Saturday, October 10, 2009

Life & Other Run-On Sentences

Gus the Resident Horse, Folsom City Zoo
Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—dawn di bartolo, citrus heights

blink and you will surely miss it,

the switch from baby to woman.

look in her eyes and remember.
tomorrow will be wedding, birth,
independence for all she’s worth.

look in her eyes and remember

the switch from baby to woman.

blink and you will surly miss it.



—dawn di bartolo

the bug is out and here to stay.
immunity is far from sight;

babies graciously share the germ.

kindergarten taught them too well.

hold your breath, try not to inhale!

babies graciously share the germ,

immunity is far from sight.
the bug is out and here to stay.


Thanks, Dawn-D, for the octos! Watch for a new rattlechap from dawn di bartolo, Secrets of a Violet Sky, coming from Rattlesnake Press November 11!

The octo give-away continues; keep counting those syllables ver-r-r-y carefully: eight lines; eight syllables each; rhyme lines 4 and 5; lines 6,7,8 repeat lines 1,2,3, except in reverse order. (See the fine examples above and below, or previous posts this week.) Send your octos to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726 by midnight tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 11, and I'll send you a free copy of Susan Finkleman's new rattlechap, Mirror, Mirror.

Congrats to SnakePal Dewell H. Byrd, 78, Eureka, a retired public school administrator, who has won the 2009 California Senior Poet Laureate Award with his poem, "Portrait Day." The 17th annual national Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition for American poets age 50 and older was sponsored by Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Fdn. of Monterey, Calif. Details about the contest and all winners' poems appear in the online anthology, Golden Words, currently on the sponsor's website at

Get away from it all with two retreats:


December 4-6, 2009 (with a one-day follow-up on Saturday, January 30th, 2010) at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel. We will be examining what transforms a personal story into something that has value and meaning for readers, and in the process, we will be addressing the following questions:

What makes a memoir a memoir?
What is it about my life experience that makes it worth telling?

How can I move beyond the "simply personal" into writing that has more universal significance?

What is the best framework for me to use in telling my story?

Which stories should I include and which should I leave out?

How can I write about the past with fresh immediacy?

How can I write about things I don't fully remember?

What about my concerns that I can't tell these stories because I'd be betraying the people I’m writing about?

For information or to register: or call Laura at 831-464-9517.


Led by Marilyn Kallet, this workshop takes place in Auvillar, one of the "most beautiful villages in France." In addition to a week of poetry workshops (May 17-24, 2010), gourmet banquets and outings, we will have afternoon demonstrations on French cooking and photography, for those writers and their partners who are interested. There is an early-bird discount before February first, and a discount for belonging to an arts organization. For more info: and


—Allegra Silberstein, Davis

Life becomes a run-on sentence
voiced on trails of prepositions:
until next week, without a doubt
it stretches out from here to there…

if you have time, because you care
until next week, without a doubt…
voiced on trails of prepositions
life becomes a run-on sentence.


—Chrys Mollett, Angels Camp

(a sequel to yesterday's "Clancy")

This wild thing is your replacement?

A full-bred Aussie pup, red merle

Yipping, tugging, barks in my ear

She's been my distraction from grief.

She sleeps on your bed like a thief.

Yipping, tugging, barks in my ear.

A full-bred Aussie pup, red merle
This wild thing is your replacement?






—Chrys Mollett

Some time in Paris set me free!

I needn't even use TP.
Old Chronicles are often free.

Dispensing, you must choose one kind.

Which way does Your TP roll wind?

Old Chronicles are often free.

I needn't even use TP.

Some time in Paris set me free!


Today's LittleNip:

Those things called real and lasting—the smallest breeze bears them away. Art attempts to fix them to one spot.

—Stephen Dobyns


Feral chickens, Folsom City Zoo
Photo by Michelle Kunert


SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


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. 14, 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.