A HUMBLER HEAVEN
(after Alexander Pope)
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Clouds obscure the hilltop and, beyond,
the sky. I’m counting cloud-sheep
massing like a capitalist dream
so gain-laden, they go thunder-gray.
Where is heaven if a hill of gold
stands in the way? These heights
hold clouds athwart the higher vista.
I wish for visions of a clearer day.
MERMAIDS, MIDDLE LIFE
Those jalapeño teasers are too fierce
now. Sunburnt adventures on the white rocks
lapsed to memory like a rugby green. Yet,
something lives in retro-revery. Pierce
the present, rip out of this daily box.
Can you identify the thing not met
but wished for – always distant and the same
with dim reflection? Glint of sails – not docks –
far horizon’s song you can’t forget.
Strange birds of brilliant feather call your name.
Shards of sunset.
Thanks, TG, for the poems about wishes, our Seed of the Week. Send your poems about wishes to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs.
Join us at The Book Collector tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 PM for 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). That's 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Contrary to previous advertising, though, the latest issue of Rattlesnake Review won't be available until next week. Stay tuned.
Young Writers Workshop at CSUS Saturday:
Capitol City Young Writers "Meet the Author" workshop takes place this Saturday from 9 AM to noon at CSU, Sacramento, Mendocino Hall, Rm. 1003. Free parking available in Lot 2. Writers and readers in grades 6-12 will meet established adult writers and attend workshops, including a poetry workshop led by Bob Stanley. Other poetry guest speakers will include Andy Jones, Indigo Moor, and Jeff Knorr. Attendance at any of the five "Meet the Author" workshops each year requires an annual $25 membership, or maximum $50 per family. Parents and educators are welcome to attend. Joining can be done via the website or at the door. Capitol City Young Writers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and inspiration of aspiring writers in grades 6-12. Info: 877-816-7659, 916-804-5016 or capitolcityyoungwriters.org/.
HER OWN BIG EASY
—Claire J. Baker, Pinole
She pulls the handle
on her blue La-Z-Boy, tilts
all the way back; legs
go limp, spine dissolves.
For a long tender nap
she focuses on the north star,
fully expects to meet
"the emperor of ice cream,"
the hourglass inventer,
the god of good dogs,
the angel of deep breathing.
THE HOUSE OF STARS
—Claire J. Baker
One night, running from herself,
gripping a bowl of fright,
she reached the house of stars.
When it outshone her troubled
story, she whispered, Then let
this be a night for glory...
All of a light & out of a cloud
a stranger stood there tall & calm.
She argued: I have a bone to pick
with you, not that you care!
Unshaken, the stranger offered
a feast to share.
AT VA CLINIC
—Claire J. Baker
A wizened Korean vet
drives a glorified golf cart,
around the huge grounds.
In his spare time
he makes maple & oak
canes for younger vets,
paints them red, white & blue.
—Claire J. Baker
for a walk
Where she goes
prone to follow.
...a mouse she could lay at her mother's feet.
—Anne Tyler: Back When We Were Grown Up
COMING IN SEPTEMBER:
Join us at The Book Collector Wednesday, September 9 at 7:30 PM
for 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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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/.
Issue #23 will be available at The Book Collector the night of Sept. 9.
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 email@example.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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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.