Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Curious Travels

—William Bronk

Those were curious travels: I staggered across
a lava-skinned land that tore me. I trembled and raged;
and although alone, as though something drove me, I lay
then jumped forward. I pounded my feet down. I lunged
as the edge fell away, and I saw without looking what I came
there to look at. At the bottom, I saw it. Nothing is worse.
Having seen over, I came away from the edge.

I could no longer omit to believe what before
I saw it I knew without seeing. Whatever it is
we have to learn, when we can't anymore avoid
the learning, is whatever it is we already know.
We have to act it out. We turn away
when the acting is over. We know. We saw. We believe.
We are free, then, for the acting of other parts.

Under our world, or as though to say it were there,
scrutiny quietly spits in the skin of our eyes
and strips us empty and ugly as we knew it would.
When every hope to deny or change this is gone
as it has to be, we have to leave it alone,
and act as though it had never been true (as it always was):
mornings now, we wake again in desire.


—William Bronk

Travel comes to an end. We get to there
wherever it claims to be, or home again,
and it's over. That's all of that. Travel assumes
that place is different from place, though everyone knows
(even the traveler knows) the assumption is made
mostly to make the trip, to offer excuse
for it, for what we want: the travel, the steps
from here to there, the demands, their peremptoriness,
preemption. Dear God! That something engage us, that we
be busy at something, wars or careers, enroute!
Going somewhere. Moving again so as not
to have time for here, not to be stuck with it.
With here. Look at it! At here. Let's go!


Our Seed of the Week is "Curious Travels". Maybe the kind where you literally pack up your suitcase; maybe those armchair ones just using your mind. Or the metaphor of getting from place to place, geographically or otherwise. Dreams, even. The Journey. Send the fruits of your labors to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on Seeds of the Week.

Fifth Annual "Voices of Lincoln" Poetry Contest

The Poets Club of Lincoln presents its poetry contest for 2009, sponsored by The Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners
selected in each contest category; five categories include: "Lincoln in 2025," "Love and Life," "Heroes," "Memories" and "Science and Technology." Each poet may submit 3 poems; no more than one in three of the five contest categories. Poems may be rhyme, free verse, Haiku or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 30 lines. Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category. All poems must be received by August 1; early submissions are appreciated. The top three winners in each category will be contacted by phone.
Entry Forms and Contest Rules are available at the Lincoln Carnegie Library Check-Out Desk, the Twelve Bridges Library Check-Out Desk and can be downloaded from the following websites: www.libraryatlincoln.org and www.friendsofthelincolncalibrary.org/. Winners will be asked to submit their poems electronically (by e-mail attachment, using “poem name.doc” format) to lincolnpoetry@gmail.com. Winners will read their poems on October 11, 2009 at the Voices of Lincoln event to be held from 3-5 PM, Twelve Bridges Library (Willow Room), 485 Twelve Bridges Drive, Lincoln, CA. Winners also will be presented with a commemorative chapbook of the winning poems.


—William Bronk

The inescapable sense of dreams is how
easily one becomes another, one place,
for example, is soon another place and there,
the people are sometimes the same. More often though,

they shift identities. Another time,
the I is you. Waking, I marvel how,
artificers, we rig stability
of person, place and time, pretend it is.


—William Bronk

The reassurances: the far trips
the mind can make! My friend writes so close
to me, gently; oh, I journey out
to a place beyond us. It is a place different from this.

You know, with a few clues, scholars make
their reconstructions of the lost or the unknown
—whole worlds they make from the slight signs.
How quickly we know how right they are.

There is a world we know from inference.
It isn't here and yet we go to it
with no hesitation. No go: as though we are there.

We are imperfect concepts. Our world, besides,
is a flawed world. Our view were hopelessness
were there no place beyond us; these are beautiful.


Today's LittleNip:

—William Bronk

I thought
we stood at the door
of another world
and it might open
and we go in.


Do you know
Where you are
On your journey?

—Deng Ming-Dao



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

COMING JUNE 10: Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger, a rattlechap by Bob Stanley; Mandorla: 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!

Rattlesnake Review: Snake (RR21) is now available (free) at The Book Collector, or send me four bux and I'll mail you one. RR22 will be available next Wednesday, June 10, at The Book Collector. Deadline is July 15 for RR23: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to kathykieth@hotmail.com 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!: The second issue of WTF, the free quarterly journal from Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe that is edited by frank andrick, is now available at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one. 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 fandrickfabpub@hotmail.com (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.

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 kathykieth@hotmail.com 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 kathykieth@hotmail.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.