Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don't Disillusion Me

Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer, Davis

There's nothing like a ferris wheel at night
above the park with final daring
summer wind whips your turbine cart
rocking stomachs, sick with delight.


Thanks, Ann! Check out Ann Privateer's rattlechap, Attracted to Light, released in March, 2008 from Rattlesnake Press. Copies are available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or from

Stephani Schaefer sends us two responses to this week's Seed of the Week/giveaway ("the heart once broken") which ended last night. Be sure to come to the Rattlesnake Press reading on May 14 at The Book Collector, when Steph will be releasing a littlesnake broadside, Before Naming. Steph's poetry and photos regularly appear in Rattlesnake Review as well as here beside the stove in Medusa's Kitchen.

—Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos

The wood table where she still sits.
Throat of the Iris. Birdsong.
The dancing shade full of bits of light.
White clouds walking.
A strong and fitful breeze.

Later, a steady wind. Leaving.
Moving uphill on a long song, breathing deep.
Dragging two hands through soil.
Tearing up grasses in the singing wind.
Swallow. Swallow grief. Swallow your heart.

The warm stone.
The massed trees slapping in the sun.
Silent acceptance.

The deep, deep sky.

(first published in the Sun Shadow Mountain anthology, 2007)


—Stephani Schaefer

Love came by
and peeled and cored
the apple of my heart.


There were others, other years,
but just a little tart.


—Virginia Hamilton Adair

When the rains come
you remember
our old closeness
humping along
in the wet.
You grope the dark
where I hang
by my crooked neck.
You pull off my cover
shake me till my
ribs jiggle
and a moth flies out.
Your hand reaches under
my black skirt
and up one leg
thin as a cane
until I open wide
with a rusty squawk
hovering above you
like a dark and loving
raven, said the old
umbrella, her night
full of holes.


—Virginia Hamilton Adair

Between you and a bowl of oranges I lie nude
Reading The World's Illusion through my tears.
You reach across me hungry for global fruit,
Your bare arm hard, furry and warm on my belly.
Your fingers pry the skin of a navel orange
Releasing tiny explosions of spicy oil.
You place peeled disks of gold in a bizarre pattern
On my white body. Rearranging, you bend and bite
The disks to release further their eager scent.
I say "Stop, you're tickling," my eyes still on the page.
Aromas of groves arise. Through green leaves
Glow the lofty snows. Through red lips
Your white teeth close on a translucent segment.
Your face over my face eclipses The World's Illusion.
Pulp and juice pass into my mouth from your mouth.
We laugh against each other's lips. I hold my book
Behind your head, still reading, still weeping a little.
You say "Read on, I'm just an illusion," rolliing
Over upon me soothingly, gently moving,
Smiling greenly through long lashes. And soon
I say "Don't stop. Don't disillusion me."
Snows melt. The mountain silvers into many a stream.
The oranges are golden worlds in a dark dream.


Today's LittleNip:

It is better to copulate than never.

—Robert Heinlein


Here's Medusa's weekly menu of features.
Contributors are welcome to submit to any and all of these!

Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar

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 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. Send books, CDs, DVDs, etc. to him for possible review (either as a Drive-By or in
Rattlesnake Review) at P.O. Box 160664, Sacramento, CA 95816.

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

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 (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 ( And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.