Photo by Jessica Fillingim
—Carlene Wike, Elk Grove
“Pad with heightened, lightened tread
down the hall while they’re in bed.
Crouch behind a far settee
gaze intently . . . at a tree!
A tree indeed! I didn’t know
trees grew inside—big ones that glow
and grow strange fruit of varied hue.
I’ll move in for a better view.”
So mused the cat and then moved slow
to where the strange thing seemed to grow.
He slapped once at the lowest ball
and was amazed to see it fall.
He batted it across the floor
then moved in fast for two balls more.
A tinsel tango after that
and lo—a decorated cat!
Garland followed tinsel down.
He caught it then he wrapped it round
piano leg—and then he stopped . . .
. . . and gazed at angel on the top—
upon her birdlike wings, her hair,
upon her, poised and waiting there.
“A sitting duck for agile cat—
I’ll climb the tree and capture that
rare bird.” So thought the cat
as he moved slowly, silently,
away to get a run at tree.
He crouched low near the fireplace
and painted HUNTER on his face
‘til sight of silent seraph in
that treetop was too much for him.
He sprang and caught a middle bough
and clung to sticky bark somehow
while tree, on impact, swayed and bent
and one by one, shed ornament.
Then our cat began his climb
to angel there on highest limb.
Inch by inch he made his way
up the trunk in spite of sway
‘til he had almost reached the prize
that danced and had him mesmerized.
He was oblivious, it seems,
to hurried footsteps, varied screams
of family, who’d come down the hall
in time to catch the awful fall.
Cat, embarrassed, headed South—
angel feathers in his mouth.
Thanks, Carlena! Watch for a littlesnake broadside, Going the Distance, from Carlene Wike in February.
More seasonal fare, this from Tom Goff:
—Tom Goff, Carmichael
A ribbony tiny box
from the dean unparcels:
one morsel—a truffle,
not a morel—or shittake-cousin
truffle snooted from soil,
but a vanilla-nipple breast
of the dark best, chocolate
liqueur at the core.
Who’s an epicure but
a treble nibbler pro-
longing the gobble?
So I snuff this truffle
from trufa from tuber
for swelling. Ah, tumid
sweetmeat. The label reads
“tiramisu,” pleads Japanese
—a cacao tsunami, until
I reflect: it’s Italian
for “lift me up.” That “tira,”
though, wants to shout “Fire!”
Bitten, this confection’s
caffeinish trajectory arcs me
afar, as has the semester.
After the long
kerfuffle, this far
Thanks, Tom! And finally, four more morsels from Song Kowbell. Find out more about Song on the rattlechappers' page of rattlesnakepress.com/.
THE DELI GUY
—Song Kowbell, Penn Valley
He said i was a poet
like he knew me
Said i was one of "them".
I didn't ask who "them" was,
thinking that the fantasy
is so often better
i thought about taking you apart
one button hole at a time...
and i wanted
to feel them wash
bathe in memory of kinder times
when a look from you didn't burn me,
and a line from a poem
left me wanting more of you
instead of less...
FRUIT FOR DINNER
you came to mind tonight
as I slipped the ripe Santa Rosa plum
into my mouth.
Its firm smoothness reminds me
of you at full attention
when your skin barely held
inside that which was ready to burst.
You were moving towards me
smiling at your wife.
Our eyes locked and my hunger
And I couldn't deny
I missed you
Memories of our story flash back—
your eyes teasing me
begging for more
as we feasted
Tonight in a quiet moment
you will think of me,
of our glance
and slowly your hand
will travel to the hard cock
and press ever so slightly
against the desire
for something not on your menu.
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).
SnakeWatch: Up-to-the-minute Snake news:
Rattlesnake Review: The new issue of Rattlesnake Review (Sweet 16) is available for free at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or send $2 to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 and I'll mail you one. The last of contributors' and subscribers' copies go into the mail this week. Next deadline (for Issue #17, due out in mid-March) is February 15. (Sooner than you think!)
New in December! Rattlesnake Press is proud to announce the release of Metamorphic Intervals From The Insanity Of Time, a SnakeRings SpiralChap from Patricia D'Alessandro, and Notes From The Ivory Tower, a littlesnake broadside from Sacramento's Ann Wehrman. And while you're down at The Book Collector, pick up a few poetic Christmas presents, including any of a number of wonderful books and chapbooks, Rattlesnake and otherwise—not to mention A Poet's Book of Days, our first perpetual calendar, featuring the poetry and photography of Katy Brown.
Coming in February: The Snake has crawled into winter hibernation for the rest of December and for all of January: no readings, no books, no broadsides. (Medusa is always awake, however, and will keep posting through most of that time. Send stuff.) Then, on February 13, Rattlesnake Press will roar to life again with a new SnakeRings SpiralChap from Don and Elsie Feliz (To Berlin With Love), plus a new littlesnake broadside from Carlena Wike (Going the Distance), as well as Volume Two of Conversations, B.L. Kennedy's Rattlesnake Interview Series.