Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's the 4-11? Lucky 7!!

Pre-coffee Snake
by Sam The Snake Man Kieth

—Jaan Kaplinski

To write more. To speak more. To whom?
How? Why? What sense does it make? Soon
we may be forced into silence. Soon
we may be forced to speak more
and more loudly. Who knows. But what
remains unspoken is always the most important:
this little man, this child, this
word, thought, and look of a child
deep inside you, you must guard,
you must defend and cherish.
And with it you will learn to speak,
and with it you will learn to be silent
if you must.

(translated from the Estonian by Jaan Kaplinski, Riina Tamm, and Sam Hamill)


The countdown begins!

Two weeks from tonight, on April 11 (4-11), Rattlesnake Press will celebrate its third birthday with a spectacular reading and a serious buffet! Come on down to The Book Collector (1008 24th St., Sacramento) at 7:30 PM to hear some of Sacramento's finest while you graze on enough food to qualify as dinner and celebrate three years of poetry and readings, including 32 chapbooks, 7 spiralchaps, 33 broadsides, 13 Reviews, 6 Vypers, 10 Snakelets, Fangs I, and whatever else I've forgotten in my dotage. Our main feature for the evening will be Mimeograph Revolution Legend D.R. Wagner, releasing his first book of art and poetry in over ten years, entitled Where the Stars are Kept. This will be Lucky #7 in the SnakeRings SpiralChap Series, an 8.5"Xll", spiralbound collection of D.R.'s poetry and art. See a beautiful sample of D.R.'s poetry in the current issue of Rattlesnake Review.

Also emerging that night, just in time for spring, is the brand-new Rattlesnake Interview Series, a monthly, broadside-format release which will feature conversations between B.L. Kennedy and some of the finest poets in Northern California. (Actually, we hope to get to ALL of our poets eventually, one by one.) At the end of the year, we plan to collect these broadsides into a yearly interview anthology. RIS #1 will be a conversation with Poetry Legend Annie Menebroker, who has also consented to give us April's littlesnake broadside of poetry, Swallowed By This Whale Of Time, in honor of the occasion.

Plus, Issue #6 of VYPER, the journal of poetry from people 13-19, will be out by that time, too, packed with teen angst and action and even art this time.

And who knows what other tricks the Snake has up his sleeve for the occasion (so to speak)? Circle the date. Be there!

Meanwhile, tonight:

•••Weds. (3/28), 6-7 PM: Hidden Passage Poetry Reading at Hidden Passage Books, 352 Main St. in Placerville. It's an open-mic read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen and talk to the skeleton in the floor.

Save next Monday:

•••Monday (4/2), 7:30 PM: Poetic Justice, a benefit for frank andrick to help with medical and living expenses.
HQ for the Arts, 25th and R Sts., Sacramento. Confirmed guests (more later) include Gene Bloom, Barbara Noble, Mary Zeppa, Becca Costello, Rachel Leibrock, Terryl Wheat, B.L. Kennedy, Jay Greenburg, Gilberto Rodriguez and local novelist James Rollins, plus more people and more stuff to be announced. A refreshment/cocktail style opening with jazz music, and Bob Stanley will do a solo set of collaborative work with film, people, and imaginations. Donations will be gratefully accepted and there will also be a raffle. Hosted by Bob Stanley and Edie Lambert. Please contact: or or or

•••Also next Monday (4/2), 7:30 PM: The Other Voice presents Indigo Moor and Josh Fernandez reading their poetry at The Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Road, Davis. There will be an open reading following the poets. This is a free event. James Lee Jobe will host.
For more details, including directions and a map, go to or call 530-750-3514.

Indigo Moor is a 2003 recipient of Cave Canem’s Writing fellowship in poetry, vice president of the Sacramento Poetry Center, and editor for the Tule Review. His work has appeared in the Xavier Review, LA Review, Mochila Review, Boston University’s The Comment, The Ringing Ear, the NCPS 2006 Anthology, and Gathering Ground.

Josh Fernandez has an English degree from UC Davis, works at the Woodland Daily Democrat as the arts editor and lives in midtown Sacramento. Some of his work can be read in Hardpan, The Two Penny Review, paxAmericana Journal, Sussurus, TKO Webzine, Seele and Poetry Now.


—Lu Mei-P'o

The plum and ths snow both claim the spring
a poet gives up trying to decide
the plum must admit the snow is three times whiter
but the snow can't match a wisp of plum perfume


—Lu Mei-P'o

The plum without the snow isn't very special
but snow without a poem is simply commonplace
at sunset when the poem is doen then it snows again
together with the plum they complete the spring

(translated from the Chinese by Red Pine)


—Ho Xuan Hu'o'ng

The waterfall plunges in mist.
Who can describe this desolate scene:

the long white river sliding through
the emerald shadows of the ancient canopy

...a shepherd's horn echoing in the valley,
fishnets stretched to dry on sandy flats.

A bell is tolling, fading, fading
just like love. Only poetry lasts.

(translated from the Vietnamese by John Balaban)



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.)