Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe Tomorrow...

—Photo by Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

love to be your lover, Betty
(but for Jim, Joe and Jack)
love to caress your breast
rising modest as early April
hair tufted like spiky blonde grass
lips that shunned lipstick
weren’t you a slugmugger kid
leaping thorny barberry bushes
getting scratched and bragging to
knee-scabbed playmates
you were scolded at school
for sucking another girl’s nose
sucking what! I said
you smiled…

think of you
at your easel under studio skylight
adding red tongues to your panting dogs
or at the stained worktable
molding papier-maché to your soulful puppets
saw you mount a ladder in the driveway
paint large a woman’s royal blue profile on your garage door
black hair splayed across hinges
jutted red mouth that said fuck you

but your voice wistful as the Madonna
you created from red and gold
it’s your face, Betty,
unconsciously your face, Betty, lost in a rigorous halo
your face
delicate as a fresh green leaf in the rain

*Jim Morrison/The Doors


This week in NorCal poetry:

(for a more complete listing of events and workshops, go to

•••Tonight (Monday, 3/29), 7:30pm: Sacramento Poetry Center presents A Benefit Reading for Autism with Rebecca Foust, Julie Bruck and Geoffrey Neill at R25, 1719 25th St., Sacramento. Free, but donations requested; donations will support the UC Davis MIND Institute to support autism research. [See last Friday's post for bios.]

•••Weds. (3/31), 12-1:30pm: California Lawyers for the Arts presents Maintaining Your Arts Non-Profit Organization, a workshop for Arts Non-Profit Organizations of all disciplines, with Attorney/CLA Board Member Deborah Cooke as speaker. 1418 20th St., Suite 201, Sacramento. Bring your brown bag lunch and your questions! Attorney Deborah Cooke will present a broad overview, including requirements for directors and officers and annual filing and reporting requirements for state and federal agencies. Some key issues to be covered: conflicts of interest; loan made by public benefit corporations; director/officer liability insurance and indemnification; maintaining tax-exempt status; political activities; charitable contributions and dissolution. Deborah Cooke is a versatile fifteenth-year lawyer skilled in education law, administrative hearings and nonprofit law. She has represented many non-profit organizations and has given numerous professional lectures on forming, maintaining, organizing and operating a nonprofit corporation. She is also a board member of California Lawyers for the Arts. Fee: $20 general, $10 CLA members and sponsoring organizations. Phone: (916) 442-6210 ext. 102 or email to register. Register early. Space is limited.

California Lawyers for the Arts ( is a non-profit service organization that provides lawyer referrals, dispute resolution services, educational programs, publications and resource library to artists of all disciplines and arts organizations. Membership: Join C.L.A. (1 YR): $40 general individual, $25 working artist, $20 student/senior. This program is funded in part by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission CAA award, The County of Sacramento, The California Arts Council, and members of C.L.A. The opinions expressed in any of our events and programs shall not be construed to represent the opinions and policies of California Lawyers for the Arts.

•••Thurs. (4/1), 8pm: Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café (1414 16th St., Sacramento) features Justin Desmangles with jazz ensemble, hosted by Mario Ellis Hill. Open mic before and after.


—Be Davison Herrera, Corvallis, OR

"shall we dance?"
a unicorn asks a rhino

Rhino struggles awake
from dreams during a nap

to question testily
"what do you mean dance

horns might lock"
"how about the bunny hop"

counters elegant Unicorn
"your horn's too long besides

I'm too heavy
for real bunny hopping gracefully"

Rhino sadly sulks
"how about a Mexican Hat

dance side by side"
suggests the subtly determined Unicorn

"well maybe we
could side by side somehow

maybe some music"
Rhino lumbers toward a tree

Unicorn enjoys shade
"but NO rules" he thunders

"maybe we'll just
play some swing and sway"

Uncorn tosses her
head up horn sun speckled

snags a leaf
floating on fresh spring air

Rhino suddenly spins
into his own timed groove

"well I guess so
our tails can keep time"

so fine readers
take a look around yourselves

if you happen
to be in a neighborhood

housing some rhinos
and/or some prancing unicorns

keep a watch
out for unfettered music and dancing


—Carl Bernard Schwartz

I so wanted to write a
tender, touching poem;
just usher out those harsh realities
and astonishing epiphanies
like a muffled sneeze.

Truth be told,
I wanted the poem to write itself:
carry me as on a magic carpet,
teasingly teetering on the parapet
between reality and dreams.

Then the phone rang,
and the dog begged,
and something fell over,
and the toast was burning
(I hope that was just the toast)
all this before I could even wake up.

I’ll get back to it
when things settle down
to a world of no strife,
where “conflict” is an obsolete term;
a time when angels are totally bored
because everyone’s been saved
that needs to be saved.

But for now,
in a day when the same fertilizer
that is used to grow healthy things
is also used to make explosives,
I’ll forego planting the seed
of that tender, touching poem.

Maybe tomorrow.

Photo by Carl Bernard Schwartz

Today's LittleNip:

write every day
keep the words
don't clog the middle

—Charles Mariano, Sacramento