Saturday, November 21, 2009

Julius Chingono

Julius Chingono

—Julius Chingono, Zimbabwe

A false tooth
got lost
during a tongue dance
that was misty
and full of froth.
It was found holding
on to a rotting gum.

A false tooth
also smiles
when real teeth smile
do they have any feelings?

Are you aware
all those people died
to make certain
you lost the election?


Thanks, Julius, for today's poetry! Born 63 years ago, Julius Chingono has worked in the mines as a rock blaster for most of his working age. He has been published in Shona and English in anthologies the world over. He has been invited to attend and participate international festivals like Poetry International in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Poetry Africa in Durban in South Africa, and Shaar International Festival in Israel. His poems have been translated into Dutch, German, English, French and Hebrew. He contributes to Poetry International regularly, and is working on a Shona short story book. Good to hear from another of our Zimbabwean poet-friends!

Medusa has updated her links; check out the list on the right for new ones in addition to our "old" favorites. I can't seem to get Bob Stanley's to work, though—probably my antiquated software—but I'm leaving it on there so that (1) you might try it and have better luck, and (2) you'll be reminded to check out his spiffy County Lines now and then—hopefully more now than then.


—Julius Chingono

Two cockroaches met
talked of their experiences
since they parted
one big wingless cockroach
told the other cockroach
that the hotel
they used to stay in was no more
suitable for habitation
for the floors were
well scrubbed and shiny
cavities filled and plastered
walls were sparkling
in new paint
sinks and cupboards
glittered in enamel.
"The new environment
was too dry."
The wingless cockroach complained
"Often made me restless."
I came out through
a keyhole
weak but determined
to escape.


—Julius Chingono

I was immersed
in working a poem
when an emergent business man
whom I shared a park bench with
received a call
a business call
I presumed.
He borrowed the pen
I was scribbling with
I lost a verse
he got an order.


—Julius Chingono

There are queues many queues
cheeky rowdy bread queues
disjointed tension charged sugar queues
bumper to bumper fuel
warlike mealie meal queues
anxiety mobbed telephone queues
sick winding hospital queues
deathly silent mortuary queues
yet the longest but invisible queue
is the queue to the queue.


Today's LittleNip:

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

—Sir Richard Steele



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


RR23 is now available free at The Book Collector,
and contributor and subscription copies
have gone into the mail—you should've received yours;
let me know if you haven't.
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 likelihoodof 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!


A new chapbook from Dawn DiBartolo
(Secrets of a Violet Sky)
Rattlesnake Reprint #2 from frank andrick
(PariScope: A Triptyche)
plus our 2010 calendar from Katy Brown
(Wind in the Yarrow)!

Now available from SPC or at The Book Collector:
Our new 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 30-year history.

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 was Oct. 15;
it'll be released at Luna's on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Next deadline (for Issue #5) is Jan. 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


The Thread of Dreams,
a new chapbook from
Carol Frith,
will be premiered at
The Book Collector on
December 9, 7:30 PM,
along with the new issue of
Rattlesnake Review.
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.