Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sit Still & Let Your Heart Go Wild

—Kate Wells, Placerville

At the Japanese garden
catch sight of an 8-pound turtle.
Sit still and let your heart go wild.

At the pond, mother and son
fall into your ear.
Let your heart mourn the absence of one.

Now the mother holds hands
with her pink-flowered daughter.
Let loneliness remind you of who are not here.


—Kate Wells

We gather today in the presence
of gold-tipped aspen groves,
kinetic sky.

My brother stands on solid Rocky Mountain granite,
holds hands with his bride
and speaks his reasons—

She is his blue flower in the snow
where no flower should grow.


—Kate Wells

Along Route 16
field mice stalked on cattails.
Hawk with a hair trigger

sings down the wind.
Soon the sky cracks
rain and snow.

Hawk shoulders out the storm
on the telephone pole,
alone in the rain and snow.


Thanks, Kate! Watch for a rattlechap from Red Fox Underground Poet Kate Wells next Fall.

Meanwhile our "found" poetry-a-thon continues, this one from Sacramento Poet Jane Blue. She writes: This one ends with the things found in my purse. The first list just popped out of my head with the beginning: "I feel...."

—Jane Blue, Sacramento

I sit with my clothes in my lap and wait,
my shirt and my bra and my raincoat.
I stand and the gown gapes open, displaying
my knuckled spine; my breasts uncovered
get flattened in a machine. I dress and become
myself again. Outside it is spring. I feel
plastic, I feel green, I feel daffodillian, arcane.
I feel op-art, disco-crazy, spinning
in the strobe lights of a thunderstorm, the trees
leafing chartreuse from their limbs. I feel
sprouty, orchidian, reptilian, turtle-like,
my backpack soaked, I empty it out: a hat,
gloves, umbrella, camera, I feel like
a Victorian adventuress, spilling notebooks,
pens, museum admissions, pills, phone,
acupressure wrist-strap folded in a smudged
transparent box in case of nausea, durable
power of attorney, photographs of children,
bus tickets, bus schedules, business cards,
a parroty-colored needlepoint coin purse
from Chiapas full of nickels and dimes;
I feel like singing a love ballad in a Paris cafe.


Thanks, Jane.
A free copy of Pearl Stein Selinsky's new rattlechap, Vic & Me, will be coming to Jane and to all those other poets who are brave enough to send in "found" poems before next Tuesday (1/16) at midnight. Found poems are usually a kind of list poem that's generated from unlikely sources such as newspaper articles, catalogs, junk mail—any collection of words that seems to have elements that strike you as somehow poetic, either re-arranged or just as they are. Or it might be something less commercial: a note you found on the ground, or the juxtaposition of two graphitti, or some inadvertant slip of the tongue. Send it/them to or POBx 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, and see yesterday's (and tomorrow's!) posts for more examples.

Calendar note: There will be no Sacramento Poetry Center reading this Monday night (1/15), due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.


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