Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon Rising
Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Why do this face in plaster,
capture the escaped life
the residue of feature
mold the dead face
into timelessness
why do
we do this
to ourselves . . .
the dead . . .the curious . . . .


Thanks to Joyce Odam for finishing up our Seed of Last Week: Masks, and to Katy Brown and Michelle Kunert for today's other contributions.

Remember when I said you couldn't click on addresses on the bulletin board and go directly to them? I was wrong, well, partly anyway. Sometimes it'll work for you.

I got a poem from one of my favorite poets yesterday, but I noticed that the same poem was posted on her blog right now, so I turned down the poem. Which was probably unfair, since I haven’t stated anywhere that I would do this, other than to say Medusa doesn’t like simultaneous submissions. Still, publishers do like to have some exclusivity, at least when the poem first appears. Then again, I do say that Medusa will publish previously-published poems. But simultaneous? Then again…

I’ve also noticed that another one of my favorite poets posts his poems immediately after I do, saying “Medusa posted this today…”

Then again, the Web really is the wild, wild West. We certainly don’t follow a lot of Ye Olde Rules on it (these days, those seem to be at the discretion of the blogger), and Medusa is particularly loose about what she posts—plus it says in our indicia (in the Big Blue Box at the Bottom) that poets retain the rights.

So what do you think? Should I have posted Poet A’s poem? Should I holler at Poet B? What should Medusa’s Rules be? Does it dilute the effectiveness of a poem to have it appear on two or more blogs at once?

Fluid Worlds Workshop at Cache Creek starts Feb. 11:

The rescheduled FLUID WORLDS workshop begins a week from Thursday, so Rae Gouirand is sending out this reminder: If you haven't been to the workshop series at Cache Creek Nature Preserve before, you should know that it's an expansive and gorgeous spot in northwest Woodland, and that coming together there each week to practice poetry and experience the unfolding of spring is utterly joyful. This time of year, we enjoy an hour of close reading and discussion in the Preserve's education office before branching off to spend the second hour on site pursuing new writing (from exercises given in class) or exploring our connections to the landscape through exploratory walks, birdwatching, meditation, or other means. What all workshops at CCNP have in common is their generative focus: we come together to feed and develop new work, not to pursue critical discussions of drafts. This means that writers with all levels of experience and confidence can find support for taking steps in new directions. We take everyone's creative process seriously, and come together each week to help one another hold space for new writing. It's a formula for big surprises and transformations. I hope you'll come check us out.

FLUID WORLDS: Poetry and the Water Cycle (Thursdays, February 11-April 15, 10 AM-noon (***NOTE: TIME CHANGE)

It is said that water seeks its level. So does the poem. How can we better open our poems to swim with the messages they want to deliver? What can the tensions and cycles of water–its individual drops as well as its greater bodies and forces–teach us about our the instincts of poetry and its version of truth? As a group, we’ll study poems that dissolve, float, and behave in other ways that inspire fluidity in our work, as well as new reverence for our most vital, fundamental resource.

This ten-week workshop will be offered by sliding-scale donation to the public thanks to the support of Cache Creek Nature Preserve. Donations will be accepted by the Executive Director beginning at the first workshop meeting on February 11: Participants are asked to donate according to their own ability in honor of what the time they spend at this natural oasis offers them. Please register only if you can make a personal commitment to attending regularly and using this time to support your own creative development. Writers of all levels of experience are welcome. Meets in Woodland, on site at Cache Creek Nature Preserve.

About the Writer-in-Residence: Rae Gouirand received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2002, and has taught writing in Davis, Sacramento, and Woodland for the last six years. Her work has appeared most recently in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, The Kenyon Review, and the anthology, Best New Poets 2009. The winner of recent fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Santa Fe Art Institute and a 2009 award from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for outstanding work by emerging poets, she serves as Writer-in-Residence for the Cache Creek Conservancy, and is currently at work starting One By One Press.

To register: send your name, contact email, and contact phone number to rgouirand@gmail.com. Practical details (directions to the Preserve, etc.) will be sent to registrants in the week preceding the beginning the first meeting.

Bistro 33 features Robert Grossklaus and Tim Kahl tomorrow night:

•••Wednesday (2/3), 8:00 PM: Bistro 33 (226 F St., Davis) presents Robert Grossklaus and Tim Kahl. Robert Grossklaus is a poet and musician who runs the small press and graphic design house, Polymer Grove. His poetry has been published in such publications as Poetry Now, Rattlesnake Review, Eclectica, and Liquid Ohio. His musical endeavors include the forthcoming album, Corporeal Landscapes, in which he appears with the band, Litany, and he continues to create his own electronic music/poetry under the name dphunkt. He currently resides in Roseville with his wife.

Tim Kahl (http://www.timkahl.com) is the author of Possessing Yourself (Word Tech Press, 2009). He has published work in Prairie Schooner, American Letters & Commentary, Berkeley Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills, George Washington Review, Illuminations, Indiana Review, Limestone, Nimrod, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, South Dakota Quarterly, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Texas Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He has translated German poet Rolf Haufs; Austrian avant-gardist Friederike Mayröcker; Brazilian poets Lêdo Ivo and Marly de Oliveira; and the poems of the Portuguese language’s only Nobel Laureate, José Saramago. He also appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the video, poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup (http://greatamericanpinup.wordpress.com). He is also the editor for Bald Trickster Press, which is dedicated to works of poetry in translation into English.

