Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
that witnessing presence.
Medusa is back from Oregon, by way of Mt. Shasta, which sports very little snow these days. Much, much less than in this photo, a stock one taken from the 'Net. What ARE those cloud formations; anybody know? I'm guessing time-lapse.
This week in poetry:
•••Thursday (7/12), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Featured reader(s), with open mic before and after.
•••Thursday (7/12), 7:30: Poetry Flash at Berkeley City College presents Andrea Hollander Budy & Sacramento’s Kathleen Lynch. Andrea Hollander Budy's new book of poems is Woman in the Painting; her previous collections are The Other Life, and House Without a Dreamer, which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Among her many honors are a D.H. Lawrence Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. Kathleen Lynch's first full-length book of poems, Hinge, won the Black Zinnias Press National Poetry Book Competition. She's published several chapbooks, including How to Build an Owl and Alterations of Rising. Among her honors are the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor's Choice Award and the Salt Hill Poetry Award. Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley, one-half block from Berkeley BART. Parking garage next door. Info: Poetry Flash: (510) 525-5476. Co-sponsored by Cody's Books.
Yikes; a parsity of poetry this week! Anything else happening? (The Snake and I have been asleep...)
The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.
The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in ther sun,
each day the last day.
A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily
moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.
Each minute the last minute.
In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day,
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
more of the night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination. I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.
The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.
That's why the taste of it
drove us from Eden. That fruit
was meant to be dried and milled to a fine powder
for use a pinch at a time, a condiment.
God had probably planned to tell us later
about this new pleasure.
but, knowing no better.
It's toxic in large quantities; fumes
swirled in our heads and around us
to form a dense cloud that hardened to steel,
a wall between us and God, Who was Paradise.
Not that God is unreasonable—but reason
in such excess was tyranny
and locked us into its own limits, a polished cell
reflecting our own faces. God lives
on the other side of that mirror,
but through the slit where the barrier doesn't
quite touch ground, manages still
to squeeze in—as filtered light,
splinters of fire, a strain of music heard
then lost, then heard again.
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 email@example.com (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. 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/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 http://www.unf.edu/mudlark/. 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).