Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eager For The Infinite

Our universe
as seen from the Hubble telescope

—Frank O'Hara

(after a poem by Ruth Krauss)

lost lost
where are you
lost in the shine
of my nails in the
little blue vein
inside my wrist lost
you are shining the
skin in the sun on
the front of my shoes
in my hair which is
shining with you lost

where are you lost
in my eyes are you
lost in the shine of my
nails in the little
blue vein inside my wrist
lost you are shining
the skin in the sun
on the front of my
shoes in my hair which
is shining with you lost

I want you lost
backyard lost alley the
mountain top and the
looking-glass water
lost lost I want you
lost lost stones lost
shells and the roar that is
lost and the looking-glass


Today's Seed of the Week: Lost. Sends your musings about being lost to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.

Another poetry website: Ellaraine Lockie writes to say she was featured yesterday on Your Daily Poem at http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=67/. Check it out—another poetry website to watch.

Two workshop opportunities, thanks to Monika Rose:

••Sat.-Sun. (8/15-16): 13th Annual Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival at Parsons Memorial Lodge, Yosemite National Park, features Poets Jane Hirshfield, Kay Ryan, and Joseph Stroud, plus Musician Shira Kammen, violin and vielle. Schedule:


10-11:30 AM: Meadow, River, Stone: Poetry workshop with Carol Blaney

2–3:30 PM: Featured poets and music

7:30 –10 PM: Open reading and music


10-11:30 AM: Writing by the River: Poetry workshop with Margaret Eissler

2-3:30 PM: Featured poets and music

Allow half an hour for an easy walk to Parsons Memorial Lodge. All events are free. Supported by the National Park Service, Yosemite Association, Loralee Tucker Hiramoto Memorial Fund, Friends of Parsons Lodge, and Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation. To view a complete schedule of the Parsons Memorial Lodge Summer Series visit www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/programs.htm/.

•••Sat.-Sun (9/26-27). Workshop on Self-Publishing with Tom Johnson, journalist and journalism educator for more than 30 years and Gold Rush Writer faculty member. You will come away from this workshop empowered to publish, market and distribute your own books. Leger Motel, Mokelumne Hill. Limited to 20; cost of $200 includes 2-day publishing workshop, continental breakfasts (Saturday & Sunday), Saturday night dinner. Antoinette May, hosting the workshop, will need a $50 deposit by Aug. 15.


Jane Blue writes: Here is a poem for my mother, who died July 28, 1991.


—Jane Blue, Sacramento

(for Jane Eshleman Conant, November 5, 1912-July 28, 1991)

Red roses reach into the politics of the sun.

The sun is everywhere, like God. Like your mother.

But then it sinks and the moon rises.

Your mother never dies.

The satellites rise, rushing across the summer sky.

Your father might die,

but your mother never dies.

There is one white rose as well, humble, almost

invisible. That is you.

The street is still. Even the doves

have gone inside their twiggy nests, outwaiting

(outwitting) the heat.

Just the slightest wind shakes the long canes.

I smell the acrid freeway

and its eternal (infernal) sound like a polluted sea.

But also the new-cut lawn.

Your mother in your dreams with a ruby

or a garnet in her ear.

Never dies.


—Frank O'Hara

Poised and cheerful the

squirrel moves in the grey

tree passing upward into

the world's leafy aerial

away from us and eager for

the infinite

berry his

volatile eye rolls shyly

comprehensive and sees

us as specks in a corner

midway between the dull

earth and birds' rare

nests now

empty forever

fading into wider sky

leaves are all below

him wires farther from

each other our antennae

no longer conduct him

cold and gone

oh squirrel

why didn't you tell us

you knew how to get there!


Today's LittleNip:

The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.

—Ross MacDonald



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:

There will be no rattle-read in July, while the Snake enjoys a little summer hibernation. (Stay current on Sacramento poetry, though, by way of Medusa's Kitchen.) Then join us Weds., August 12 to celebrate Joyce Odam’s birthday month with two new books from her: Peripherals: Prose Poems by Joyce Odam (illustrated by Charlotte Vincent) and Rattlesnake LittleBook #2 (Noir Love).
That’s at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM. 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 through rattlesnakepress.com, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.
Deadline for Issue #3 (which will be available August 21) was July 15; next deadline will be Oct. 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 (clearly marked for WTF).
And be forewarned: this publication is for adults only, so you must be
over 18 years of age to submit. (More info at rattlesnakepress.com/.)

RATTLESNAKE REVIEW: Issue #22 is now available (free) at The Book Collector, or send me four bux and I'll mail you one. Or you can order copies of current or past issues through rattlesnakepress.com/. Deadline is August 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 add all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of the on-going Medusa are always hungry; keep that poetry comin', rain or shine!
Just let us know if your submission is for the Review or for Medusa, or for either one, and please—only one submission packet per issue of the quarterly Review.
(More info at rattlesnakepress.com/.)

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!


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.