Monday, February 22, 2010

Between Two Seasons

It's Tulipmania time in SF!

—William Bronk

There was something I meant to say
before the spring had come
as though it were now the time
if there ever were a time;
as in a dressing room between
two acts of an old play,
some actor changing costume,—
there, in the unpresented moment,
would be the thing to say.

Now, in the radiance of spruce and cedar,
as on a winter hillside in the sun
but the snow gone now,
the ground tawny,
the grass down and tangled,
now, on the quiet earth between two seasons,
there would be the thing to say.


Deadlines loom: Time to get serious about three upcoming deadlines this week:

•••2/26: Penumbra:
•••2/27: Tule Review:
•••2/28: Tiger's Eye Spg. issue & Contest:

Also coming in NorCal poetry this week:

(for a more complete listing, go to

•••Mon. (2/22), 7:30 PM: A Night of Translation with Adam Siegel's Johannes Bobrowski and Friederike Mayrcker, Christoph Meckel, Marly de Oliveira, Ledo Ivo, Carlos Nejar—plus an open mic calling for anyone to read poems translated into English. Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Sts., Sacramento. Info: 916-979-9706.

•••Weds. (2/24), 7 PM: SPC and River City Brewing Co. celebrate Sacramento Beer Week with A Fermentation of Verse, with Richard Hansen, Cynthia Linville and an expanding cast of others. River City Brewing Company, 545 Downtown Plaza, Sacramento. Open mic for all who wish to wax poetic about hops, kräusening, the wort and the mash. $2.50/pint all night!

•••Weds. (2/24), 6:30 PM: California Lawyers for the Arts presents Relax With Tax, a seminar on the essentials of income tax for individual artists of all disciplines and small arts businesses will be presented by Dennis Yep, an Enrolled Agent since 1968. Topics include: record keeping, form 1040, Schedule C and self-employment schedule, deductions, hobby losses, home offices and more. 1418 20th St., Ste. 201, Sacramento. Refreshments. Seminar Fee: $40 general, $30 members of C.L.A., $20 students/seniors $5 off for registering in advance. Seminar fee includes the tax workbook, The Art of Deduction, at no extra charge. This workbook is updated each year. Info: Phone: (916) 442-6210 ext. 102 or email to register. Please see the CLA website for Relax with Tax dates in other cities:

•••Weds. (2/24), 6-7 PM: Upstairs Poetry reading at The Upstairs Art Gallery, 420 Main St (2nd floor), Placerville. It's a poetry open-mike read-around, so bring your own poems or those of a favorite poet to share, or just come to listen. No charge.

•••Thurs. (2/25), 8 PM: Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, 1414 16th St., Sacramento presents Judy Wells and Lytton Bell. Open mic before and after.

•••Sat. (2/28, and every last Sat. of the month), 7-9 PM: TheShowPoetrySeries features Daynomi "IrRegularflow" Thomas from Los Angeles, Mario Ellis Hill, Chara Charis, DeLaire Doyle, LaRah and more. Wo'se Community Center, 2863 35th St. (Off 35th & Broadway), $5. Info: 916 208-POET or E-mail:

•••Sun. (2/28), 1 PM: Salvatore Salerno reads at McHenry Museum, 1402 I St., Modesto. Free; open mic; refreshments.

…and don’t forget the annual Tulipmania in San Francisco at Pier 39, the annual festival running through next Sunday (2/28) which includes an outdoor display of tulips in every color, plus free guided landscaping tours at 10 AM daily, beginning in the Pier 39 entrance plaza. Info: Poetry and photography inspiration abound!

Is your life memoire-able?

The Hart Senior Center’s third cross-generational writers conference will be held April 24 from 8 AM to 4:30 PM at Cosumnes River College, featuring some of our local poets, including Julia Connor, as faculty. It was designed for people 50 and older (though apparently they’ve expanded beyond that); there are 150 spaces, and registration ($30) is due by April 9. Info: Hart Center at 916-808-5462.

