About the Poems
by Kim Gek Lin Short
I first wrote about Toland when I was a student living in Denver. I was taken by the idea of a character who is dead, but who is almost brought back, like Eurydice, by wonderful terrible magical love. I decided, who better to companion this treading-dead heroine in limbo than a bugman? In this ruin a story about a bugman bewildered by love for an angel materialized. I published a collection on the subject in a journal that year. I did not think of Toland much until some time later when I read a poem by Noelle Kocot from which this line stood lovingly shoutingly out: “When I wrote my name in the datebooks of angels.” I imagined the glittery form a datebook by an angel might take. I averred the “entries” not be staged with dates; what is time in eternity? “Selections from Toland’s Datebook,” whence these poems are excerpted, is a recent synthesis of that process. And the (bodily) name “To-land”? I lifted that from historian John Toland who wrote The Great Dirigibles, a book about balloons.