Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No Pen

Tibetan Monk in Placerville
Photo by Irene Lipshin, Placerville

—Tadeusz Rosewicz

I wrote
for a moment or an hour
an evening, a night
I grew angry
I trembled or sat
silent at my side
my eyes full of tears
I'd been writing all that time
until I suddenly realized
I'd no pen in my hand.


California State Poetry Society: outlets for your poetry:

If you don’t belong to CSPS, you might consider joining. Queries about membership, CSPS publications, subscriptions, contests and sample copies should go to Kate Ozbirn, President: To become a member, send her $25 at P.O. Box 7126, Orange, CA 92863 and she’ll send you a fat envelope of poetry and news, plus you’ll automatically become a member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. CSPS provides several ways you can get your poetry published:

•••California Quarterly (CQ) is a 9”X6” perfect-bound book with color art cover that uses a “revolving editor” system—a panel of editors, each of which edits one issue every so often. They use poems of one page, sometimes two, almost never three pages. There is no deadline for submissions; the poems roll over to the next editor/s for consideration in the following issue. They read 300-700 poems each time, and use about 45. Four issues per year, supported by subscribers and a few modest patrons. (Consider being immodest.)

•••Poetry Letter and Literary Review: A “second-reading” opportunity, this is a sheaf-type publication on ivory paper which uses formerly published short poems displayed in two columns per page on 4-8 pages, size 8-1/2”X11”. It also publishes short book reviews (250-500 words). (Contact the Editor, C. Bryce, for book review assignment.) PL&LR accompanies CQ and goes to subscribers, and also to poets separately; if you are not yet a subscriber, include SASE. Send in your previously published poems to PL&LR, P.O. Box 7126, Orange, CA 92863.

•••Private Poetry Line is also a “second-reading” publication from CSPS, but it’s completely e-mail, not printed like PL&PR. Editor Russell Salamon ( says: Please send one or two previously published poems by email to Russell for possible use here. Note: Please send your poems in the body of the e-mail, and please try not to use fancy type styles. (Weird things happen.) Private Poetry Line came about because, since submissions to CQ come with email addresses, I began saving them with the intention of asking you to become a member of CSPS (which I still do). Then it occurred to me that these valuable names should not be tossed back into the sea of Non-Existence, so I asked if you would like an occasional, ephemeral issue for a second reading of your previously-published poems. Many said Yes. Now every time I get 8-12 poems, I will prepare an E-MAIL ISSUE (THIS IS NOT A WEB SITE) to send to about 500 fellow poets. Please send by e-mail one or two published poems with name of magazine where originally published, along with your name and the city you live in so we can get an idea of where we all are. You retain all rights. THIS IS A VAPOROUS, ELECTRONIC MOMENT OF COMMUNICATION. There is no hard copy or web site.

CSPS also sponsors some contests:

•••Annual Contest: Deadline this year is May 31. Send entries between March 1-May 31 to Maura Harvey, CSPS Annual Chair, P.O. Box 2672, Del Mar, CA 92014. Open to all poets in the United States, members or not. Prizes: 1st: $100; 2nd: $50; 3rd: $25. Ten Honorable Mentions. Judging by one or more independent professional poet(s). Please include SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) if you wish to receive the list of winning poems; you will not otherwise hear from the contest judge unless you include a SASE. Fee: $3.00 per poem entered. Check or money order in US funds only, made payable to CSPS. NO LIMIT on number of entries. Note: If a poem does not meet qualifications as listed below, fee(s) will not be returned but the poem will be submitted of consideration for publication in California Quarterly (CQ).
The first through third place winners are guaranteed publication in CQ, but all entries will be considered for publication in CQ after the contest. You will not hear from us unless your poem has been accepted by CQ for publication.

Annual Contest Rules:
•••Any form any theme, 50 line limit per poem.
•••Single space, one page only, 8 1/2x11 inch, white paper only,
one side of paper only. No paper clips, folding of poems individually,
or staples.
•••Two copies of each poem; one with name and address in upper
left corner, and one without for judge's copy.
•••Poems must be original and unpublished, in English, not awarded
a monetary prize, and not illustrated.
•••Give us a chance with your poems until October 15, 2007; after that feel free to submit to other contests, or for publication elsewhere unless your poem was accepted by us. Keep copies of your entries; poems will not be returned after judging and after consideration for publication in CQ.
•••Decisions of judges are final. Winners will be notified by mail with
prizes enclosed by July 15, 2007. For a winner's list send SASE.
•••In addition to prizes, copy of CQ will be included upon publication.

And CSPS also sponsors monthly contests, open to all poets.
Contact President Kate Ozbirn for information on monthly rules, deadlines, eligibility, entry fee, prizes, judging, notification, at CSPS Monthly Contest, P.O. Box 7126, Orange, CA 92863. Include SASE. This year’s topics:

January: Create a poem from words: answer, stitch, fire, salt, gold
February: Romance, Love, War & Peace
March: Any Subject
April: "Found poem" (with poem, mention venue of finding)
May: Sonnet, Blank Verse
June: Any Subject
July: Haiku, Tanka
August: Humor, Satire, Joy of Life
September: Any Subject
October: Experimental Poem (get creative!)
November: Family, Friendship, Human Condition
December: Best of Your Best (winning or published poem;
indicate name of publication and issue date/year)

Today's photograph is part of the display at the Cozmic Cafe in Placerville (594 Main St.), featuring photography by Irene Lipshin. Be sure to drive up and see Irene's beautiful photographs celebrating the concept of world peace. The showing will continue through March 31.

Thank you to Stephani Schaefer of Los Molinos for today's poetry.

Judy Halebsky on Dr. Andy today:

Sacramento poet and littlesnake-broadsider Judy Halebsky writes: I'm going to be interviewed on KDVS (90.3 FM) today, Wednesday, March 21, on Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour from 5-6 PM. I'm supposed to be on at 5:20. Judy will be leaving us soon, so catch her while you can.


—Tomas Tranströmer

Tired of all who come with words, words but no language
I went to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!
I come across the marks of roe-deer's hooves in the snow.
Language but no words.



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events to (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) 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.)