Monday, June 12, 2006

A Gaggle of Po-Events, 6/12-18

—Sylvia Plath

After whose stroke the wood rings,
And the echoes!
Echoes travelling
Off from the centre like horses.

The sap
Wells like tears, like the
Water striving
To re-establish its mirror
Over the rock

That drops and turns,
A white skull,
Eaten by weedy greens.
Years later I
Encounter them on the road—

Words dry and riderless,
The indefatigable hoof-taps.
From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars
Govern a life.


Keeping Up With the Small Presses:

Of course you read Rattlesnake Review! :-) But how many other small-press poetry journals do you read, print or otherwise? These journals, small as they are in circulation, are the lifeblood of poetry. Those of you who are frequent “submitters” to the wider poetry scene doubtless receive a wide variety of journals. But for those of you who are less active in that regard, get out your Poet’s Market and send for back issues. Form a “pool” with friends; you send for some, they send for some, pass them around. And pick a few journals to support with your subscriptions on a regular basis, too. Medusa will try to help, such as the following:

Got my latest issue of Tiger’s Eye: A Journal of Poetry. Another fine job by these two, hard-working gals. Send them poems! Info: click on the link to the right of this column.

Another journal that crosses my desk lately is Presa, from Presa Press, also known as Press :S: Press. The Summer 2006 edition (#3) includes poetry from SnakePal Ellaraine Lockie, along with a picture. Presa includes photos of many well-known small-press poets; check it out! Featured Poet in this issue is A.D. Winans; also work from Lyn Lifshin, B.D. Niditch, Arthur Winfield Knight, Hugh Fox, many others. That’s

Len Fulton’s Dustbooks ( is a fantastic source of info, resources, reviews—check out his publications, especially Small Press Review, a bi-monthly periodical with all the skinny on current small press publications. And of course there's his The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses. Both of these will give you a myriad of ideas about where to submit poetry; Poet’s Market isn’t your only resource in that regard.

Coming Up This Week:

•••Today (Monday, 6/12), The Annual General Meeting of the SPC Board will be happening at HQ (25th & R Sts., Sac.) from 5:45-7:45 PM; please plan to attend this important meeting in order to elect our new Board and to provide much-needed feedback about the year ahead. This is a first-time opportunity to elect our own Board! Be there!

•••After the Board Meeting tonight, stay for SPC featured readers Danny Romero and Michael Wyley. That’s at HQ, 25th & R Sts., Sac., 7:30 PM.

•••On Wednesday, June 14 (Flag Day), Rattlesnake Press will be releasing two B.L. Kennedy publications: his rattlechap, The Setich Manor Poems, and a littlesnake broadside, A Conversation with B.L. Kennedy, brought to us by Gene "Gizmo" Avery. All this at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac., 7:30 pm. Also that night: the emergence of Rattlesnake Review #10! Whatta night! Be there!

•••Also Wednesday (6/14): To launch its new writing project, Telling Our Stories, for cancer patients, survivors, families and friends, Enloe Medical Center’s Cancer Center presents “A Taste of Journaling.” The informal panel/workshop features Mary Jane DeRoss, Theresa Marcis, Rebecca Senoglu, Margaret Dufon and Patricia Wellingham-Jones discussing the values and principles of journal writing, complete with examples from their collections. Warm-up writing exercises will be included. This event takes place on June 14 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at Enloe Cancer Center Conference Room, Fountain Medical Plaza, 251 Cohasset Road (across from Chico Sports Club), Chico, CA. The public is invited to attend. For further information call Rebecca Senoglu at 530-332-3856 or email

•••Thursday (6/15), Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, 1414 16th St., Sac, 8pm. Cowboy poetry comes to Luna’s! YEEE-Haaaw! Larry Maurice has spent the last 20 years as a Poet cowboy, horse wrangler, and packer who has won numerous national awards for his performances and his CD recordings. He is also a Poet and storyteller; his one-man show “Cowboy: The Spirit, The Lore, The Legacy” keeps him touring around the country.

•••Thursday (6/15) also features an Open Mic at Gwen's Caribbean Cuisine, 2355 Arden Way @ Bell, Sac. Doors open at 7 PM; show starts at 8. $5 cover. Info: (916) 922-3468. Music provided by DJ Barney B.

•••Also Thursday (6/15), the Nevada County Poetry Series will present poets Rhony Bhopla, Julia Connor (Sacramento Poet Laureate) and Dianna Henning at 7:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 general, seniors and students, and $1 for those under 18. Refreshments and open-mic included. The show will be in Off Center Stage (the Black Box theater, enter from Richardson Street) at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA. Info: 530-432-8196 or 530-274-8384.

•••Thursday (6/15) is also the deadline for 13th annual Artists Embassy poetry contest: 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. Three grand prize poetry winners will each receive $100, an invitation to read on Oct. 7, 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:

•••Friday (6/16), Our House Defines Art features James Lee Jobe and Mary Zeppa, 7 PM. An open mic follows. Our House Defines Art Gallery & Framing is located at 4510 Post St. (Ste. 330) in El Dorado Hills Town Center, El Dorado Hills. Free. Info: 916-933-4278.

•••Saturday (6/17), The Underground Poetry Series features Born 2B Poets, Franklin and Kika, Jason Banks, and open mic. Underground Books, 2814 35th St., Sac., 7-9 PM. $3. Info: 916-737-3333.

•••Earlier on Saturday (6/17), Novelist and Poet-Pal Bill Pieper, author of Fool Me Once, Gomez, and Belonging is the featured speaker at the Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Av., Sac., at 2 PM. Free. Info: 916-264-2920.



is the bar in Sausalito that Dad named his cat for.
It wore formal black and white all its life like tails
and patent leather shoes in a fur as soft as mink
with cashmere under diamonds. Shrimp was its
favorite very special delicacy of Cordon Bleu Siamese
hybrid one of a kind Picasso that lived on a teak ketch
at the end of the dock in the yacht harbor. No Name
brought home Dungeness crabs instead of mice
and saved my father's life one time by screaming
out at the top of his cat's meow when the water heater
sprung a leak one night and flooded the boat up close
to the electrical system that would have electrocuted
both of them like burnt toast. The cat saved the boat
three other times in the same way when the anchor dragged
and "Cayuga" came close to running aground on the rocks.
Dad got a big kick out his tough little cat chasing off seven
Doberman Pinschers and a Saint Bernard as if he was Patton's
pugnacious Bull Terrier "Willie" and loved how he could take
him on hikes up Mt. Tam and call him to come like a dog.
The strongest memory was how No Name would sleep every
night cheek to cheek with new wife Marge purring contentedly
with his furry legs wrapped around her neck just like a pair of

—David Humphreys, Stockton


Thanks, David! He's says this poem was inspired by the recent Cat-a-Thon on Medusa.

One More Thing:

Congratulations to Sacramentans Susan Hennies and Joe Finkelman on their wedding, which took place in Davis last Saturday, June 11. May their life together be long and content! Watch for Susan’s review of a new edition of the Song of Songs in Snake 10 (did I mention that was coming out this Wednesday??). And Rattlesnake Press will be releasing a collection of Susan and Joe’s two-voice poetry in December.


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.)