Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Bounty of Second Chances

—Richard Kenney

Bounty, bounty,
silver corn husks cracked down by fat raccoons,
pumpkins squat amidst the sift and fall of seeds,
racks of acorn squash collapsed,
tomatoes split and leaking in the boggy tangle of their vines,
apples bruising in their bins,
the half-Harvest Moon itself
a tipped snifter—
I incline my chin.


Opportunities for the future:

•••Thurs. (11/12)-Sun. (11/15): 15th Annual Cowpoke Fall Gathering at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed, 3550 Taylor Rd., Loomis, featuring Cowboy Poets Baxter Black, Pat Richardson, Rod Erickson, Jeff Severson, Kimberly Hess, Chanda Eubanks. Also opening reception ($30), free Open Mic on Sat. AM and free Cowboy Church Sunday AM. Tickets now on sale for reception, Sat. matinee and other events at Blue Goose Produce, at Foothill Feed and Gift, or at Main Drug in Loomis. Info/schedule: or or call 916-652-4480. Sponsored by Loomis Basin Vet Clinic and High-Hand Nursery to benefit the So. Placer Heritage Foundation and the Blue Goose Fruit Shed Renovation Project.


The Davis Cemetery is hosting a free art event open to the public on October 18th from 11 AM to 3 PM. Both visual and performance art will be featured. If you are an artist who has done or would like to do a work of art inspired by the cemetery, please check out our entry requirements below. Note that applications must be received by October 1.

Entry specifications: All art must be inspired by the Davis Cemetery. However, this does not necessitate representational pieces. For two/three dimensional art specifications, go to and click on “Calling All Artists” in the right-hand “News” column.
All pieces (or facsimiles of) must be submitted electronically with application form no later than October 1, 2009 to or hard copy to 820 Pole Line Road, Davis, 95618 between 10 AM and 2 PM weekdays. Art will be on display only. Feel free to bring business cards in case a potential buyer wants to contact you individually later, but please understand that no sales of art will take place at the event. Performance Art (including music, poetry, dance, drama): One performance piece per artist. Maximum time frame 7 minutes (if this is a problem, contact us and we will see what we can do to accommodate you).

Please call 530-756-7807 or go to if you have questions or would like an application.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

She sits there

Pencil in hand

Struggling with

The cross-word puzzle

Knowing the pencil

Allows her a chance

To revise her thinking

As new clues arrive

She sits there
Pen in hand

Brashly filling

The cross-word puzzle

Knowing she is

Right or wrong

Not caring

Confident in

Her guessing


—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

My dead mother looks at me wise,
the sunlight on her mouth,
her eyes in shadow.

How long ago was that . . .
why do I speak to her now
in morning’s bright beginning?

She holds her look for me,
her old advice still holding
beyond the shadows in her eyes.

Might I pretend a disobedience
at this late year?
We are the same age now.

It’s all too late
for cutting strings.
She was always right.


—Joyce Odam

Allow yourself one poem a day.
Speak sadly of this.
Taste its meaning.

One day a poem will taste sadly to you,
test your crying, taste your tears.
Sweet tears for sadness,

one tear a day for sad remembering.
Tell someone,
or keep it to yourself for savor.

Savor one poem a day.
Write it yourself.
Do not give it meaning.

Let it grate—or soften
your hurt meaning.
Let it linger where it hurries—

to—or away. Let it go, then.
There is nothing to say in a poem.
Allow this.

Wing it
with falling if you
fall inward. How will this matter?

Do not ask a question.
Questions have no answers.
In a word is a poem. Begin it.


Today's LittleNip:

Poetry is the cipher key to the five mystic wishes packed in a hollow silver bullet fed to a flying fish.

—Carl Sandburg



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


Rattlesnake Press is proud to announce the release of a new chapbook by
Susan Finkleman
(Mirror, Mirror: Poems Of The Mother-Daughter Relationship, illustrated by Joseph Finkleman),
plus a new HandyStuff blank journal from Katy Brown (A Capital Idea),
and a littlesnake broadside from Marie Reynolds (Late Harvest). All are now available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento.


RR23 is now available at The Book Collector, and contributor and subscription copies will go into the mail in the next two weeks.
You may also order a copy through

Deadline is November 15 for RR24: 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!


On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Rattlesnake Press will release
a new chapbook from Brad Buchanan (The War Groom)
and a new Rattlesnake LittleBook from
William S. Gainer: Joining the Demented.
That's 7:30 PM at The Book Collector.

WTF!!: The third 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.

Deadline for Issue #4 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

Then gear up the flivver for a ROAD TRIP on Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 PM
as we all travel over to HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento
for Rattlesnake Press's release of the new SPC anthology,
Keepers of the Flame: The First 30 Years of the Sacramento Poetry Center.
Editor-in-Chief Mary Zeppa and her helpers have put together
many, many documents and photos
from SPC's history, and the resulting anthology (and SPC's 30th anniversary!)
will be celebrated that night. Be there!


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.