Sunday, May 17, 2009

May You Become A Pen In The Sun's Hand

Russian Dancers at Southside Park
Photo by Michelle Kunert


You need to become a pen
In the Sun's hand.

We need for the earth to sing
Through our pores and eyes.

The body will again become restless
Until your soul paints all its beauty
Upon the sky.

Don't tell me, dear ones,
That what Hafiz says is not true,

For when the heart tastes its glorious destiny
And you awake to our constant need
For your love

God's lute will beg
For your


Medusa will be gone for a week or so. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits:

Congrats to Diane di Prima for being selected as
San Francisco's next Poet Laureate!

You might try a site called PEN TEN (,
which allows writers to post stories only ten sentences long.

This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (5/18), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents
Kirk Parker, Cameron Parker, and Joseph Pratt.
HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento. Open mic.

•••Tues. (5/19), 7 PM: Hannah Stein will be giving a reading
at the Arboretum in Davis (all new poems). This poetry reading is part of
the annual Writers in the Garden series and takes place on Wyatt Pavilion
in the Arboretum. Hannah plans to read poetry on themes of nature and ecology. Wyatt Pavilion is across Putah Creek from the Dramatic Arts Building
at UC Davis, and across Old Davis Road from Wyatt Pavilion Theater.

•••Thursday (5/21), 8 PM: The unveiling of the second issue of WTF,
the free quarterly journal
from Poetry Unplugged and Rattlesnake Press
at Luna's Cafe (1414 16th St., Sacramento), edited by frank andrick.
Free copies of the journal, plus lots of other features besides!


This week's LittleNip:

Here's hoping your poetry—
what you read and what you write—
"makes the top of your head come off"

this week, as Emily Dickinson said!


SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

Rattlesnake Review: The latest Snake (RR21) is now available (free) at The Book Collector, or send me four bux and I'll mail you one. Next deadline is May 15 for RR22: 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; let us know if your submission is for the Review or for Medusa, or for either one, and please—only one submission per issue.

Also available (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 The Book Collector or write to me and I'll send you one. Free!

WTF!: Join us on Thursday, May 21 at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento for the unveiling of the second issue of WTF, the free quarterly journal from Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe that is edited by frank andrick. Next deadline, for issue #3, is July 15. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but send your poems, 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 is for adults only, so you must be over 18 years of age to submit. Copies of the first issue are at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.

ALSO NEW FOR MAY: A new rattlechap, Sinfonietta, from Tom Goff; Vol. 5 of Conversations, the Rattlesnake Interview Series by B.L. Kennedy; and the inauguration of a new series, Rattlesnake LittleBooks, with Shorts: Quatrains and Epigrams by Iven Lourie. Now available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or from the authors, or [soon] from

COMING IN JUNE: Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger, a rattlechap by Bob Stanley; Mandoria: A Prelude, a littlesnake broadside from frank andrick, and a brand-new issue of Rattlesnake Review! All at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30, on Wednesday, June 10. Free!

Medusa's Weekly Menu:

(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for 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 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, or any other day!): 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.