Saturday, May 09, 2009

Still Lost

—Marie J. Ross, Stockton

We searched the arid Nevada
dry land, Daddy, Sis and I; just
a bit of underbrush and tumble-
weed lay motionless on the surface floor.
Our plan was to hunt for Indian
arrowheads and beads, and pick
Indian Tea indigenous to the area.
Daddy remarked, We don’t need a
map, I know this worthless stretch
of land like the back of my hand.
We walked and walked, sun hotter
and hotter, our mouths drier and drier.
Daddy, we’re parched; where is a
general store in this God-forsaken
stretch of land?
We scanned the wavy sensations and
blurry distance for a watery gift for our thirst.
A roof top appeared in the distance—was
it a mirage, were we seeing things?
We dragged our feet, as if on crutches,
found an old-time gas station, opened its
rusty screen door, deposited a dime in the
iconic red, sliding-glass door, soda pop machine.
Daddy and Sis gulped theirs down rapidly
as ice chips slid down their cheeks.
I savored an Orange Slice pop, licking ice
chips like melting snow.
It tasted like an arctic fruit fountain from heaven
as it wet my throat; I, ready to beg for another.


—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

Lazy, white puffs amble
in four dimensions
across a turquoise sky.
Desert heat surrounds,
exhilarates us,
an extension of the electricity
between us.
We make love
next to tall, dusty cattails.

Cool, emerald water dances
over brown and yellow pebbles.
We splash, play, swim naked
in the crystal creek,
stretch out to dry in the sun
on flat gray rocks
above the water line.


Thanks to Marie Ross and Donald Anderson for "lost" poems, continuing our Seed of the Week: When I Was Lost, and to Ann Wehrman for her pocketful of gems, too. Ann has been busy. She says, I have been published in the May edition of Poetry Now (2 poems) and also have work upcoming in the Spring 2009 Cosumnes River Journal (2 poems and one short story—a joy for me, since I love that story and have been sending it out for years). Also, we just brought out Sac State's Calaveras Station Literary Journal, for which I served as Poetry Editor (one of multiple Poetry Editors) over the last school year, and will also, next school year—very good experience, and fun.

Hopefully, the rest of you out there are also submitting to journals far and wide, including Rattlesnake Review #22—deadline is next Friday! Other local print journals include Joyce Odam's monthly Brevities (pick one up at The Book Collector); the Friths' Ekphrasis (click on it in the column to the left of this); Poet's Espresso (ditto); Sacramento Poetry Center's Tule Review; and—hey—you do the work of finding them! You'll be glad you did...


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

by Bruce Rux
Frog Ltd.
681 pp, $19.95
ISBN: 9-781-883-319-618

Hey, what can I say? At an early age, I got sucker-punched by flying saucers. I think books about UFOS, alien abductions, and what-not are at an all-time American cultural high. And one of the best books on the subject is Hollywood vs. the Aliens by Bruce Rux. This book has it all!—the history of UFOs in America, juxtaposed with the history of the Hollywood B-Film, which in turn is juxtaposed with the science fiction of television, aka "The X Files", "Millennium", "Twin Peaks", "The Outer Limits", and numerous other shows that include the current programs "4400" and "Fringe". I love this book: it's made for every film, UFO, and conspiracy nut on the planet. You can’t go wrong with purchasing it. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find it in Barnes & Noble or Borders. Your best bet is going to be ordering it from the publisher.

So, what can I say? I cannot hold my excitement back. This is such a downright cool book that in my egotistical but very humble opinion belongs on the bookshelf of every well-read person I know. In fact, it also belongs on the bookshelf of numerous alien hybrids and other Outlaws. So buy it! Don’t waste time reading this review! Get online and buy this book!


—Ann Wehrman

I don’t know
if you’ll hurt me again

I’m sorry that I hurt you
I’ve changed

I’m not sure
I need more time

Where do you really stand?

I can’t not come
when you ask me

Then why
haven’t you come?

I’m afraid that you’ll
hurt me again

I’ve changed
I’ve changed

I love you so much
I’ll always love you
I can’t not come when you
ask me to come
If you ask me
I’ll come



—Ann Wehrman

raw silent
scream inside
shrink implode whimper
silent gasp
clench grit teeth
nose runs sniffle
nose runs
back sore
cold dark
stars behind fog’s haze

in minutes, the bus
alone on the bench
breathe cold fog
stomach clenches
train cars thud thud thud
dominos in the distance
shifting blocks of sound
nudge cold downturn
gasp jolt shiver
wait in the cold
grit teeth
gloves and hat
stomach shakes
shoulders aching
all joints aching
alone dark cold



—Donald R. Anderson, Stockton

Upon that pleasant seam
where tired seems to be the true
meaning of life,
where it is the dream from which
one does not wake,
I will gladly lay to rest,
when that exhaustion comes to me,
and lay down my tasks,
for others will take me place.
Though only if it's time,
and only when that door I must face.
And I will say,
"Love is the Holy Grail,"
and soft will grow my face.


Today's LittleNip:

—Ann Wehrman

auburn horses wind upward
out of the slow creek bed
subterranean gash
dark Plutonian earth
natural as spring’s return
look me straight in the eye
not apart, a part
more real than reality



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 COMING IN MAY: Join us Weds., May 13 for 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. That’s at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM. Free!

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, 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.