Thursday, January 15, 2009

On The Flyway

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Donald R. Anderson, Stockton

I long for the paper-clip walls,
the juvenile records stapled to ceilings,
the huge writing pens that clumsily scroll
their signatures in a guest-book at
some artsy hangout of San Franciscan dreams.
I want to slide on downtown
and pick up a record for five cents,
to peruse zines openly in mainstream stores
as if it were as natural as apple pie.
I long for that sunset, I want to go where
that sun and ocean meet,
watch it melt into the snow.
All green forests ablaze with magic,
I long for a new, different tomorrow
that that we will have.
I am journeying towards the imagination,
towards the big dreams,
in hope that some of the magic
will rub off on this callous real world.
I am journeying down many roads.
I've journeyed down your road once,
but that was long ago.
I am journeying down many roads.


Thanks to Donald Anderson, Kevin Jones and Mitz Sackman (still hooked on etherees!) for today's poems, and to Katy Brown and Steph Schaefer for the pix. Keep the Road poems/pix/artwork coming!

Speaking of The Road, many of our avian friends are also on the Pacific Flyway this time of year. The Bee had an informative article last week about the four refuges within driving distance, and recently on my trek from PPines to Sac, I've seen hundreds of Canada geese settled in at the El Dorado Hills golf course. Trigger any more "road" poems?

Mitz Sackman writes: You really hexed me last week with [the Seed of the Week] Your Favorite Sin; since then the "Seven Deadly Virtues" song from Camelot has been running pretty much non-stop in my brain... and I have not seen the show in 40 years!

Which leads to a surprise giveaway: write us a poem about The Seven Deadly Virtues (according to the song, they're courage, purity, humility, honesty, diligence, charity and fidelity) and I'll send you a free copy of Danyen Powell's new rattlechap, Blue Sky Flies Out. Unlike for SOWs, there is a deadline for this: Monday, Jan. 19 at midnight. E-mail 'em to or snail to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. [If you, too, want to brave the hex Mitz is talking about, you can google up the song and hear it performed on Broadway. You can even get it as a ring tone for your cell phone!]

Another Deadly Sin poem, this one from Marie Ross:

—Marie J. Ross, Stockton

Green with envy a sin of wish,
she has a voice that brings tears.
I feel emotion yet vocal cords hide
in the walls of my throat.
I open my mouth to sing, tones jolt
like earthquake, and screech like tires
burning tar.
I feel emotion swell, yet her songs are
married to angels, passion is fiery and
And I steam in a room of jealously, wish
in sin of green.


Additions to this week's calendar:

•••Friday (1/16), 8 PM: Junkyard Burlesque will perform at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento. Joining Brady McKay (vocals, guitar, percussion), Steve Bird (upright bass and show-stealing vocals!) and Patrick Grizzell (vocals, guitar and harmonica) will be Daryl VanDruff on drums. Luna's, well known for its contribution to the poetry and music scene in Sacramento, serves great Mexican food, beer, wine, sangria, and their trademark licuados all evening. We recommend getting there early, having a nice meal and claiming a good seat. The place can fill up fast. Admission to the event is $6, American. The phone number for Luna's is 916-441-3931. (And speaking of rattlechapper Pat Grizzell, be sure to catch him reading his poetry with B.L. Kennedy at the new Time-Tested Books reading series on Sunday at 6:30 PM. That's at 1114 21st St., Sacramento.)

•••Saturday (1/17), 8-9:30 PM: An Evening of Poetry Connected to California's Landscape and Flora, presented by the California Native Plant Society at its 2009 Conservation Conference: Strategies and Solutions. Poets Linda Niel, Kirk Lumpkin and Susan Kelly-DeWitt will read, followed by an open mic for original nature poems. Sacramento Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J St., Sacramento. Free. Info: or 916-477-2677.

B.L.'s Drive-Bys: A Micro-Review by B.L. Kennedy:

by Silvia Kofler
Unholy Day Press
1800 W. 39th St..
Kansas City, MO 64111
72 pp, trade paperback, $14.95
ISBN 978-0-9816711-0-9

Silvia Kofler is a language-oriented poet with a remarkable talent for the pun. I enjoyed this read—not as much as I had originally thought that I would after having read about it in SPR (Small Press Review) but, never-the-less, had a very relaxed read. There are some poems in this collection that I truly love; poems such as “The New Con Fable,” “Trash-Barrel Warriors,” and “Mopp” are just a few wonderful examples. If you are a hardcore poetry nut, then go out and buy this book. If not, then there is always inner-library loan.

—B.L. Kennedy, Reviewer-in-Residence


—Kevin Jones, Fair Oaks

Jack and Neil
Cruising east
On Hwy 50.
A sign: Pollock Pines.

Jack—Wanna stop
For lunch?

Always liked those
Sausages, the
Oompah, oompah
Music too.

Think we’re talkin’
About some sort
Of fish here, Neil,
Not ethnic

Whatever, Neil
Monotones, punching
The pedal closer
To the floor.

Jack, on the other
Hand, always
Pined for
He knew or met.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

Whizz by
On their way to
Places I don’t know about
I sit here wondering
What impels them on their way
What waits for them at journey’s end
What joys their traveling brings to them
While I sit musing in my chair alone


Today's LittleNip:

—Kevin Jones

Mean it.


Photo by Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos


SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

Rattlesnake Review: The latest issue (#20) is currently available at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one. The last of contributors' copies has gone into the mail. Deadline for RR21 is February 15: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. E-mail attachments are preferred, but be sure to include all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

Coming in January: Other than the ever-restless Medusa, the Snake will be snoozing during January; no releases or readings. But our October road trips inspired a new Rattlesnake publication, WTF, to be edited by frank andrick. This 30-page, chapbook-style (free) quarterly will primarily showcase the talents of readers at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, but anyone over 18 is welcome to submit. Deadline is Jan. 15 for a Feb. 19 premiere at Luna’s. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but please send three poems (each one page or less in length), photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to (attachments preferred) or, if you’re snailing, to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. And be forewarned: this publication will be for adults only! so you must be over 18 years of age to submit.

Also available now (free): littlesnake broadside #46: Snake Secrets: Getting Your Poetry Published in Rattlesnake Press (and lots of other places, besides!): A compendium of ideas for brushing up on your submissions process so as to make editors everywhere more happy, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting your poetry published. Pick up a copy at TBC or write to me and I'll send you one. Free!

Coming February 11: A new rattlechap from Sacramento's Poet Laureate, Julia Connor (Oar); a littlesnake broadside from Josh Fernandez (In The End, It’s A Worthless Machine); and the premiere of our new Rattlesnake Reprints, featuring The Dimensions of the Morning by D.R. Wagner, which was first published by Black Rabbit Press in 1969. That’s February 11 at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else’s.

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 SOWs; 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.