Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Good Day for a Snake Poem

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.


August 15 (Today!!) Deadlines:

•••Good day for a snake poem! This is Snake Deadline Day, both for Rattlesnake Review #11 and for the current Medusa give-away: Send me poems about beginnings/endings postmarked before midnight tonight (Tuesday, August 15), and I'll send you a free copy of Irene Lipshin's new chapbook, Shadowlines, and Norma Kohout's littlesnake broadside, Out the Train Window. (Or something else, if you already have these...) Send 'em to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 1647, Orangevale, CA 95662.

•••Next deadline for Rattlesnake Review is August 15—today! Send 3-5 of your dandiest poems, art, or photos to kathykieth@hotmail.com or POBox 1647, Orangevale, CA 95662. No cover letters, no bios, no prev-pubs or simul-subs, pleeeeeez. And if you snail 'em and want 'em back, please SASE.

•••Deadline for the second issue of Modesto’s Hardpan is also today. No limits on line numbers or subject. e- or snailmail: hardpanpoetry@sbcglobal.net ....or POBox 1065, Modesto, CA 95353.

•••Today (8/15) is the (postmark) deadline to enter The Ina Coolbrith Circle’s 87th Annual Poetry Contest. Their rules are very exact, so you need to get a copy of them; write to me and I’ll send them to you if you don’t have them. For more information about The Ina Coolbrith Circle itself (but not the contest), try www.coolpoetry.com.

•••The 20th Annual Focus on Writers Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, also has a deadline of August 15. Awards in each category (short story; first chapter of a novel; poetry; non-fiction article or first chapter; book/article for children; first chapter of book for young adults) are $250 for 1st, $150 for 2nd, $75 for 3rd. (Bux! Cool!) Info/rules: 916-264-2880 or www.saclibrary.org (click on Friends, then on Focus on Writers), or go grab one of the yellow flyers at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac.

•••Also: the new Poetry Now deadline is roughly the 15th. Send Sept. stuff to Bob Stanley: bobstanley@sbcglobal.net.

Headed to SF?

For a quick, one-page overview of major poetry events in San Francisco, visit Dan Brady’s very useful site, http://www.creativeideasforyou.com/onepagelinklist.html


—Bertolt Brecht

Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your final breath.
But what has happened has happened. And the water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again.

What has happened has happened. The water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again, but
Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your final breath.



Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.

I should be suspicious
of what I want.

(Translated by Coleman Barks)


You got THAT right...


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.)