Six Ft. Swells Press is accepting poetry submissions for their next chapbook in their famed Cheap Shots Poetry Series!

This will be a themed issue featuring poems that celebrate & explore music and what we do in its presence as it plays in the background of our lives. We are looking for poems that we would want to come back to again and again, like a favorite song that plays on a Saturday night, or we desperately need on a Sunday morning. We are an AFTER HOURS POETRY press, and poems that remind us of Muzak shall not be accepted. We believe in rowdy and loud, but also sweet music that sings to our love-torn souls.

How to Submit:
•3-5 poems with short bio emailed to sixfootswells@yahoo.com, Attn: Todd & Julie.
Formatted poems in body of email preferred. Word documents as attachments okay. Please use “Jukebox Poems” in the subject line.
•Poems should not exceed 40 lines - No epic "Free Bird" poems. Previously published work considered if indicated

Deadline: March 15, 2010
Check our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Six-Ft-Swells-Press/427010140157) for further information


Our Seed of This Week is Scrapbook. No deadline on this one, though, since it's not a give-away. Send thoughts about the scrapbook to kathykieth@hotmail.com. Or, should you have a balky muse, see what Calliope over on the bulletin board has up her pipes...

—William Bronk

You have had even to tip back
your head a little, lest there spill out
that wild glee you can barely hold until
the shutter clicks. Up-tilted, your face
is as though a bow, and the tense string
pulled back and back, your glee—oh back
so far, millennia make you a kid in the Land
Between the Two Rivers, or even earlier
in such a time as when, as now for you,
there was no other world but that world.
But we remember, are reminded, all
the Gods, the costumes, all the building styles,
ah, all those worlds since then: the lost
arrows from that bow, the clutter of time,
the dull debris. Dust from these ruins dirties us.
What, searching there, will anybody find
could have drawn its makers on, or, even then,
could have been called worth it once they reached it? Our
young glee drove us, heedless, and we went,
heedless, and dropped down where the force was spent.


—Joyce Odam

(based on Art Descending a Staircase
by Elaine B. Rothwell)

When we disguised ourselves we were not old.
We were famous. Runways loved us.

We had many roles with many lovers.
We floated on admiration.

We put on mask after mask,
obeying the instructions of their faces.

It was a long walk between curtains.
But we were tireless.

Spotlights followed us.
Our costumes told their own stories,

how we were the creation of
famous artists and photographers.

Again and again our youth comes brimming back
to our mirrors, shining ever so darkly.

Even now, we tell of this like conspirators:
that the art of love is what love is made of.


—Joyce Odam

Stern as a father, this face of stone
the mouth in a snarl, the nose broken.

Time worked this face over,
gouged its eyes, worried its brow.

Patina at last, semblance of who—
immortalized by what dead artist?


(Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway)
—Joyce Odam

Don Juan sits down at the table with the pretty girl
who is waiting for her date to arrive. He strokes
her fingers, telling her which parts of her hand

are erotic to his mind. His mask and costume
are not out of place here. His intensity is real—
as is his momentary love for her.

She, of course, surrenders in less time than it
takes to tell of this, and of course we leave out
the details. After, Don Juan thanks her and leaves.

Her escort walks up just then and Don Juan
wafts through the crowded room in a flourish
of disguise.

Now he’s on the roof of his suicide, waiting for
his worthy opponent to accept his challenge—
but it’s famed psychiatrist Marlon Brando

who comes up the side of the wall instead and
says he believes who Don Juan says he is.
They will change each other—or will they?

(in the course of analysis)

Don Juan will remain Don Juan, no matter who
the world says he is, and Marlon Brando will
retire with his belovéd to a garden in Paradise.


—Joyce Odam

(based on Masque de Femme 1933 [Frauenmaske] by Paul Klee)

Woman in masque is hiding again, sulking behind
one leery eye, wearing a wig of blue hair—

old muse of melancholy. How she suffers
at the mercy of inferior poets, old worriers

and complainers—wanting more than
she gives, staring through our masks at each other.

It seems one cannot do without the other, after all.
My imagination holds her. Help me, I say.


(author of The Catcher In the Rye)
—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

My Dad says: "Like many of my generation,
I feel I didn't need J.D. Salinger
to tell me I was ‘disillusioned’
Maybe because I never heard that word, ‘teenage’
(which I find out had been invented in the late ‘40's
but by the ‘50's still wasn't in common use)
So I wouldn't have known what it meant
So maybe that's why I didn't know I was missing anything
that I didn't have already
No one told me I had to have more ‘stuff’ I didn't need
unlike those kids today with their own i-phones
because we simply didn't have it
nor did anybody else
in rural Wisconsin
I learned to get along without many things
that people here in the city (in CA) do take for granted
However I grew up getting along with others regardless of age
as well as practicing respect for our elders
So that's why it didn't bother me
that I didn't own my own car until age 22
when I graduated from University."


Today's LittleNip:

—William Bronk

There are ways to make money and one can leave it to heirs
—have heirs—children even. We pose:
generational photographs, documents.
Public and private records support our case.