Friday, February 12, 2010

Loins and Limbs

Adele Sakler

—Adele Sakler, Citrus Heights

i am an American citizen.
i am the queer citizen.
They tell me i'm a 2nd-class citizen
by the way they take my rights away
by mob majority votes.
i laugh in the face of adversity as
i keep up the fight,
though i get weary

Will tomorrow bring freedom
and equality
Like it did for women and African Americans?
One day i will be a first-class citizen, equal and on par
with every other law-abiding, tax paying citizen.
Nobody will keep this queer American down!


Thanks, Adele! Adele Sakler currently resides in Citrus Heights with her partner and their cute Tibetan Spaniel named Mushu. She suffers from, and is in treatment for, Chronic Lyme Disease, a few other Tick-Borne diseases and Heavy Metal Toxicity.

She considers herself at this point in her journey a Christian agnostic because she just can’t seem to sign on the dotted line and ascribe to all the doctrines and long-held man-made traditions of Christendom any longer. "She is Thomas, doubter. She is Judas, betrayer. She is Nicodemus, reluctant in the night. She is St. John of the Cross, soul darkened by love." (David Henson: "She is lost, wicked, and depraved but redeemed by the grace and beauty of God."
(Eugene Cho:

She loves G-D and is a failing Christ-follower. Adele has been a Christ-follower for over 20 years and an “out” queer woman for over three years. Her involvement with the emerging church and Emergent Village has filled the better part of 10 years. She blogs at and is the creator and site administrator for

Adele says her poems today were all inspired by Langston Hughes. The first was a response to his "I, Too, Sing Rivers"; the second is an acrostic based on "The Weary Blues"; the third was inspired by "The Negro Speaks of Rivers". Very appropriate for Black History Month (as well as for Lincoln's birthday); thanks again, Adele, and congrats on your first published poetry!

And thanks to Taylor Graham (who's writing through her sniffles), Mitz Sackman (who tackled Speed Dating), and Tom Goff (more sniffles), for our Seed of the Week poems, plus another wonderful enhanced photo from D.R. Wagner. And thanks to Allegra Silberstein who suggested, in the writing class she teaches, that Adele send us poems.


—Adele Sakler

Today i'm exhausted and weary,
Handing me droopy eyes
Ever so empty and

What i want is a renewal,
Energy to carry me far like
Air flowing through my lungs as if
Riding on a motorcycle, air whipping through my hair
Yelling, 'fly like a bird!'

Boldness dampened by exhaustion,
Lazy times adrift
Under a deep spell
Expecting miracles but
Snuffing out the life in me.


—Adele Sakler

i've known oceans,
i've known oceans far and wide,
engulfing my flesh and blood.
Oceans know me by the tickling of my toes
from its floor.
Oceans teaming with life set out
to pull me under.
Underneath as if i'll never
breathe again.


This weekend in NorCal poetry:

(for a more complete listing, go to

•••Sat. (2/13), 7-9 PM: Same-sex Speed Dating at Tsakopolous Galleria West Meeting Room, Sacramento Central Library, 818 I St., Sacramento. Limited to 20 men and 20 women. Must be 21 or older and must register in advance: go to

•••Sat. (2/13), 2 PM: Citrus Heights Area Poets present Bob (“Pinky”) Neilson and Jeanie Robertson at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Sunrise Blvd. in Citrus Heights. Open mic. Free.

•••Sat. (2/13), 1 PM: Song of the San Joaquin Poetry Quarterly (Vol. VII, No. 1) will be read at the McHenry Museum, 1402 “I” St., Modesto. Poets in the book include Carol and Laverne Frith of Sacramento, Don and Elsie Feliz of Sacramento, Modesto Poet Laureate Ed Bearden and Roberta Bearden, nancee kinkaid maya of Patterson, Fredrik Zydek of Omaha, Nebraska, Chad Sokolovsky of Modesto, V.J. Vogelzang of Modesto, Rene Hargrove of New York, Lyn Lifshin of Niskayuna, N.Y. and Virginia, Connie Post, Poet Laureate Emeritus of Livermore, Nancy Fowler of Port Angeles, Washington, plus many more. Free. Open Mike to follow. Light refreshments. Info: Cleo Griffith, or (209) 543-1776.

•••Sunday (2/14), 2-4 PM: Lincoln Poetry Club features members published by ShortReads Press: Jack Fabian, David Anderson, Stephen Sterling, Jacob Williams, Barb Lackovic, Molly Williams, Bonnie Dunlap, Lisa Augustine, Evelyn Stecher, Shirley Russell, Cleo Kocol and Sue Clark. Lincoln Poets Club, the Willow Room, 12 Bridges Library, 485 12 Bridges Dr., Lincoln. Info: 916-434-9226 or Free. Sponsored by the Friends of the Lincoln Library.

