—Taylor Graham, Somerset
Sky of amethyst clouded over
by premonition of storm, or maybe
the memory of soldiers, and mad young heroines
in search of a tragic lover—all
these figments ghost it through a skeleton
city-scape, arches opening on a horizon
sunk below the vanishing point:
where towers rise up, bound together
by cats-cradle rigging, the rigid
logic of sleep. Spires, sailboat masts
without sails, shrouds hanging
like broken wings. Nothing is
transparent, but opaque with light
seeping from soil
like the mind’s own dreams.
(based on a painting [oil on canvas] by Vladimir Vitkovsky)
Thanks, TG! Taylor Graham's poem was triggered by dual "seeds": a painting, and yesterday's Seed of the Week (sleep).
Wednesday's HandyStuff Quickie:
R.D. Armstrong writes: I just got the new Poesy Magazine (www.poesy.org/ based in Santa Cruz) in the mail and I have to tell you that Brian Morrissey has really done a nice job this time around! Poesy used to be printed on newsprint and was a sixteen-page full-size mag with poems and photos, an interview and some reviews. It was interesting, but the quality of the paper sometimes made it hard to read. Brian has taken Poesy into a new age, with crisp graphics and photos and a much nicer format in terms of the overall layout. In other words, it is a fine-looking mag that almost resembles an art mag. I may be old-fashioned, but I like to see a book/mag that presents the work in a thoughtful and well-crafted way... a style that sets it apart from other small press presentations. The poems and other articles make it a real reading pleasure. Overall, Poesy raises the bar for other mag and even chapbook publishers to follow. Well done! You can order a sample copy by going to the Poesy website. Also you may want to submit poems/reviews for future publication.
Thanks, RD! RD Armstrong is the editor/publisher of Lummox Press, which has a long, venerable history itself, including the journal, Lummox. Check it out at www.lummoxpress.com/.
Sand here's like meal—
oats, barley, or wheat—
feels round and specific.
just past noon, and sound
of small boat clearing headland
chugs agaiinst wash.
now on rocks, makes shadows.
Beach is a half-moon's
curve, with bluff,
at far end, of rock—
and firs look like garden
so sharply their tops
make line against sky.
All quiet here,
and comfortable. Boat goes by,
beyond, where sky
and sea meet
THERE IS WATER
There is water
at road's end
like a shimmer,
a golden opening,
if sun's right
where the land
seeming to fall
to a farther reach
of earth but
no woods left
in the surrounding
wet air. Only the heavy
Green's the predominant color here,
but in tones so various, and muted
by the flatness of sky and water,
the oak trunks, the undershade back of the lawns,
it seems a subtle echo of itself.
It is the color of life itself,
it used to be. Not blood red,
or sun yellow—but this green,
echoing hills, echoing meadows,
childhood summer's blowsiness, a youngness
one remembers hopefully forever.
It is thoughtful, provokes here
quiet reflections, settles the self
down to waiting now apart
from time, which is done,
this green space, faintly painful.
Early mornings, in the light still
faint making stones, herons, marsh
grass all but indistinguishable in the muck,
one looks to the far side, of the sound, the sand
side with low growing brush and
reeds, to the long horizontal of land's edge,
where the sea is, on that
other side, that outside, place of
imagined real openness, restless, eternal ocean.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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 email@example.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.