CHRISTMAS FAMILY REUNION
—Peter De Vries
Since last the tutelary hearth
Has seen this bursting pod of kin,
I've thought how good the family mould,
How solid and how genuine.
Now once again the aunts are here,
The uncles, sisters, brothers,
With candy in the children's hair,
The grownups in each other's.
There's talk of saving room for pie;
Grandma discusses her neuralgia.
I long for time to pass, so I
Can think of all this with nostalgia.
Tuesday is Seed of the Week Day: let us move our muses to write about Gifts, Giving, and Re-Gifting (the process by which you pass on unwanted gifts to someone else). Gifts of the Magi? The joy of giving? The depths of degradation that Christmastime shopping at the Mall begets? Send your SOWs to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadlines on SOWs (or giving...).
Oopsie—I just discovered a typo in today's photo, which I downloaded off a free site...
Gail Entrekin writes that the latest issue of Canary (the Winter Canary) is available online at www.hippocketpress.com/canary.cfm/.
Thanks to Michael Cluff and Richard Zimmer for these Christmas goodies:
—Michael Cluff, Highlands
I am a reindeer
serving the holiday
in a benevolent giving
My parents were driven by irony
naming me after a squirt
that sadistically gets off
on shooting people
to get them to fall in love.
Mom did claim the ides of Febuary was
my anticipated date of arrival
to put it in Claus chatter
being linked to an erotic image
does not serve me, Santa, children
do you think?
—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento
The world of toys
is a children’s world,
but toys still bring joy
“To Jimmy…from Santa”
Jimmy smiled as he opened his gift…
a large fuzzy brown Teddy bear.
He held it up…looking at it fondly…
its round plastic eyes fascinated him.
He pulled one eye out, holding it in his hand…
there was a sharp pin sticking out its back side.
His mother quickly took the plastic eye
from him, also pulling out the other eye.
Jimmy was left with an eyeless Teddy bear…
but a “blind” Teddy bear still makes a good friend.
Willie and his Golden Tree
Most have dreams and remember none.
Willie dreams and sweet visions come
Willie likes what the season means…
the colored lights and snowy scenes.
He feels the joy that Christmas brings…
falls asleep, thinking of these things.
In sleep, Willie dreams a fantasy
a sweet vision, most Christmassy.
A golden tree, brightly trimmed,
with silver ornaments on its limbs.
Willie awakes, full of wonderment,
thinks his vision was heaven sent…
sprays his green tree, a golden hue,
and it sparkles like a precious jewel.
Now those who see it on display,
Know that Christmas is a special day.
ONE MAN’S JOY
Have Christmas joy all year long,
I read on the sign…
Free lecture tonight,
and refreshments to follow.
It promised both food and joy…
How could a man go wrong?
The speaker stood up…
waving her hands with great joy.
She was a beautiful blonde…
How good could this get?
She showed us her book…
Be Joyful All Year Long.
She played her own CD
and sang with great tones,
In a beautiful voice.
She was getting to me.
Then she spoke to the crowd,
I can hear angels…
they’re talking to me…
they say…be joyful right now!
Then she came over to me and said,
Tell me about your joy…
Let everyone hear!
The crowd’s eyes were all on me.
I said, Each day when I wake,
and see the bright sun,
I thank the good Lord
for another beautiful day.
The crowd was now applauding…
she gave me a big hug.
I had found my joy,
but didn’t buy any books.
SOUND ADVICE [ESPECIALLY FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR]
When in danger or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout.
The Thread of Dreams,
a new chapbook from Sacramento's
Carol Frith, is now available at The Book Collector,
1008 24th St., Sacramento.
Issue #24 is now available (free) at The Book Collector
or may be ordered through rattlesnakepress.com—
or send me 4 bux and I'll mail you one as soon as I'm able
Contributor and subscription copies
will most likely be mailed by January 1.
After this issue, Rattlesnake Review and most of our
other print projects will be taking
a few months off for remodeling—but not Medusa's Kitchen,
WTF (see below) or the 2nd Weds. reading series (except for January).
Watch this spot for further developments!—I suspect that the break
will be short-lived and will engender lots of activity,
including calls for submissions
to some exciting new projects.
Don't miss 'em!
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 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!
The fourth 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.
Next deadline (for Issue #5) is Jan. 15.
Send 3 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).
No simultaneous submissions, previously published work,
bios or cover letters.
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/.)
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.