Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tormenting the Mirror

—Russell Edson

There was a man who didn't know how to sleep, nodding off every night into a drab, unprofessional sleep. Sleep that he had grown so tired of sleeping.

He tried reading The Manual of Sleep, but it just put him to sleep. That same old sleep that he had grown so tired of sleeping...

He needed a sleeping master, who with a whip and a chair could discipline the night, and make him jump through hoops of gasolined fire. Someone who could make a tiger sit on a tiny pedestal and yawn...


•••Tonight (Tuesday, 10/17), 6 PM: Sacramento Public Library's One Book Sacramento project presents Novelist and Poet Mary Mackey and Bee political columnist Daniel Weintraub reading from their works anthologized in My California. Bella Bru Cafe, 4680 Natomas Blvd., Sac. Free. 916-928-1770 or www.saclibrary.org. Mary will also read for Urban Voices at the South Natomas Library tomorrow night (Weds.), 6:30 PM. See today's Sacramento Bee Metro section for an article about Mary Mackey's life and work, complete with poem!

Maggie H. Meyer Memorial Poetry Contest, 2006:

The Bay Area Poets Coalition presents their 27th Annual contest, deadline Nov. 15. Poet's choice, any subject. Maximum eight poems, $2 each for non-members of BPAC. Three categories: mini-poems (15 lines), midi-poems (25 lines), maxi-poems (35 lines); all categories must have lines no longer than 64 characters wide. For further rules/info re: formatting, SASE BAPC Contest 27, Box 11435, Dept. 2, Berkeley, CA 94712 or e-mail poetalk@aol.com. Join BAPC if you want ($15/year) and receive four issues of POETALK and "other perks", plus members can submit 1-4 poems to the contest for free ($1.50 for each additional poem up to 8). Their website is www.bayareapoetscoalitiion.org.

Want to write a grant?

Learn the nuts and bolts of funding through grants. This seminar is designed for individuals who work with non-profits, government agencies, poets, artists, filmmakers, musicians, technology entrepreneurs, scientific researchers, students and anyone who would like to become more familiar with the world of grant funding!

"Successful Grant Writing Made Easy" is a program presented by Faith Sherry Lessen, J.D., a fund development consultant. She has over twenty 20 years' experience in fund development. Her expertise includes grant awards for HIV/AIDS programs, technology programs, medical clinics and hospitals, housing programs, child care programs, domestic violence programs, child abuse programs, substance abuse programs, food banks, education programs, and cultural and arts programs including video, television and films. She has been instrumental in linking up funding partnerships. These partnerships include collaboratives to secure grant funding with Stanford University, San Jose State University, University of California Santa Cruz, private and public foundations, private businesses, and non-profit organizations. The workshops will be on November 15 or December 15, 9 AM-noon at the Portola Plaza Hotel, Cottonwood 1 Room, Monterey. Call to register today at (831) 383-1668, or register online by e-mailing sherrylessen@sbcglobal.net. The seminar is tailored to small groups, no more than 25 participants, and is interactive and supports individual learning needs. A certification of completion award will be presented to each client upon completion of the seminar. Space is limited. Send check or money order of $125 to: Faith Sherry Lessen, J.D., 2835 David Ave., #16, Pacific Grove, California 93950. 25% discount to nonprofit organizations. $50.00 for students. Two free scholarships are offered.


—Russell Edson

Let me gaze into your lovely eyes, said a man to a mirror.

The mirror said nothing, but gazed back into the man's lovely eyes.

His mother said, stop tormenting the mirror.

I'm gazing into its lovely eyes, said the man.

Those are your lovely eyes, said the mother, which are not so lovely, as they are more like spyglasses than eyes.

His father said, what lovely thing are you doing to the mirror?

Tormenting it, said the man as he continued to gaze into the mirror's lovely eyes...


—Russell Edson

One night a man's shadow died. Slumping, it groped its heart and dripped down the wall into a dark stain on the floor in the shape of a man who died in his bedroom alone...

The man writes home: Dear mom, my shadow is dead. I may have to be reborn, if you and dad are up to it, and have a new shadow attached...

His mother writes back: Dear Ken, please don't count on it. In truth, dear, given another chance I think I would ask for an abortion...



P.S. Someone named "Homer" sent me some poems which my computer dumped into the junk file. I inadvertently lost his poems! Please re-send, Homer, if you're out there listening...

Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their poetry, photos and art, 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.)