Monday, July 30, 2007

Like Ghosts (And a Birthday)

Happy Birthday, Katy Brown!

—Carl Sandburg

love is a deep and a dark and a lonely
and you take it deep take it dark
and take it with a lonely winding
and when the winding gets too lonely
then may come the windflowers
and the breath of wind over many flowers
winding its way out of many lonely flowers
waiting in rainleaf whispers
waiting in dry stalks of noon
wanting iin a music of windbreaths
so you can take love as it comes keening
as it comes with a voice and a face
and you make a talk of it
talking to yourself a talk worth keeping
and you put it away for a keep keeping
and you find it to be a hoarding
and you give it away and yet it stays hoarded

like a book read over and over again
like one book being a long row of books
like leaves of windflowers bending low
and bending to be never broken


Happy birthday to Marketeer-in-Residence Katy Brown of Davis! See the latest issue of Rattlesnake Review (and all the others, too), as well as peeking into Medusa's Kitchen, for some of Katy's fine poetry and photography, not to mention her column in RR. And pick up a copy of her SnakeRing SpiralChap, The Quality of Light, at The Book Collector, too!

Cleo in The Bee:

Cleo Fellers Kocol is now writing a monthly poetry column for the Roseville section of The Sacramento Bee. It first appeared last Thursday; for the online version, check out The Bee has drastically cut the amount of notices they publish for poetry events, so at least they're doing this much. For a copy of Cleo's littlesnake broadside, by the way, send me an SASE and I'll mail you one.

This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (7/30), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Brandon Cesmat at HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento. Please come out to see this dynamic poet at the end of his summer Valley tour. Cesmat mixes music (gourd rattles and guitars) and poetry and has a broad range of styles and topics which should make for a tour de force performance. Brandon Cesmat's Driven into the Shade (Poetic Matrix Press) received a San Diego Book Award. He teaches at Cal State University San Marcos, serves as president of California Poets in the Schools (CPITS). He has received a Pushcart Prize nomination and first prize in The Music of Poetry Anthology (Palabra Productions). His work has appeared in Homestead Review, Red River Review, Pemmican, Weber Studies, California Quarterly and Pacific Review. He and his wife survive gracefully on the edge of a mesa above the San Luis Rey River Valley in Southern California. Once he and Brenden Constantine read at the Ugly Mug Cafe in Orange, California, where they hoped to make clear that no matter how the name is spelled, it means "from the fiery hill." Visit Brandon on the web at:

•••Thursday (8/2), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Open mic before and after featured readers. Info: Art Luna at (916-441-3931).


—Carl Sandburg

I could love you
as dry roots love rain.
I could hold you
as branches in the wind
brandish petals.
Forgive me for speaking
so soon.


Let your heart look
on white sea spray
and be lonely.

Love is a fool star.

You and a ring of stars
may mention my name
and then forget me.

Love is a fool star.



—Carl Sandburg

If we ask you to gleam through the tears,
Kisses, can you come back like ghosts?

Today, tomorrow, the gateways take them.
"Always some door eats my shadow."

Love is a clock and the works wear out.
Love is a violin and the wood rots.
Love is a day with night at the end.
Love is a summer with falltime after.
Love dies always and when it dies it is dead
And when it is dead there is nothing more to it
And when there is nothing more to it then we say
This is the end, it comes always, it came to us.
And now we will bury it and put it away
Beautifully and decently, like a clock or a violin,
Like a summer day near falltime,
Like any lovely thing brought to the expected end.

Yes, let it go at that.
The clock rang and we answered.
The moon swept an old valley.
And we counted all of its rings.
The water-birds flipped in the river
And flicked their wing-points in summer gold.
To the moon and the river water-birds,
To these we answered as the high calls rang.
And now? Now we take the clock and put it away.
Now we count again the rings of the valley moon
and put them away as keepsakes.
Now we count the river-birds once more and let
them slip loose and slip up the valley curve.
This is the end, there is always an end.

Kisses, can you
come back
like ghosts?



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.)

SnakeWatch: Up-to-the-minute Snake news:

Journals (free publications): Rattlesnake Review14 is now available at The Book Collector; contributors and subscribers should have received theirs by now. If you're none of those, and can't get down to The Book Collector, send two bux (for postage) to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 and I'll mail you a copy. If you want more than one, please send $2 for the first one and $1 for copies after that. Next deadline, for RR15, is August 15. VYPER6 (for youth 13-19) is in The Book Collector; next deadline is Nov. 1. Snakelets10 (for kids 0-12) is also at The Book Collector; next deadline is Oct. 1.

Books/free broadsides: June's releases include Tom Miner's chapbook, North of Everything; David Humphreys' littlesnake broadside, Cominciare Adagio; and #3 in B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series, this one featuring Jane Blue.

ZZZZZZZ: Shh! The Snake is sleeping! There will be no Snake readings/releases in July or August. Then we return with a bang on September 12, presenting Susan Kelly-DeWitt's new chapbook, Cassiopeia Above the Banyan Tree. See the online journal, Mudlark, for a hefty sample of poems from her book; that’s Also coming in the Fall: new issues of the Review, Snakelets and VYPER [see the above deadlines], plus more littlesnake broadsides from NorCal poets near and far, and a continuation of B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series—including an anthology of interviews to be released for Sacramento Poetry Month (October).