Saturday, May 20, 2006

In Charge of the World

—Irene Lipshin, Placerville

All day long,
men in wooden boats
paddle to the wrecked ship
rescued from the deep to rust
in Punta Banda’s ocean air.

They stand on the abandoned deck,
tall against the horizon,
again brave captains,
in charge of the world,
of the Bay of Todos Santos.

At day’s end, the dinghies,
filled with fish, return them
to the harsh Mexican shore,
boats sheltered
by the stucco wall
that holds back their ocean,
holds back the tears
dripping from the sky.


Thanks, Irene! Watch for a rattlechap from Irene, coming in August.

•••Today (Saturday, 5/20), roll down to San Jose and celebrate California's distinctive heritage of poets, poetry, and presses at Poetry Center San José's first annual California Poets Festival. This all-day outdoor festival will be held at History Park San José, 1650 Senter Road, San José from 10 am to 4:30 pm. It is open to the public and free of charge. Listen to readings throughout the day by California poets. Stroll through the small press fair. Meet editors, purchase books, journals, subscriptions, and obtain submission guidelines from a variety of California publications. Enjoy a picnic or glass of wine from local restaurants offered in this historical park setting, and hang out with lovers of poetry—old and new friends. Spend a memorable day with people from San José, the greater Bay Area and beyond. Info:

•••Tonight (5/20) at 7:00 pm: Escritores member Laura Llano has arranged the annual evening to honor ‘los viejitos,’ this year with an emphasis on los maestros, our teachers. Laura is herself a teacher of many years, currently at McClatchy High School, as well as being a most talented visual artist and an accomplished and skilled professional story teller. She will bring us a good evening of memories. You, too, are invited to bring your poems and recuerdos of memorable teachers—yes, both the good and the bad! La Raza/Galería Posada Bookstore, 1421 ‘R’ St., Sac. Suggested Donation: $5 or as you can afford. Sponsored by: Writers of the New Sun/Escritores del Nuevo Sol: Info: Graciela: 916-456-5323.

•••Also tonight (5/20), 8 pm, Headquarters for the Arts/Sac. Poetry Center celebrates its first anniversary at 25th & R Sts. in Sac. In addition to the current exhibit of works by Asylum Gallery's artists, they've got a stellar line-up of local poets, musicians, and filmmakers for your entertainment, including Crawdad Nelson, Indigo Moor and Robbie Grossklaus. Adrian Bourgeouis and Bob Stanley and Mary Zeppa will channel the Music of the Spheres for your listening enjoyment. Plus the world premiere of a short film by Bob Moricz, Sacramento's most outre auteur! Food and libations, and the whole thing is free.

•••Also tonight (5/20), the Underground Poetry Series features Taylor Williams, Rob Anthony and Noah Hayes at Underground Books, 2814 35th St., Sac. (35th & Broadway). Info: 916-737-3333.

•••Tomorrow (Sunday, 5/21), the Poet’s Club of Lincoln presents an Open Mic from 3-5 pm at The Salt Mine, corner of G St. & Hwy 65 in Lincoln. Free; bring a can of food for the Salt Cellar Canned Food Drive. Info or to register: Sue Clark, 434-9226.

•••Coming up Monday (5/22): Susurrus, Sacramento City College's annual prize-winning literary journal for student works, is set for distribution. On Monday at 7:30 pm, Sacramento Poetry Center will host a contributors' reading for this new issue. Readers will include Tony Caselli, Donna Lee, Ted Yannello, Mike Bezemek, Brian Northere and others, with special appearances by SCC's own Jan Haag and Danny Romero. That's Monday at HQ, 25th & R Sts., Sac.

•••Also Monday (5/22), for seniors: a Think Postcard! workshop at Hart Senior Center, 915 27th St., Sac., 9:30 a.m.

Tomorrow, Robert Creeley would've been 80 years old. He passed away in 2004.

—Robert Creeley

Now I recognize
it was always me
like a camera
set to expose

itself to a picture
or a pipe
through which the water
might run

or a chicken
dead for dinner
or a plan
inside the head

of a dead man.
Nothing so wrong
when one considered
how it all began.

It was Zukofsky's
"Born very young into a world
already very old..."
The century was well along

when I came in
and now that it's ending,
I realize it won't
be long.

But couldn't it all have been
a little nicer,
as my mother'd say. Did it
have to kill everything in sight,

did right always have to be so wrong?
I know this body is impatient.
I know I constitute only a meager voice and mind.
Yet I loved, I love.

I want no sentimentality.
I want no more than home.

("Goodbye" first appeared in The Exquisite Corpse, 1996)



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.)