Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Morning Filled With Roses

Photo by D.R. Wagner

—Carol Frith, Sacramento

It’s cold enough
to snow. You tell me that. I know
it’s cold enough
for ragged ice to form that’s rough
along the eaves. We’re in a slow
deep freeze. Hold me now, just so—
it’s cold enough…


Thanks to Carol Frith and D.R. Wagner for the pix and poems! Join us at The Book Collector tomorrow night (Weds., Dec. 9 at 7:30 PM) to help us celebrate the release of The Thread of Dreams by Carol Frith, as well as a new Rattlesnake Review—the last before our hiatus. And if you'd like to read your own or someone else's seasonal poem (anything from Thanksgiving to New Year's, the solstice, or even winter weather) tomorrow night, let me know. Help us make a community of voices...

To mark the occasion of Carol's chapbook, let us all write rondelets for our Seed of the Week! This'll get your heart pumpin': Seven lines: lines 1, 3, and 7 are the same (4 sylllables). The other lines are 7 [this is an error; it should say 8] syllables: lines 2, 5, 6 rhyme with each other, and line 4 rhymes with the refrain. So, to wit:

1. xxxA
2. xxxxxxxb
3. xxxA
4. xxxxxxxa
5. xxxxxxxb
6. xxxxxxxb
7. xxxA

Send your rondelets to kathykieth@hotmail.com. C'mon, it's easy: look at all the repeated lines! No deadlines on SOWs.


—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

If we could only
Remember how the
Words worked, the ones
That helped change the seasons
So that no one would notice
Until time itself had piled
Up snow or leaves or
Rain upon rain into the center
Of a month, but we
Could not. Here faces were burned
Off, limbs were regarded
As cord wood, milk spilled
From mouths. We could not
Begin to disguise our disgust
Of the shape dreams made
On the walls of our villages.
Someone said the wands had been
Taken from the area long ago.
Still, we could see lights in the jungle
Night occasionally. They were music.
They were our voices.
We thought they were our homes on fire.


—D.R. Wagner

Bullets dream the taste of flesh.
The parting of the skin to red
Fountains and the splinter of bone.

Saints speak with tongues made of fire.
The names of God split with desire’s
Sweet tooth pulled up against the spine.

The night is away from home.
I have seen where it goes,
How it borrows morning
From the dream. Listen to this wind.
It clots just below the sky,
Squats on the tops of hills,
Staring down at its own rivers
Deep, like blood.

Look here. A hand dips down
Into a palace of feeling.
Perhaps it is someone loving someone
We might not have noticed except
That the hand squeezes drop after drop of blood
From the wells from which we drink.
This kind of language is full of pretty
Things like this. Come out here with me.
The sun seems about to move from
Behind those trees, to wake up the birds.
If we are so perfect just this once
We can watch the bullets pick their way
Through the body. The smell of gunpowder
On the air. A morning filled with roses.

Photo by D.R. Wagner


Today's LittleNip:

Man's inescapable impasse is that he himself is part of the world he seeks to explore; his body and proudrain are mosaics of the same elemental particles that compose the dark, drifting dust clouds of interstellar space.

—Lincoln Barnett

We literally are stardust.

—John L. Hitchcock



SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:


Deadline was November 15 for RR24; join us
for its unveiling and get your free copy at
The Book Collector on
Wednesday, December 9.
After this issue, Rattlesnake Review will be taking
a few months off for remodeling—
watch this spot for further developments!

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!


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, rattlesnakepress.com
or at The Book Collector:
Our newest 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 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.

Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but send your poems, photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to fandrickfabpub@hotmail.com (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/.)


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 kathykieth@hotmail.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.