Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The Bankrupt Heart
My gate has been unbolted for many days,
Yet no sign of anyone entering the peaceful garden.
The rainy season is over, green moss is all around;
Slowly the oak leaves float to earth.
In front of my window there is a towering banana tree,
So high it seems to sweep away the clouds.
Its shade keeps my hut cool.
As I read waka, write poems, and
Sit quietly, the day passes serenely.
A lonely four-mat hut—
All day no one in sight.
Alone, sitting beneath the window,
Only the continual sound of falling leaves.
•••Tomorrow (Weds., 4/23), 6-7 PM: Upstairs Poetry Reading at The Upstairs Art Gallery, 420 Main St (2nd floor), Placerville. It's an open-mike read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen. No charge.
There is a Stellar's jay nest above my bedroom window that is refurbished and used year after year. This walkway under it was blank; then within a day or two, all these twigs appeared. Apparently they're the ones that "didn't make the cut."
Seed of the Week: The heart once broken...
The heart once broken is a heart no more,
And is absolved from all a heart must be;
All that it signed or chartered heretofore
Is cancelled now, the bankrupt heart is free;
So much of duty as you may require
Of shards and dust, this and no more of pain,
This and no more of hope, remorse, desire,
The heart once broken need support again.
How simple 'tis, and what a little sound
It makes in breaking, let the world attest:
It struggles, and it fails; the world goes round,
And the moon follows it. Heart in my breast,
'Tis half a year now since you broke in two;
The world's forgotten well, if the world knew.
—Edna St. Vincent Millay
Thanks, Edna, Sonnetrice extraordinaire, for the idea for this week's poetry trigger: the heart once broken. Let's have a giveaway! Send in your poems about broken hearts to firstname.lastname@example.org (or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) by midnight this Friday (4/25), and I'll mail you your choice: either Annie Menebroker's new chapbook, Small Crimes, or Katy Brown's new journal, Musings. Or some other rattlechap without which you'd be broken-hearted...
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
—Jorge Luis Borges
Here's Medusa's weekly menu of features. Contributors are welcome to submit to any and all of these!
Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar
Tuesday: Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOW; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.
Wednesday: HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing. Favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorites.
Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy
Friday: NorCal weekend poetry calendar
Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily munchables for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ever-hungry poetic souls.
And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far. The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!
SnakeWatch: News from Rattlesnake Press
New in April: Ann Menebroker’s new chapbook (Small Crimes); Ted Finn's SnakeRings SpiralChap of his poetry and art (Damn the Eternal War); and Katy Brown's blank (well, not really) journal of photos and prompts, MUSINGS (For Capturing Creative Thought). All of these are now available at The Book Collector and will soon be available through rattlesnakepress.com.
Coming in May: Join us on Wednesday, May 14 for the release of Among Summer Pines by Quinton Duval; a littlesnake broadside, Before Naming, by Stephani Schaefer; and Volume Three of Conversations, our third book of interviews by B.L. Kennedy. That's at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM.
Also in May: Deadline for Issue #18 of Rattlesnake Review is May 15. Free copies of Issue #17 are available at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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). And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.