Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let The Snake Wait Under His Weed

Photo by Katy Brown

—Katy Brown, Davis

crosses in a vacant room
incense for processionals
Where does the soul store doubt?

stained glass and shadows in an upper room
dust hanging in constellations
What cries in the night?

a list of books on the stone floor
simple nativity on the window sill
How many amber yesterdays?

beeswax candles partly burned
filtered light reflecting off brass
When will equinox arrive?

ivy clinging to the glass
somewhere a heavy door closes
Why is the lark silent?


Second chances: They come along every day, every hour, every minute. I'm having a second chance to get the latest issue of Rattlesnake Review #23 out; it'll be in The Book Collector starting tomorrow, Weds. afternoon. I'll also be at the Time Tested reading on Sunday, trailing Snakes behind me... Or I'll catch you here, there and everywhere. Contribs and subscribers will, of course receive theirs in the mail in the next 2-3 weeks, if I don't see you first. If you are in that group and you happen to get your copy at The Book Collector, please let me know and save me the postage.

While you're down at The Book Collector, be sure to pick up a copy of Late Harvest, Marie Reynolds' new broadside, plus Mirror, Mirror, a new chapbook by Susan Finkleman and Musing4: A Capital Idea, the latest blank journal of photos and prompts by Katy Brown. All brand-new, red-hot stuff from the Snake!

Second chances: our Seed of the Week. I'll start:

—Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines

White clouds over every field turn out
to be snowy egrets, their thin supports invisible
in spring rain. Our sea-green sedan rolls
through this long stretch of flat valley as

windshield wipers slowly wash away the grime
of winter: clarify the translucent kellys and limes
of a new season and its emerging plan. Birds
bob on every puddle, floating on the mercies

of their refuge, tourists on the Flyway. An
iridescent mallard and his life-mate begin
the rituals of housekeeping with careful
preenings, a casual hoarding of sticks. . .

And the mustard! March's grey scrim
only turns up the volume of citrine and yellow-
jacket, the in-your-face fluorescence of this wicked
peppery spice of Dijon. . . But winter still has

her lights on; she has not yet gone to bed. Scruffy
hawks still slump on fenceposts in their low-
level waiting-out of the drizzle. Then a more
ambitious one flies overhead, clutching a small

songbird which, at the very last minute, wriggles
free—just in time to snatch a fresh season for
herself from these neon greens and yellows of
a new beginning. . .


Send your second chances to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, Ca 95726. No deadlines on second chances...

—Wallace Stevens

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
—through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.


Today's LittleNip:

How many second chances will you have today?


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.


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/.

The release of Rattlesnake Review #23 was, as you know,
delayed, and will be available at The Book Collector
and other venues as of Thursday, Sept. 17.

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 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 (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 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 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/.)

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 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.