Thursday, February 09, 2006


—Charles Bukowski

waiting for my novelist friend to put the
word down
she sits in the kitchen
thinking about the madhouse
thinking about her x-husband
while I entertain her 3 year old child
who is now in the bathtub;
well, listen, I guess after a madhouse or
2 you need a few breaks...
my novelist friend may be crazy now
or she wouldn't be in the same house
with me,
or maybe I'm the one who's crazy:
she's told me a couple of times she's going to
cut off my balls if I do this thing or
that thing.
well, taking a chance with my balls on the line
that way
it had better be a good novel
or at least a bad one that is a best seller.

I sit here rolling cigarette after cigarette
while listening to her
I suppose that for each genius launched
5 or 6 people must suffer for

very well.


Tonight (Thurs., 2/9), Poetry Unplugged presents an evening of no feature—all open mic tributes to Phil Goldvarg and the publishing of the collection, Goldvarg: What Makes Bones Talk, published jointly by the 24th St. Irregular Press and AMP Press. This book contains poems that Phil sent out to the editors and the world via e-mails during the last days that he walked this earth. Phil was an ardent supporter of the Zapatistas, working with the Sacramento-based Zapatista Solidarity Coalition to amplify the voices and the cries for justice coming out of the jungle in Chiapas, Mexico. We honor Phil Goldvarg by honoring his commitment to the Zapatista Struggle. All money raised from the sale of Goldvarg: What Makes Bones Talk will be donated to further the work of the ZSC. (916-443-3424 and/or Copies of the book will be available for purchase ($7), and poets are encouraged to read from their copies when they take to the open mic and stage at Luna’s. A special note: As there is no feature this evening (Phil and the book are the true features), we ask that all those speaking/reading during the first open mic (and time allotted for a feature) read or speak a Phil Goldvarg poem and/or tribute statement in honor of Phil. Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sac., 8 pm. Info: 441-3931.

Looking for a little adventure? Head down to Santa Rosa tomorrow (Friday 2/10) to hear reknowned poets JANE HIRSHFIELD and DAVID ST. JOHN read for the WordTemple Poetry Series at 7:00 pm at Copperfield’s Books, 2316 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa. Info: 707-578-8938.

Or stay closer to home, where Escritores del Nuevo Sol will hold its annual Valentine’s Day reading this Friday (2/10). Come cuddle, laugh, smile, hold hands—and listen or read! Rather than have just one feature, they invite all to bring one or two favorite love poems—new or old, yours or someone else’s—to share the spirit of the day. La Raza Galeria Posada Bookstore, 1421 ‘R’ St., Sac., 7:30 pm. This is one of our annual fundraisers: $7 each, or $10 for a couple; $5 each for students or members. [Or as you can afford; no one denied for lack of $$] Refreshments included. Info: Graciela Ramirez (916-456-5323).

—Charles Bukowski

your child has no name
your hair has no color
your face has no flesh
your feet have no toes
your country has ten flags

your voice has no tongue
your ideas slide like snakes
your eyes do not match

you eat bouquets of flowers
throw poisoned meat to the dogs

I see you linger in alleys with a club
I see you with a knife for anybody
I see you peddling a fishhead for a heart

and when the sun comes churning down
you'll come walking in from the kitchen
with a drink in your hand
humming the latest tune
and smiling at me in your red tight dress



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)