Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Her Ultra Fringe

Still will I harvest beauty where it grows:
In coloured fungus and the spotted fog
Surprised on foods forgotten; in ditch and bog
Filmed brilliant with irregular rainbows
Of rust and oil, where half a city throws
Its empty tins; and in some spongy log
Whence headlong leaps the oozy emerald frog...
And a black pupil in the green scum shows.
Her the inhabiter of divers places
Surmising at all doors, I push them all.
Oh, you that fearful of a creaking hinge
Turn back forevermore with craven faces,
I tell you Beauty bears an ultra fringe
Unguessed of you upon her gossamer shawl!

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


Thanks, Edna, for today's Seed of the Week: Beauty in unexpected places.
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 kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOW; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives.

The newest edition of the online journal, Ginosco, is now available at www.GinoskoLiteraryJournal.com/.

Last evening, NBC News aired a piece about the free rice site that was posted on Medusa last week. This website contributes a few grains of rice for every vocabulary word you select correctly: http://freerice.com/index.php/. Those grains of rice stack up, and the site has fed a lot of people so far.

Rae Gouirand sends around an e-newsletter every month, listing activities in the Davis/Woodland area, as well as others. Two items of special note:

•••You can still register for Prose Poetry, the second workshop in Rae’s 2008 series at Cache Creek Nature Preserve. They started last week, but there's still room for interested parties. This workshop will explore a wide variety of contemporary prose poems, discuss the particularities of the form, and use the spring landscape at the Preserve to feed surprising new work. Expect to be inspired in new directions! Writers in all genres and with all levels of experience are welcome. Please note a time change: this workshop will meet in the afternoons on Thursdays, April 10-May 29, from 1-3 PM. (To register, email Rae with your name, email address, and a phone number where you can be reached.) That’s Rae Gouirand at rgouirand@gmail.com/.

By the way, if you're interested in attending the Preserve's Day for the Arts this Saturday, see the CCNP website at www.cachecreekconservancy.org for maps and directions to the beautiful Preserve site in Woodland.

•••On KDRT 101.5 FM, Davis' low-powered radio station, tune in to Earth Mama's Mountain Music Hour, a weaving of music and poetry and social commentary around a central subject, from Rumi and Rilke to Mary Oliver and local poets like Julia Levine and Hannah Stein. The show airs Thursdays at 10 AM, with repeats at 11 PM on Thursday evenings and 10 AM Sunday mornings, but you can only hear it in Davis.

Summer Poetry in Idyllwild: July 13-19, 2008

Summer Poetry in Idyllwild is a week-long celebration of poetry with small-group intensive poetry writing workshops, chapbook workshops, lectures, discussions, readings, and festival of poetry. The program offers a wide range of opportunities for participation, from six hours of daily immersion to an hour each evening of engaged listening. Tuition: $10-$1195, based on level of participation. No charge for evening readings by Visiting Poets Ted Kooser and Natasha Trethewey. Poets-in-Residence include Cecilia Woloch (program director), Terrance Hayes, Marie Howe, Eloise Klein Healy, Charles Harper Webb, David St. John; Guest Poets: Ed Skoog and Kathleen Spivack. See the Web site, email or call for details and registration information. Idyllwild Arts, PO Box 38, Idyllwild, CA 92549. 951-659-2171 ext. 2365, summer@idyllwildarts.org/. http://www.idyllwildarts.org/summer_poetry.html/.

Dancing Poetry

Artists Embassy International’s 2008 Dancing Poetry contest deadline is May 15. Winning poems are presented at the 15th Annual Dancing Poetry Festival, to be held in San Francisco this Fall. 43 Poetry Winners receive cash awards and free admission to the Dancing Poetry Festival. Three Grand Prize Poems will be performed as poetic dance pieces by Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company and receive $100 each. Five first prize winners receive $50 each, 10 second prize winners receive $25 each, & 25 third prize winners receive $10 each; all prizewinners are invited to read their winning poem at the Festival. For more information, including guidelines and fees (and to see a photo of Sacramento’s two-time Grand Prize Winner Laverne Frith), go to www.dancingpoetry.com/.


Night is my sister, and how deep in love,
How drowned in love and weedily washed ashore,
There to be fretted by the drag and shove
At the tide's edge, I lie—these things and more:
Whose arm alone between me and the sand,
Whose voice alone, whose pitiful breath brought near,
Could thaw these nostrils and unlock this hand,
She could advise you, should you care to hear.
Small chance, however, in a storm so black,
A man will leave his friendly fire and snug
For a drowned woman's sake, and bring her back
To drip and scatter shells upon the rug.
No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


Yet in an hour to come, disdainful dust,
You shall be bowed and brought to bed with me.
While the blood roars, or when the blood is rust
About a broken engine, this shall be.
If not today, then later; if not here
On the green grass, with sighing and delight,
Then under it, all in good time, my dear,
We shall be laid together in the night.
And ruder and more violent, be assured,
Than the desirous body's heat and sweat
That shameful kiss by more than night obscured
Wherewith at length the scornfullest mouth is met.
Life has no friend; her converts late or soon
Slide back to feed the dragon with the moon.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


Today's LittleNip:

Once again spring approachs. Birds begin their eager songs. Feel glad you can still be overswept.
—Stephen Dobyns

Bonus LittleNip for Tax Day:

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.
—Herman Wouk



Here's our weekly menu of features;
contributors are welcome to submit to any and all of these!

Monday: NorCal poetry calendar for the week

Seed of the Week

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 food 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.


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 May 12 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 kathykieth@hotmail.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). And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.