Goldrush Writers Conference, April 30, May 1-2: Mining the Word Poetry Workshop

Monika Rose of Manzanita writes: Come join me in a poetry workshop at the Goldrush Writers Conference. Whether you're a seasoned or unseasoned poet, you will add substance to the poetry soup and come away with some poems and soup starters for yourself. Bring your rambling prose drafts and journal entries, if you would like to mine them. You can bring photos and memory-stimulating objects and mementoes that can fit in the palm of your hand for an unusual journey. Or bring nothing but yourself and a note pad and materials will be provided to unearth your hidden language and bring it to the surface for surprising results.

There are fantastic workshops and events planned for the Goldrush Writers Conference April 30, May 1-2, to be held at Historic Hotel Leger, 8304 Main St., Mokelumne Hill. With three days of writing workshops and networking, this conference is priced reasonably—and will be a stimulating boost for your writing projects. Learn some great techniques for mining raw material to convert into poems that project ideas and thoughts trapped in your subconscious. This is a stimulating approach for unearthing unusual imagery and emotion, using existing material to scaffold your interior journey. You will be drafting a poem in the workshop from your excavations and adventures in language and if you wish, sharing it with the group. Bring some of your own prose writing, journal entries, letters, email printouts of writing to a friend, and photographs of memorable events, to use in the process. Other media materials will be provided for digging. Mary Mackey will be the keynote speaker and will conduct a workshop in memoir, and the conference fee includes picnic supper Friday evening in a Victorian garden, Sat. lunch and dinner, and Sunday brunch. Additional faculty includes Michael Arkin, Mary Web, Indigo Moor, Tom Johnson, Lucy Sanna, Kevin Arnold, Monika Rose, Kathie Isaac-Luke, Helen Bonner, and Antoinette May.

Visit the Conference website for full details, including schedule of classes and faculty bios:

Workshop listing and descriptions:
Registration form:

Early Bird special if you sign up by March 30!

Monika Rose
Manzanita Writers Press


—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento

The Turtle:
Preacher man, preacher man, tell me if you can,
will I go to heaven when I die? If not, why?

Preacher Crow:
The path of righteousness has many a turn—
our place in heaven, we have to earn.

The Turtle:
I'm big and clumsy, almost always fall—
will I be forgiven for anything at all?

Preacher Crow:
The gate to heaven's narrow, the gate is straight.
Those who don't get through, meet a terrible fate.

The Turtle:
My wide frame keeps me out of the game,
but I really like to stay in church and pray.

Holy pictures on the wall— velvet curtains in the hall.
This is where I like to be. Can't you see? Can't you see?

Preacher Crow:
The rules are hard to bear, as we're all aware—
but the rules all stand, not to be broken by any man.

The Turtle:
Butter Beans! That's the word for what I've heard.
The church was built for men to comfort them.

Good bye and hallelujah—thanks for talking to ya!
There's a church up the block. I think I'll join their flock.


Being in the shopping market lane
I see a cover on a Rolling Stone Magazine
and I had to rhyme like the rain poem
Little Wayne Lil' Wayne, go away
You got tats that look like you belong in prison
and now you're crying about serving time
with gangbangers you so adore in your rap lyrics
likewise you didn't think about causing others pain
Please Wayne, go away and don't come back someday
unless it's to be Dwayne Michael Carter again
a name suitable for a real responsible gentleman
Or else it's an early grave for you like Tupac Shakur

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


I had a cold "strangling" my throat
Coughing gasps like a tourniquet around my lungs
Though I do not smoke,
a vegan who doesn't eat dairy or gluten
What did I do to deserve this,
a lung infection?
Ironically though I could buy alcohol,
an addictive poison for which one needs no license
But for medicine I needed a doctor's prescription
and risk infecting others in an office

—Michelle Kunert


—William Bronk

in their strange morality,
are shocked
by things their elders do unthinking,
by casual kissing and bad words,
not sensing
intricate enlargements of the mind.

in its full obscenity,
summer disturbs,
in the logic of the seasons,
ruthless non sequiturs to spring.

But when we are older,
we take the summer in our arms
to say this is enough,
being no better than we should be
nor worse.


Today's LittleNip:

One of the most important facts about man is that he is a wanting, desiring, longing, aspiring animal. Indeed, this is the essence of him and the source of his power.

—Edmund W. Sinnott