Monday, August 10, 2009

Various Liquidities, Cont.

Toward Sacramento
Photo by Jane Blue, Sacramento

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

War is over
dizzy life begins in Daddy’s town
he was the speakeasy dog in the '20s
now it’s her turn to howl!

Comes the weekend
shove the books aside
put the brain to sleep
New Year's Eve yelping down Park Avenue
cab packed, party in Queens
she danced to bands Hotel Pennsylvania
hid anywhere….in burrows, in dens
Sigma Chi House top floor street floor
the real doghouse
midnight in Central Park
love swarmed in the grass
Little Casino in the Village
a coffee-colored man sang
Your arms opened wide to take me inside
parked in a Jersey swamp
home at dawn the cold house smoke-stale
with Daddy’s Camels
Stop crying, Mother

Through the web of Manhattan dreams
she found him
all warm beast eyes and tender paws
offered her a drink at twilight
Here’s the hair of the dog that bit you
his favorite metaphor
(feeding her drinks since she was 10
hey, even a beer age 5)
wasn’t that how all this started, Daddy….?
no different from the dogs who followed
handing her a drink….


This week in NorCal poetry:

•••Monday (8/10), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Mariana Castro de Ali and Terry a O’ Neal at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th Sts. (25th & R), Sacramento. [See last Friday’s post for bios.]

•••Tues. (8/11), 6:30 PM: Open Mic Night at 1825 Pacific Ave., Stockton (Empresso Coffeehouse where Stockton Royale Theatre at one time used to be). Info: Donald R. Anderson (

•••Weds. (8/12), 7:30 PM:
Celebrate Joyce Odam’s birthday month with two new books from her by Rattlesnake Press: 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! And..........

•••Sat. (8/15): Postmark deadline for Issue 23 of Rattlesnake Review.
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 add all contact info, including snail address. Also: Snake 23 will consider the ‘Net as it applies to poetry: pros/cons, handy sites, good/bad experiences. Like it or not, the Internet is part of our poetry lives now. Or should be. Or shouldn’t…..? Send us your thoughts and favorite resources before the 8/15 deadline.

•••Sat. (8/15): Postmark deadline for Ina Coolbrith Circle’s 90th annual poetry contest. All ICC members and non-member California residents are eligible. Cash prizes! For a pdf of this year’s rules, ask John Rowe, BAPC President, P.O. Box 11435, Berkeley, CA 94712-2435, (510) 527-9905.,

•••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

•••Sat. (8/15): Deadline to sign up for Workshop (9/26-27) on Self-Publishing in Mokelumne Hill 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.

•••Sun. (8/16), 6-8 PM: Pomo Literati radio program with frank andrick on KUSF in San Francisco (90.3 FM or Begins with James Joyce from a recording in 1929 and segues into a track from Text Of Light (sonic youth's lee ranaldo project ) interpolating their brand of unique noise/music & a choir mouthing Joyce cantos. Also Tom Wilson, Bill Gainer, David Houston and Strings presenting tone poems live in the studio, and many other recorded poetic luminaries. This is frank’s 10th year doing the Pomo Lit. at KUSF, and this is also his B-day program so he will celebrate all things "LEO" with works by, about, and for Lee Ranaldo, Audrey Bitoni, Cindi Loftus, and others of Leo~nic persuasion.


Unfortunately, another independent bookstore is closing. Taylor Graham writes: We're sorry to report that Raven's Tale bookstore in Placerville is closing, and our 3rd Friday poetry reading series is on hiatus. If we find a new venue, we'll again send out notices of coming readings.

Thanks to everyone—John and Vicky and Raven's Tale, and our featured readers, open mic poets, and audience—for your enthusiasm and support of poetry in Placerville.

Support the independents!


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

We have all heard of cowboy poets out here in the West
Riding their ranges, roping the cattle, story telling with the coffee
But what about the pirate poets who sail the seven seas
Surely they must tell the romances of the deep watery world
Tales of whales, sharks and the ever-present rocking waters
Searching for treasures, burning their way into tales of horror
If the audiences do not like their stuff, why, they can just walk the plank.


—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

I throw open the window and lie back
the night breeze brings memories
of the time we stayed out
on the beach until 3:00 a.m.
rich, fertile ocean smells
of sand, shells, fish, seaweed
combine in a cool, moist brew
fill my nose, lungs—I drink deeply

I still see you standing on the sand
I remember making love to you in my mind
just like tonight


—Ann Wehrman

water runs rivulets
over my face
blinds eyes
sneaks into mouth
through lips laughing
shirt bra pants shoes
soaked, sloshing
turn face up
rain splatters glasses
wind whips drops
cold teeth into back, arms
seek shelter under lintel
feet sodden dirty puddle
watch rain blow in sheets
gray yellow sky releases
water of life cleanses
nourishes, renews
CRACK! thunder scares
heart pounds fast deep breath
gulp slow down
passing its peak fast
hard storm moves on
languid, refreshed
rose silver sky
drapes in varicolored silk


Today's LittleNip:

—A.R. Ammons

I've been married
forty years and
in all that
time I haven't
been unfaithful once:
lately, I haven't
even been faithful.



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


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, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.
Deadline for Issue #3 (which will be available at Luna's Cafe on
Thursday, August 20
) 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 (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

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 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 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

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 (include snail address) 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 (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.