Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Such Wild Love

Machine Age
Photo enhancement by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone—
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance—
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love—
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world—

or have you too
gone crazy for power,
for things?


Enough tule fog, already! At least the sky has turned to rain (up here in the mountains, too). Time to do a sun dance. Our Seed of the Week is The Sun. Send poems about Old Sol to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWS; in fact, today Joyce Odam sends us three about last week's SOW: I Burned My Life.

And D.R. Wagner, bless his heart, sends us more photos, plus a tribute to Joyce in the form of an interlocking rubaiyat: 8 syllables per line; aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd (the last stanza being irregular, as you can see). If you're feeling especially frisky (or housebound from the rain), you might give this form a try, either opining about the sun or whatever else.

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

(For Joyce Odam)

The winters here are mostly damp.
The days are grey. They form a camp.
A great and endless fog commands,
All thick and dense, a gauzy stamp.

This weather makes its own demands.
The days are ghosts with oak tree hands.
The morning and the evening change
Without a sound, their cold, white plans.

There is no landscape. All is strange,
Fog cattle grazing shadow range.
There is little here of any sun
To make a mark or rearrange.

A cloistered time. Each day a nun.
A silent time. A seamless one.
We speak another language; one
That quiets time, as days pass, stunned.


Whupping Sacramento Poets? Never!

Some of you may be aware of the rivalry between Sacramento poets and Bay Area poets who attend the annual Berkeley Poets’ Dinner contest. The following appeared in a recent Examiner.com article:

Bay Area poets, let's whup Sacto: hurry up & enter Poets' Dinner contest by January 20! January 20 is the deadline to enter the annual poetry contest sponsored by the Poets’ Dinner which will be held in March. Last year, much to the great shame of our local literati, a substantial number of awards went to poets...

To read the rest of this article (and for contest guidelines), click on this link: http://www.examiner.com/x-4545-SF-Poetry-Examiner~y2010m1d6-Bay-Area-poets-lets-whup-Sacto-hurry-up--enter-Poets-Dinner-contest-by-January-20?cid=email-this-article

Extended Deadline for Split This Rock:

Split This Rock is pleased to announce the deadline extension of the Third Annual Split This Rock Poetry Contest. Submissions by January 22 will have the opportunity of receiving $1000 for poems of provocation and witness. Judged by Chris Abani. First prize $500; 2nd and 3rd place will receive $250 each. Entries should share the spirit of Split This Rock. The $25 entry fee will help put on this year’s March 10-13 Split This Rock Poetry Festival!

For further details or other information on Split This Rock Poetry Contest and festival please visit www.SplitThisRock.org.

Convergence's Special Video Issue:

Cynthia Linville writes: Convergence will publish a special all-video issue this summer. We are looking for video of writers reading their own work or film adaptations of original or public domain poems or flash fiction. Be certain to obtain written permission from performers, authors, and others involved in the work before submitting. Include a full list of credits with the submission. Time limit: 5 minutes. Send video files (or a link to video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo) to tnklbnny@frontiernet.net with "Convergence" in the subject line. Deadline is March 15; see http://www.convergence-journal.com/submit.html.


—Joyce Odam

burnt offerings
the potatoes
the hamburger
even the water
today my heart’s not in it

(first appeared in Love Bites, Choice of Words Press, 1998)


—Joyce Odam

The green love
is lifting from the bone.
It has left
the place of itself
and moves like a soul
through the air.

O flaming color in the room,
burn anywhere but here!

I must wait quietly among
the gray decisions
of the day.
What do I know
of green love
lifting from the bone.

(first appeared in Simbolica, 1968)


Joyce Odam


* but * oh * but * oh *

I have a vision of
such silence and calm
a lifting of everything
like a huge fluttering cloth
before it is dropped
over a table or a bed
that these last few matches
I sacrifice to incense
that I use for solitude
when every dark of me unfolds
to patient celebration

(first appeared in Poet News, 1990)

Tree Dreaming
—D.R. Wagner


Today's LittleNip:

a butterfly hovers in front of her face
how long will she sleep




SnakeWatch: A New Year with Rattlesnake Press:


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. 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 kathykieth@hotmail.com/.


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 fandrickfabpub@hotmail.com (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/.)


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 kathykieth@hotmail.com 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. Voila! 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 rattlesnakepress.com 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 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.