Friday, October 02, 2009

One-Sided Love

Drawing by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer, Davis

My hefty bulk stands
because I love all the land.


Thanks, Ann! Ann Privateer writes that she "went to the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival in Berkeley last Saturday, where I created these during a community event called The Cloud Maiden, Two."

This weekend in NorCal poetry:

•••Sat. (10/3 and every 1st Sat.): Rhythm and Rhyme readings at Butch N’ Nellies near 19th & I Sts., Sacramento. Televised music, open mic. Info:

•••Monday (10/5), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents John Amen and Scott Weiss at HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento. John Amen is the author of three collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer (Uccelli Press 2003), More of Me Disappears (Cross-Cultural Communications 2005), and At the Threshold of Alchemy (Presa 2009), and has released two folk/folk rock Cds: All I’ll Never Need and Ridiculous Empire (Cool Midget 2004, 2008). His poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including, most recently, Rattle, The New York Quarterly, The International Poetry Review, Gargoyle, and Blood to Remember. He is also an artist, working primarily with acrylics on canvas. Amen travels widely giving readings, doing musical performances, and conducting workshops. He founded and continues to edit the award-winning literary bimonthly, The Pedestal Magazine (

Scott Weiss is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, with a degree in English. His poetry has appeared in the journal, Poetalk, and he has reviewed a book of poetry for the online publication, Electronic Poetry Review.


—Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Tehama

Since you cinched that broad black belt
dragged on manure-caked cowboy boots
clapped the greasy-band Stetson on your head
and pointed west, I’ve been blue

I want to follow
your bald tire tracks
down the dirt road

Light red candles in the window
burn musk incense by the bathtub
lure your sweat-scent arms around my body
pull you in

But I sense
my little one-cent’s-worth
of tricks won’t work

Whatever tumbleweed
sent you my way
has rolled you on again

to rest for a week or a month
in prickly splendor
against a new woman’s fence

(First published in Möbius)


—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento

In the frosty morning mist,
we take our cloistered flight.
Dark-winged mates—
companions in strict formation.

Feathered fliers fetching
far from black-tarred streets—
hindered by hurrying humans
in looming metal machines.

Swift and short our flight—
clutching wires and
branches—ready perches
to espy scraps below.

Eagerly seeking fare
to seize upon—we snatch
at the chance to snap up
any morsels we can find.

Feathered fliers on the prowl—
strutting our proud walk.
Claws, clawing, beaks biting—
keep out of our way...

(Sketch by Richard Zimmer)


Today's LittleNip:

the autumn wind
resounds in the mountain—
temple bell
—Kaga No Chiyo

No autumn colors tint that side of the mountain: a one-sided love.
—Kaga No Chiyo



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.