Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Photo by Bob Dreizler, Sacramento

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Nip-and-tuck of candle-flame
among the resident shadows
that smudge a cobalt moon,

the blue pitcher’s crystal-ball
reflection, my face, its fired
glaze. A gaze inherited

from mothers who never under-
took to set a torch to the paper
morgue of memories,

to singe the singsong voice
passed down, its homilies
and admonitions. Don’t burn

all your eggs in one basket.
A woman’s place is in
the oven. Don’t flirt with fire.


Thanks to Taylor Graham for her whimsical take on our Seed of the Week: I Burned My Life—about starting over from the ground up ("don't burn all your eggs in one basket"). Don't be shy! Send your poems, singed or otherwise (but always HOT, of course), to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, this week or the next or the next... And thanks to Bob Dreizler, as always, for keen photos, and to Ann Wehrman, who's having a prolific and restful Christmas vacation, for more poems.

Tonight (Weds., 1/6), 9 PM: Stage poet Maxwell Kessler will be performing his work at Bistro 33, 226 F St., Davis, as part of a West-Coast tour (he currently hails from Massachusetts). Performance poet Maxwell R. Kessler was born and raised in the Idaho wilderness, and he continues to draw strength and inspiration from the Rocky Mountains. An artist in multiple media, Kessler has performed in a heavy metal rock band, he has written and acted in locally-produced plays and films, and today video of many of his performed poems can be found online. Kessler has been a member of two Emerson College Slam Teams (including the 2009 College Nationals Finalists) and a member of the 2009 Cantab Team, and he was awarded the title of Champion of Champions at the Boston Poetry Slam. In addition to performing his work throughout New England, he is the co-founder and coordinator of the Emerson Poetry Project, a weekly poetry reading at Emerson College. In 2009 Kessler was named “Emersonian of the Year.” We hope that you will also bring yourself to this performance, and then stick around for the always surprising and diverse Open Mic. Hosted by Andy Jones, Produced by Brad Henderson. Info: (530) 756-4556 or visit


We got lynx—I mean, links—as in, go to other sites directly from here! Click on the links in the text to go directly to them for more info. And check out the link-list at the right of this column; it's been spiffed up and some new ones added. (We can even get through to Bob Stanley's County Lines now, since I changed browsers...) Have a look-see at all the fun things poets around our area are up to! (To which all our poets are up?)

Call for Submissions: Tule Review:

Linda Collins and Theresa McCourt, Co-editors of Tule Review, write: The Sacramento Poetry Center welcomes submissions for the next Tule Review—now 40-50 pages and perfect bound!—with an anticipated publication date of June 2010. We consider poetry of all styles and forms. Submission deadline for the June 2010 issue is Feb. 27, 2010; submissions received after that date may be considered for a future issue.

Submission Guidelines:

•••Considers poetry of all styles and forms. Send up to six poems, maximum 96 lines per poem.
•••Include name, street and e-mail addresses on each page of submission.
•••Provide a short bio, not to exceed five lines.
•••We prefer submission via E-mail with poems attached in a single MSWord document (.doc or .docx format). Send to Please specify "Tule Submission" in the subject line.
•••Hard-copy submissions are also accepted. Mail those to the following street address:
Sacramento Poetry Center
c/o Tule Review
P.O. Box 160406
Sacramento, CA 95816

•••No simultaneous submissions. However, published poems are considered; please specify prior publication.
•••Pays one contributor copy. Submission does not guarantee publication.
•••We prefer to make notifications via E-mail, but will do so via US mail if an SASE is provided. Submissions will not be returned.
•••View the Tule Review archives, particularly the Winter 2008 Tule edition, at

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

black is the color
of my true love’s hair,
no—his eyes, no—hair
it’s black,
his eyes are green, no—blue,
green is blue in Japan is green
but no his eyes are black
his eyes
are empty holes
no eyes no lover no eyes
black is the color
of my true love’s eyes
was he ever my lover,
if only in my mind
he just wants to be your friend
oh God, so foolish
no eyes alone
no lover, black color
absence of color
absence of eyes

*From the traditional folk song, “Black Is the Color (Of My True Love’s Hair)", likely Scottish in origin


—Ann Wehrman

soft your cheek against mine
in waking dream
your hair falls around mine
soft lips open
mouths meet, melt open
your breath imagined
my body warm, breath quickens, roughens

I want to hold you, imagine I do, but
it’s only fantasy
love lost long ago
are you married
are you happy
are you still a good person

would I no longer recognize you
should I shun you
fear you

I can’t yet find you, only fantasy
memory, real as life
your kiss, your body one with mine


—Ann Wehrman

awake at midnight, one, two
only a revolution
will end this

sleep eludes, then let me love
what was inviolate I now release

lingering gingko leaves shorn
make way for new buds
snowflakes dance
before street lamp’s glow
free at least in mind
I throw open the door, Come!

does it matter that I’m old
it took me half a century
to trust this much

no matter, let me love
burn to ashes
sweet warmth
free affection

mercy of the world
when sleep comes not
reach out


Today's LittleNip:

A good poem is like finding a hole
in the palace

never know what you




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
will go into the mail this week.
Let me know if you don't get yours
by the end of the week.

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.

WTF is the only Rattlesnake print publication
that will keep going during our break;
next deadline (for Issue #5) is Jan. 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.
(Check out our updated format!
Did you know that,
if you click on the pictures we post, they'll enlarge for you?
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—such a deal!—
(please cite publication and be sure you own the rights)
and, like our other journals,
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.)

I'm convinced that the 'Net
is the future of poetry; print may continue,
and of course has its benefits,
but where else can your work be seen by
an almost unlimited number of people (including your relatives)
with this kind of speed and frequency??
Where else can you connect with Duluth or Greece or Zimbabwe
for free, day by day, liberated from
the vicissitudes of the postal service???

So keep sending poetry, photos, art, cartoons, events,
mini-reviews of poetry and books about poetry
(100 words or less), and
other handy resources such as books, websites
and submissions opportunities—
whatever poetry goings-on that can be posted.
Watch line lengths on poetry, though; they are limited on the blog.
Blogspot does refuse to indent, too; work must be justified left.

Need to find a poet who posted in the past, including yourself?
Go to the search bar at the upper left of the blog and
type in the name.
Or, if you know the date, go to the archives column at the right,
click on the year and scroll down to the month, then the day.

Plus, be sure to check out the links in the right-hand column
for more poetry and poetry news, local and otherwise.

You can also become a "follower", or click on the pix
of the followers to see what's going on with them
(D.R. Wagner and Donald Anderson, e.g.)
or send Medusa to somebody else.

So watch for an expansion of offerings and opportunities
as the Kitchen gets remodeled along with everything else ophidian—
2010 is going to be a
Big Year for the Snake!

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. There's a link to the right.


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.