Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg & Mud Pies

Photo by Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos

—Jane Blue, Sacramento

The dogs wait behind the windows
of the houses in the city.

The dogs wait
in yards, behind fences.

The dogs are like
that man with a strawberry mark on his neck.

The dogs are like
that woman dressed in black, licking her fingers.

The dogs wait on lawns
tied to trees.

The dogs wait at the end of leashes
at the end of the day, walked

around blocks, the dogs are like
slaves, or prisoners

sporting collars or little jackets, they wait
while someone scoops up their shit.

The dogs are like
Walt Whitman howling.

The dogs are like Allen Ginsberg

The dogs sniff at trees, at fire hydrants
at telephone poles

and at each other. The dogs are like
Tibetan prayer flags, flapping in the wind

The dogs are like yellow birches
exposing their white arrows to the sky.

I saw a man today
who was walking death.

I saw a mountain range of azure blue
cut out and pasted against gray clouds.

The dogs are waiting, they are waiting
for the revolution.


—Taylor Graham, Somerset

The angel of lost dogs whistles
down the alleys, which echo
the answer of cobble and brick.

Dead dogs don't come when called,
they've found another place.

In front of the Army-Navy store
two kids are giving away free
puppies like a bargain, like

a tooth on war. Freedom is not
free, the red-white-blue sign

says. Protection has its cost
in kibble. Snap the leash,
we'll all feel safe. The dog-

angel sniffs at passing soles
and whimpers to the street.


Thanks, Jane Blue and Taylor Graham, for responding to the Seed of the Week (dogs). It's not too late to join in the fray; send poems about dogs (or any other seed of the week from the past) to

And thanks to Steph Schaefer for the beautiful photograph. Anyone who picks up the new Snake #19 tonight will get to see many of her photos, and a dandy poem of hers, besides! Speaking of Snake 19...

...Tonight's the night!

Join us tonight, September 10, for the reading/release of Thirteen Poems, a new chapbook from Patrick Grizzell; #2 in Katy Brown's series of blank journals (Musings2: Vices, Virtues and Obsessions); a littlesnake broadside (Wind Physics) from Jordan Reynolds; plus Issue #19 of Rattlesnake Review! That's 7:30 PM at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's.


Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


I shall go back again to the bleak shore
And build a little shanty on the sand,
In such a way that the extremest band
Of brittle seaweed will escape my door
But by a yard or two; and nevermore
Shall I return to take you by the hand;
I shall be gone to what I understand,
And happier than I ever was before.
The love that stood a moment in your eyes,
The words that lay a moment on your tongue,
Are one with all that in a moment dies,
A little under-said and over-sung.
But I shall find the sullen rocks and skies
Unchanged from what they were when I was young.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favourite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay


Today's LittleNip:

Writing is like walking in a deserted street. Out of the dust in the street you make a mud pie.

—John Le Carre



Medusa's Weekly Menu:

(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 (sometimes): 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 and in-between! 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.