A perfume like an acid plum
sword on a road,
sugary kisses on the teeth,
vital drops trickling down the fingers
sweet erotic pulp,
threshing floors, haystacks, inciting
secret hideaways in spacious houses,
mattresses asleep in the past, the pungent green valley
seen from above, from the hidden window:
all adolescence becoming wet and burning
like a lantern tipped in the rain.
(translated by Jack Schmitt)
Lola snoozes while Neruda reminds us that time's a-flying! Come join us tonight, Wednesday, November 11 for a new chapbook from Dawn DiBartolo (Secrets of a Violet Sky) and Rattlesnake Reprint #2 from frank andrick (PariScope: A Triptyche). And keep track of that slippery varmint, time, with our new 2010 calendar of poetry and photography from Katy Brown (Wind in the Yarrow)! That's 7:30 PM at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Be there!
While you're thinking of the Snake, don't forget that the deadline is this coming Sunday, November 15 for Rattlesnake Review #24: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Our thanks to Taylor Graham and Richard Zimmer for their talk of walls, our Seed of the Week. Keep 'em coming—no deadline on SOWs. And to Claire J. Baker for today's LittleNip.
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Make a thorough inquisition through the metropolis for beggars,
vagrants and the most dangerous... candidates for crime
and send them thither to work on these out-door pictures, paying
them in wholesome food... and good schooling of heart and mind.
—Elihu Burritt, A Walk from London to Land’s End
See how it’s done here at Dartmoor Prison:
criminals digging up granite boulders,
creating a fertile garden outside the walls.
London could take a lesson, with its guilds
to support the arts—paintings in gilded frames
hung on museum walls. Let’s think
bigger, you say, and open-air. How about
this gallery of the field? Yellow-gold of wheat
and barley with a splash of deep-green
rutabaga; fields framed by hawthorn hedge,
all set against a backdrop of brambly heath-
land and displayed in God’s best light.
The artist? A band of ne’er-do-wells
let loose upon the land,
to be reclaimed as they reclaim the soil
with hoe and hope. It only takes
a canny mind to see past walls, through
bramble, into possibility.
IN A CORNISH CHURCH, 1745
Here Hervey once preached.... Life and death seemed put
in their feeblest contrast here. —Elihu Burritt
The great doors open like a welcome, a beginning.
Must a preacher always bring his own thoughts
inside these walls, under a vault that rises plain and lofty?
Hervey notes how morning-light wears a luminous obscurity
(note the saint-stained windows) as he stands
on stone inscribed with mourning, lamentation, woe.
Earth de-composed of fellow sinners sleeping.
Into his meditations a clock strikes its memento mori,
an alarm, an argument. Its wisdom: number
your days. Its admonition: sink
your imagination. Outside the walls, sunlight
fills with English birdsong.
But the great doors shut behind him
like his own conclusion.
A FACE ON THE WALL
—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento
He saw a face on a plastered wall.
Cold chills ran down his spine.
He knew he’d seen that face before,
but was it just some faded lines…
a strange fantasy of his mind?
Who was the one he tried to recall…
was it his father…gone so long?
The things he felt were hard to explain.
Why did he stop…stand and stare,
What did he see…was anything there?
Surely it was he…the father he knew,
But why at that time and place?
Sometimes signs are given to men.
Why had the chance display,
from out of the past, come his way?
What curious whim thrust it in view…
the familiar face he once knew?
Perhaps he’d meet his father again.
The face on the wall troubled his mind.
Maybe, that day, fate had been kind.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
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 rattlesnakepress.com/.
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:
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!
NEW FROM RATTLESNAKE PRESS:
Now available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento:
A new chapbook from Brad Buchanan (The War Groom)
and a new Rattlesnake LittleBook from
William S. Gainer: Joining the Demented.
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 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/.)
COMING IN NOVEMBER:
Join us on Wednesday, November 11
for 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)!
That's 7:30 PM at The Book Collector. 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 email@example.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.