28/10.
Accepting both electronic
and postal submissions.

For details visit http://www.facebook.com/l/d86bd;www.omnidawn.com/contest/


Also Coming:
Omnidawn’s 2010 Full Poetry Book Contest
for first or second books.
Judged by Rae Armantrout.
Prize includes $3,000.,
Fall 2011 publication by Omnidawn,
& 100 complimentary copies of the book.
Electronic & postal
submission period: 3/1/10 – 6/30/10.

We invite you all to submit!

Thank you for your continuous interest and support,
The Omnidawn team