Monday, June 09, 2008

Of Candy & Einstein

—Donald R. Anderson and Marie J. Ross, Stockton

The crafts perhaps lost do not exclude candy—
the way the taffy, the rock candy, the jawbreakers
were home-made.
Though a craft, the thought was the sweet syrupy
journey to the stomach.
Some would browse the glass for choices seemingly
limitless, hoping for a sample,
or cringe when the twist of licorice wound on the palate.
Before sugar substitutes and fancy chemical additives,
afternoons were like ice cream and soda fountains,
and gumball machines dispersed multi-colored marble
sized joy.


Donald R. Anderson and Marie J. Ross

Thanks, Marie and Don! These two enterprising poets have been writing poems jointly, and today we have two of those for you. Donald R. Anderson has practiced web, graphic, and print design. He has been writing and reading poetry since 1995, and has been in some local publications as well as trying self-publishing. The latest project is editing the second anthology from Poets Espresso, Moon Mist Valley, of which he is editor: poets, artists, and photographers are encouraged to write to each word in the title. [More info about this later.] Marie J. Ross has been published in Shadows Ink, Song of the San Joaquin, Rattlesnake Review, Sun Shadow Mountain [the first Poets Espresso anthology] and Poets Espresso. She has read her poetry at many open mics in and around the Valley, and has had her own readings at both Borders and at Barnes & Noble in Stockton. See more of Don and Marie's work in the brand-new Rattlesnake Review, due out this Wednesday.


—Donald R. Anderson and Marie J. Ross

Are thoughts of the world vague notions not yet considered feasible?
Feasible for what, you say? For life. The professor frowned and pointed
a finger wagging in the air. Life is up to interpretation! What is life?
Life, the exploration of truth, feasibility that love conquers all, and
survives through will, concern and compassion.
Life, the reason why one decides to take a left turn down a street instead
of a right, and does not meet someone that they’ve been thinking about
that they knew 30 years ago on a rainy night.
Life, when thought dropped into lairs of undescribable tension, then lifted
to boulders so high that the climb was rewarded with courage and confidence.
Behold, life! The professor sat back in his lawn chair, around him a crowd of
young geniuses leaning far, far back on folded hands and dirt and grass,
as they watched the twilight’s stars slowly appear, out of the nothing: something.


This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (6/9), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents F. D. Reeve and Al Garcia at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. Open mic afterward. Next week's reading (6/16) will celebrate the Summer Solstice.

•••Wednesday (6/11), 7:30 PM: Two Moons in June: Join us at The Book Collector for the premiere of Day Moon, a new chapbook by James DenBoer, and Mindfully Moon, a littlesnake broadside by Carol Louise Moon, as well as Volume Three of Conversations, our third book of interviews by B.L. Kennedy, featuring Art Beck, Olivia Costellano, Quinton Duval, William S. Gainer, Mario Ellis Hill, Kathryn Hohlwein, James Jee Jobe, Andy Jones, Rebecca Morrison, Viola Weinberg and Phillip T. Nails. All this PLUS a brand-new edition (#18) of Rattlesnake Review! That's at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. See you there!

•••Thursday (6/12), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Featured readers, open mic before and after.

•••Saturday (6/14), 6 PM: Joe Finkleman's stunning new photographic work will be on display this month starting this Second Saturday at Sacramento News & Review, 1015 20th St., in the heart of the art distinct of midtown Sacramento.


Two poems by Ono No Komachi (9th century):

Doesn't he realize
that I am not
like the swaying kelp
in the surf,
where the seaweed gatherer
can come as often as he wants.


I fell asleep thinking of him,
and he came to me.
If I had known it was only a dream
I would never have awakened.


Two poems by Shunzei's Daughter (1171?-1252?):

The wind blows through
the little hut in the rice field
and the moonlight shines through the roof
and guards us all through the night.


How can I blame the cherry blossoms
for rejecting this floating world
and drifting away as the wind calls them?


Two poems by Kawai Chigetsu-Ni (1632-1736):

Chirping in the sleeves
Of a scarecrow.


Cats making love in the temple
But people would blame
A man and wife for mating in such a place.


Today's LittleNip:

Is it because you always hope, my heart,
that I always light a lamp
in the orange twilight?

—Yosano Akiko




(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for 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 favorite tools.

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 future issues of 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 ravenous poetic souls.

And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far! The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!


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.