•••Monday (2/15), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center (HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento) presents Anna Marie, Laura Cook (Immobeme), Sean King and Dawn DiBartolo.

Penumbra extends submissions deadline:

Penumbra, the literary magazine at CSU Stanislaus, has extended its deadline until February 26. Info:

SPC Reading for Autism March 29:

Frank Dixon Graham writes: Monday, March 29, 2010 is shaping up to be an extra special poetry reading event. Rebecca Foust, a Bay Area poet who has a son with autism, will be reading. She will donate proceeds from the sale of her beautiful books to charity. Geoffrey Neill, a Luna's reading host and young talent, is also on slate. Several people are on board to prepare this splendid benefit for autism: Laura Baumann, Katy Brown, Linda Collins, and Shawn Aveningo. Still, we would like to have more help in organizing.

If you can give two or three hours of your time to help promote the reading, bring food or drink, recruit a talented author/reader, or can offer some other service or donation, please let one of us (Laura, Katy, Shawn, Linda or myself) know. We're especially interested in raising some money for autism and recruiting poets who have some first-hand knowledge of autism, but any gift of your time or service you can give will be very welcome. There are some especially gifted autistic poets nearby, as well as family and friends who love them and write poems, and I hope we can reach as many as possible and hear their poetry read at SPC on this date.

frank graham

Rebecca Foust was born in Altoona, formerly one of the country’s great railroad towns, located in the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Hollidaysburg, a tiny town surrounded by farmlands and forests, quarries and strip mines. After attending Smith College and Stanford Law School on scholarships, she practiced law in San Francisco for ten years, then worked as an advocate and grassroots political organizer for parents of kids with autism and other learning disorders. She continues to do volunteer work for causes related to autism and teach and write in Northern California, where she live with her husband and three teenagers. In January of 2010, she will receive her MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her recent poetry is published or forthcoming in small print journals including Atlanta Review, Margie, North American Review, The Hudson Review, and Women’s Review of Books, earning awards including two Pushcart nominations in 2008. Dark Card and Mom’s Canoe won the 2007 and 2008 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prizes, and her full-length book, All That Gorgeous, Pitiless Song, won the 2008 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Book Award and will be released in 2010. Also to be released in 2010, by Tebot Bach Press, is God, Seed, a book of environmental poetry with art by Lorna Stevens.

Rebecca's favorite links for learning more about autism are:


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

Everything else is instant
We live tied
To our electronic leashes
Palm pilots, iphenes, on and on
Slaves of the communication age speed
Why not speed dating?

We have that myth so sacred
Celebrated in all our entertainment
Delivered electronically of course
That oh so famous myth
Of love at first sight
Why not speed dating?

To avoid the horror
Of an evening, a drink
Or even just a coffee
With a bore or a leech or a lecher
Avoiding unwanted bed play
Why not speed dating?

An answer to the dilemma
Of meeting people looking
For someone new
Without all the fuss
Why not invest one evening
Meeting a lot of new ones
Why not speed dating?


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

He walks on stage and looks past footlights
into the dark. He’s a good 45 years too young
for me. No doubt he’s got a girl friend
in the audience. He smiles that secret smile
of a man who knows his lines by heart
but speaks them as if he only found the words
this very moment. It’s a poem I memorized
in high school, or maybe college. A man’s
in love with a star; his beloved is light-years
above, beyond him. An ageless tale, but
so beautifully archaic in meter and rhyme.
I’m sitting alone in the dark, listening blind
to a boy on stage. The spotlight’s on him.
For as long as it takes to recite sixteen
intricately laced lines, it’s just the two of us
and the poem.


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

I read from Hillary Mantel’s book Wolf Hall
today: of Thomas Cromwell through arabesques
rising at Henry the Eighth’s court: no grotesque
(like her vain Sir Thomas More). Watch where gulfs fall
wide, and in them, the Wolseys of this world.
You, dear one, would enjoy it; though the odd reference
to history might slip by, quicksilver inference
would soon right your reading balance, truth unfurl.
Comfort, to know such traits; what troubles the heart
of late is whether, or how well, spouse knows spouse,
mind, heart, soul, body, lexicon of the house.
Yet does too much of this writer hide from you?
Completion of speech turn window? Hinder the view?
What can love speak to love? Let each to each impart.

Enhanced photo by D.R. Wagner


Today's LittleNip:

—Conrad Aiken

It's time to make love. Douse the glim.
The fireflies twinkle and dim.
The stars lean together
Like birds of a feather,
And the loin lies down with the limb.


—Medusa (whew, Jeanine! 8:27—I just made it!)