Monday, January 18, 2010

Blue Humming Hours

Sunset Photo
by Stephani Schaefer, Los Molinos

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

a horse on fire, streaking across
the horizon, its red mane whipping
behind it, and the dark sand burning
like a mirror under the igniting hooves


—Joyce Odam

It is too bad that it’s raining.
I have felt sunshine all day,
floating around in my head like a light.
/ / /
Now little splatters of water
are hitting against the glass.
My mind is becoming gray.
/ / /
The paper is loud under the quick pencil
but little drops of rain-words
make the poem go away.

(first appeared in Bay Area Poets Coalition Anthology 19)


Thanks to Joyce Odam (and Hafiz) for today's poems, and to Stephani Schaefer for some sunny pix.

Emmanual Sigauke's fine international blog, Wealth of Ideas, has been added to our links; check it out at Our area is lucky to have several fine blogs, websites and other electronic offerings, one of which is Sacramento Poetry Center Board Member Rebecca Morrison's Eskimo Pie Girl. Her calendar is, indeed, Kick-Ass, as she says, and since Medusa is in no mood to reinvent the wheel, I'm going to seriously curtail our own calendar each week and suggest you go to the Eskimo Pie Girl link ( to see what's going on in our area, art and poetry-wise. I'll continue to post whatever people send me specifically, but a calendar is a serious undertaking, time-consuming and fraught with opportunities for mistakes (which I've made my share of), and since Rebecca does such a wonderful job at it... Thank you, EPG, for your wonderful, long-running website/community resource!

This week in NorCal poetry:

(for a more complete listing of NorCal art/poetry events, go to

•••Monday (1/18), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents Keith Ratzlaff and Jeff Knorr at HQ for the Arts at 1719 25th St., Sacramento. [See last Friday's post for bios.]

•••Thurs. (1/21), 12 Noon: Brown Bag Reading at Central Library: Bring your own favorite poems. Hosted by Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins.

•••Sat. (1/23), 7-9 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents The Writer's Brush Art Show and Reading at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. Sacramento poets who are also artists display their work and read their poems.

•••Sunday (1/24), 11 AM-12:45 PM: El Camino Chapter of California Federation of Chaparral Poets, Inc. will meet at the Hart Senior Center on 27th & J Streets in Sacramento. Bring 8-10 copies of your poems to workshop.

•••Sun. (1/24), 6-8 PM: Join frank andrick and guests on Pomo Literati at KUSF (90.3 FM) in San Francisco for a rare radio reading with San Francisco's Poet Laureate Diane di Prima, featuring published and unpublished works, plans and projects. Also Poet/writer Rachel Leibrock and the always inventive David Houston & Strings as well as pre-recorded works of what you might call historic classic poetry by luminaries like Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, French Surrealist Poets, rarities from Patti Smith (from previous readings by Patti on the Pomo Lit.), another tribute to Jim Carroll & new works from Ruben Reveles, Bag Of Kittens (featuring Allyson Seconds), Baby Grand, Mo Stoykoff, and rampant rumours of a HUGE HEAD (and perhaps the person behind the head??). Check it out!!

This is Pomo Literati’s 11th year on KUSF, and, due to the station’s and the program’s ability to employ the Internet for an extended audience, we have fans who chime in from France, Canada, Germany, England, Australia, all over the world, including a lot of listeners in the USA with 'hot spots' in NYC, LA, San Diego, Seattle, DC, Chicago and even... yes, even Kansas… Go to


—Joyce Odam

In the sunlight on the floor
the cat sleeps.
It is almost a stillness.

The child on the tricycle
pedals into the sunlight
and is broken into
endless golden motes
settling and
turning him again
into a child.

In the sunlight on the floor,
where the cat and child
were a moment before,
all that is alive in it
is lifting and falling

(first appeared in South Florida Review, 1970)


—Joyce Odam

Winter now.

Sun Tea takes too long.

(first appeared in
Poetry Forum Magazine)


—Joyce Odam

it goes
like a dissolving of glass

nothing spectacular
my heel is shattered stars

* * *

I am in the night
red vision in my eyes
blue humming hours

I will not give it back to you
you have hurt me

(first appeared in Cotyledon, 1999)

Photo by Stephani Schaefer


Today's LittleNip:


all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

"You owe me."

what happens
with a love like that—

it lights the whole



SnakeWatch: A New Year with Rattlesnake Press:


Issue #24 is now available (free) at The Book Collector or may be ordered through—or send me 4 bux and I'll mail you one. Contributor and subscription copies have gone out; let me know if you didn't get yours.

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 our 2nd Weds. reading series (except for no reading in January). Watch Medusa's Kitchen for further developments, and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Snakebytes, by writing to me at


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.
Deadline for Issue #5 was Jan. 15 (the issue will be released at Luna's Cafe on February 18 at 8 PM); the deadline for #6 will be April 15. Send 3 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). 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


During our hiatus from most print publications (except WTF), Medusa will keep cooking in the Kitchen every day. Only a few of our poets have picked up on the fact, though, that Medusa's Kitchen is a great way to get your work out there on a very frequent basis; the snakes of Medusa are always hungry, especially for NorCal poetry. Plus, we accept previously-published work, but please cite publication and be sure you own the rights. No bios or cover letters are required; just mark it for Medusa. Send it all to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. (No simultaneous submissions, though, please.)

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 in print and otherwise. Pick up a copy at The Book Collector or write to me (include snail address) and I'll send you one. Free! See for a complete listing of all our other publications, free and otherwise.


Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as REVIEWS, RESOURCES and 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.