Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Spaces in the Heart

—James Merrill

Again last night I dreamed the dream called Laundry.
In it, the sheets and towels of a life we were going to share,
The milk-stiff bibs, the shroud, each rag to be ever
Trampled or soiled, bled on or groped for blindly,
Came swooning out of an enormous willow hamper
Onto moon-marbly boards. We had just met. I watched
From outer darkness. I had dressed myself in clothes
Of a new fiber that never stains or wrinkles, never
Wears thin. The opera house sparkled with tiers
And tiers of eyes, like mine enlarged by belladonna,
Trained inward. There I saw the cloud-clot, gust by gust,
Form, and the lightning bite, and the roan mane unloosen.
Fingers were running in panic over the flute's nine gates.
Why did I flinch? I loved you. And in the downpour laughed
to have us wrung white, gnarled togehter, one
Topmost mordent of wisteria,
As the lean tree burst into grief.


Cynthia Bryant, Pleasanton Poet Laureate and mistress of Poet's Lane writes: I am looking for themed poems about Summer, Father or Flag for June Themed Poems on www.PoetsLane.com, or poems that are about Getting it Off Your Chest-Mental Health Poems; send to PoetsLane@comcast.net. And please check out the www.NewVoices.com —Not Your Same Old Radio—and select Poet’s Lane for an interview with David Alpaugh—publisher, poet and host of the popular Second Sunday Poetry Reading at Valona Deli in Crockett, CA.

Artists Embassy announces its 13th annual poetry contest to further understanding and good will through the universal language of the arts. 43 cash awards are offered, totaling over $1000, plus invitations to read at the California Palace of The Legion of Honor in San Francisco for the annual Dancing Poetry Festival to be held October 7. Poetry is chosen from entries received by the deadline of June 15, and includes three grand prize poetry winners, who will each receive $100, an invitation to read, and a premier presentation with accompaniment of music, costumes and dance choreography created especially for the three grand prize poems. Also, cash awards for first, second and third prizes winners will include our invitation to read these works at the festival. The contest requests a reading fee of $5.00 for one poem, $10 for three poems. No limit for poem entries. Each poem may have up to 40 lines. Submit two copies of each poem, with name, address and phone number on one copy only, as the anonymous copy will go to the judges. Poetry, along with reading fee, is requested to be sent our Contest Chair: Judy Cheung, 740 Brigham Ave, Santa Rosa, CA, 95405. Poets from our area have traditionally done very well in this contest, including several Grand Prize winners. For complete guidelines see: www.dancingpoetry.org

Ellen Bass has sent out an appeal for books to be sent to Elmwood (Women's) Prison in Milpitas. She writes: We learned from one of the prison chaplains that the library in the women’s prison is only a shelf and a half. After some discussion, my classes have decided to “adopt” the prison library for a year. We hope to send two or three books each month, or at least 25 books in a year. Books sent to prisons must be packed and sent by an authorized store, as prisons do not accept donations directly from individuals. We hope you can join us in this effort, either by forwarding a one-time check or by pledging a small amount each month. These donations will cover the cost of purchase and shipping. Please note, too, that a Frequent Buyer card is in effect for purchases for the prison. Please make checks out to Gretchen Herbkersman (who is doing the book-keeping) and mail to her at 1819 E. 24th St., Oakland, CA 94906. Please include your email address so she can acknowledge receiving your contribution.

—Charles Bukowski

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
the greatest times

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled


we will wait

in that



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry and announcements of Northern California poetry events to kathykieth@hotmail.com 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.)