Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Undiscovered Mice & Dragon Lizards

—Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines

Fanned into a witch fire, this anger
has set his frame ablaze: makes him

a crackling will-o'-the-wisp, a teetering
scarecrow held up by smoke

and sparks and the flicker of what was
done and what was said—winking

embers of insults that fume
and smolder, blister his feet. . . But

this pitchy anger is all
his: ashy prop that keeps

him burning, then settles into a homey
campfire with a toasty glow that

warms him as he sleeps: warms him
until, when morning comes, it combusts

back into full flush: flares bright orange
in the chilly dawn, like a signal

beacon: skyrockets his witchy wildfire
right back up to flashpoint. . .


Medusa's current give-away is about over: send in your poems about fire, whichever side of her you choose—horrifying, capricious, passionate, humbling, cleansing—and I'll send you a free copy of Tom Miner's new rattlechap, North of Everything. Email your poems to or snail them to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 by midnight tonight, Weds., July 25.

Coming this Friday:

•••Friday (7/20), 7:30 PM: Our House Poetry Reading features Steve Talbert and Mary Field. An open mic follows. Our House Gallery & Framing is located at 4510 Post St. in El Dorado Hills Town Center. There is no charge.

Steve Talbert grew up in San Angelo, Texas, the only child in a single parent home. At school he read about molecules, atoms, electrons, neutrons, and the solar system. High school led to the general collapse of self esteem. He read Ginsberg, Corso, listened to Beethoven, Mozart, played Stravinsky's 3 Pieces For Clarinet. After high school he picked beans, worked in fast-food, and in 1965 moved to San Francisco to find himself and hang out with the Beats, transitioning into the Hippie-Anti war movement. In 1969 he had a political reversal after participating in riots at San Francisco State; received his BA in Math at Sonoma State; interested in poetry and wrote a few poems but tossed them. Back to San Francisco, disco, then real-estate, first attempt at MA in Math. Spent 15 years at BofA as a systems analyst, married Susan, had daughter Stef, moved to Pollock Pines, where he found Tuesday at Two and The Word Can. His poetry philosophy: “At any given time a mental snapshot.....I must take what’s there in its original form... too many preconceptions and the process loses energy....follow the psychic currents.” His poems have appeared in Cranial Tempest, Mockingbird, and Rattlesnake Review. His first chapbook is Steve’s Far-Side Chat, or O My Humerus!

Originally from a very small town in Louisiana, Mary Field has lived in Pollock Pines for 30 years. She lives on 20 acres with three horses and two dogs. She loves the country life and being out in nature, riding her horses and training her dogs in agility but not obedience. She likes to clean stalls, but not her house. Semi-retired, she builds spec houses when the real estate market is in a good phase. She likes to read poetry and good books, enjoys movies and "Deadwood" on HBO. She’s a founding member of the Tuesday at Two poetry group in Pollock Pines. Her poems have appeared in Rattlesnake Review, Louisiana Review, and Mockingbird. Watch for a littlesnake broadside from Mary in October.


—Michael Cluff

8 divided into 5321
always a remainder
which scares me

the left-over
never leaves its microwave

coffin in the corner
I will still stay in it
until the earth shifts

and I walk away
into a cyan rosette sunset
somewhere finally

but not here.


—Taylor Graham, Somerset

The asphalt glitters with stars.

No, that’s just breakable light
reflecting off fragments of
broken bottle at the pavement’s
edge, at the end of a long trip.

Light travels —

No need to bring astrophysics
into it. Such a long dull drive,
alongside a brown river that runs
through concrete. All day we saw
no water lilies.

But look! how black
asphalt glitters with stars.


—Taylor Graham, Somerset

The emptiness of drawers
consumes our cat.
At midnight she's the shadow
balanced at the edge
of the known world,
the next shut door.
Outside, the dark
keeps its uncharted hollows
of imaginings.
Inside our walls
she’s in search of
undiscovered mice and
dragon lizards.
Songbird angels inhabit
her world's unmapped
borders, holding up
heaven with their wings.



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/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).