—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento
Time doesn’t matter,
nor that my body
is scarred, wrinkled, fat,
My coral tips sway;
gravity’s absence provokes
You call a halt to our games,
your own body buoyant,
soft around the edges,
brushing against my curls
that spring liquid, electric,
a seaweed forest.
You enter my underwater cave,
explore its depths
as you hold me;
our footsteps’ crazy choreography
startling the fish,
bubbles ascending from our noses
to sunlight, above.
We take our time,
out of time.
You caress my deep
inner spaces, unseen in daylight;
I cling to your back;
your movements guide
Thanks, Ann! Ann Wehrman lives in Sacramento, CA. She is currently working on her Second Bachelor’s Degree in Flute at CSU, Sacramento, and completed her Masters in English—Creative Writing (Poetry) in 2005. She currently teaches English at American River College. Ann has published short fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry in college literary journals at Humboldt and CSU, Sacramento, Rattlesnake Review, Medusa’s Kitchen, Poetry Now, and The Mountain Astrologer. Ann's new littlesnake broadside, Notes From The Ivory Tower, will be released at The Book Collector this Wednesday, December 12 at 7:30 PM, along with a SnakeRing SpiralChap, Metamorphic Intervals from the Insanity of Life by Patricia D'Alessandro—plus a brand-new edition (Sweet #16) of Rattlesnake Review. That's 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Be there! (Free! Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's.)
Also this week in NorCal poetry:
•••Tonight (Monday, 12/10), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Sandra McPherson, reading from her new book, Expectation Days. Susan Kelly-DeWitt writes: Here is the link from Poetry Flash's Northern CA Highlights page: http://www.poetryflash.org/highlights_index.html/. And here is the Academy of American Poets link to McPherson and her work: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/204/. Here is a link to the Poetry Foundation website, which has a great overview of her life and work: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=4617/. Come out to hear Sandra—and by your support remind her (and all of us!) how much it means to have lived a life in/of/for poetry!
•••Wednesday (12/12), 7:30 PM: Rattlesnake Reading Series at The Book Collector—but you already knew that. (See above.)
•••Thursday (12/13), 7 PM: Speaking of Susan Kelly-DeWitt, she will be reading at Lyon Books in Chico, 121 W. 5th Street, Chico, (530) 891-3338 this coming Thursday. Susan Kelly-DeWitt has published both her eighth chapbook, Cassiopeia Above the Banyan Tree (from Rattlesnake Press), and her first full-length collection of poems, The Fortunate Islands, this year. Her work has appeared widely in literary journals, and she’s been featured in both Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily. Carole Simmons Oles says of her poems, “Susan Kelly-DeWitt breaks our hearts and puts them together again with words.”
•••Also Thursday (12/13), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Featured reader plus open mic before and after.
•••Saturday (12/15), 7-9 PM: Poets Candy and Bret Freeman at Underground Books, 2814 35th Street (35th and Broadway), Sacramento, 916-737-3333. $3 includes a spoken word workshop and open mic. Learn more about:
—CD recording and book writing
—The difference between performance and slam poetry
—Mic posture and stage presence
—Having a good bio
—How to read your poem effectively
—How to market yourself and your work
—Performing at your own level
And much more! The workshop will discuss other arts as well.
•••Saturday (12/15), 2-6 PM: Poetry Fest featuring poets from the poetry anthology, Sun Shadow Mountain, at Cesar Chavez Central Library, downtown Stockton, 605 N. El Dorado St. There will be refreshments, artwork, musical accompaniment, and more! For information call Donald R. Anderson (209) 405-4041, or visit the website www.sunshadowmountain.com/.
•••Sunday (12/16), 2-4 PM: A Winter Solstice Salon, presented by The Woman's Writing Salon of Grass Valley, including Gail Entrekin, Meredith Ely, Molly Fisk, Maxima Kahn, Terry Lowe and Robin Wallace. Rhythm's Music Cafe (formerly The Beat Cafe), 114 W. Main St., Grass Valley. They say: this will be the last Salon after two years of great readings. We are ending the series and hope you can come and help us close it out. Info: www.nevadacountryartscouncil.org/womenswriting/salon.html/.
Spiral coded to your fingertips
to bear my best fruit
under your touch,
coding, recoding, encoding
spirals of sparkling identity
coded to each other, reformed
coded by God
and if in His infinite
wisdom and love
a billion suns nova,
nova, nova benedictis—
and I lose track
of every strand of your hair,
of your thought, passion,
the sound of your voice—
will we still love each other?
When our eyes re-open,
sticky with death and sleep;
will they still reflect each other’s
face, encompassing galaxies
stars shining through—
will we still belong to one another?
THE PERIGEE MOON
(Arcata, California; December 1999)
Midnight blue sky swells rich and dark;
My hands, wiser than my fears,
open the door.
I step out tonight in my robe,
drawn by the last full moon of the century.
From my porch,
I taste the sea, just a few miles away.
The rare balm of the air caresses my skin.
I gaze up into a star-filled night
even more beautiful than Van Gogh's.
The moon, full at perigee,
shines in silver clarity,
anointing my exhausted nerves.
I breathe deeply,
surrounded by the twinkle of planets and stars,
and thank God for the beauty of this moment,
this night sky with a full moon.
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.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press (rattlesnakepress.com).