Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can You Rhyme W/Guaifenesin?

Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Michael Cluff, Highlands, CA

Shattered on the spikes
a hummingbird slowly drops its
solid fresh green flesh
intrudes into another's
movement now deferred,
defeated in one,
both shift at last;
only now
when the sirocco decides
to saunter then sashshay
early in this autumn maze.


Thanks also to those who attended last night's reading at The Book Collector. Here's what you missed, if you weren't there: a solid read by two wonderful poets (Crawdad Nelson and Maureen Hurley); a special surprise musical performance by Scotch singer/guitarist Neil O'Neill (kilt and all); and dancing by Michelle Kunert. (Yes, she really did dance.) Join us for the next 2nd Weds. reading: Which Side Are You On? Songs and Poetry of Labor and Protest, hosted by Richard Hansen.

Kevin Jones picked up on the silly giveaway that was lurking in Calliope's closet on our b-board: three cinquains about cough syrup. This challenge was inspired by a long illness I had several years ago: sitting at home coughing and hacking (and dazed on cough syrup), I decided to write piles and piles of cinquains in order to get used to the form. At one point I remember trying to rhyme "guaifenesin"... Anyway, Kevin won a free rattlechap, and now I shall change the challenge. He says: You didn’t say they had to be Good Cinquains. But then most are kind of Crapsey anyway… (William Wantling & cough medicine—why didn’t I think of it sooner?):

—Kevin Jones, Fair Oaks

Traded grades for
Cough syrup. Ethical,
No, but in Comp, anything’s a fair


Jug of codeine
Cheap wine wrote the final
Line even for the tough hipster


Cough meds
Got him, along
With a bottle of cheap
White, leaving the last of the Beats


—Michael Cluff, Highlands, CA

I have let the declawed
cat attack the caged
waybills and canaries
with glamour and glee.

My razors will not be put away
I will let the cuts
bleed fancy and freely
without alcohol or peroxide
to never numb the sting.

I will do my lines
without fare or after thought
let them come
as they dart
natural and unimpeded.

Irises will spend
time with chickweed,
mice with forceps
and I, in a tan Mini Cooper, let the air
go one way to Montreal....

or, at least Missoula or Minot,
while enjoying
"Watermelon Man"
and will not let in
iotas of guilt
any longer.


—Michael Cluff

Always gauging
the temperature of my soul—
it varies too much
for a thermometer
to work
without shattering
into an environment
not always of my accord.

A creaking floorboard
or Indian head penny
will spark it off
with equanimity

as do cow creamers,
clip-on ties
and conundrums
cleverly constructed.

the degree of descent,
is mine alone—
a range without wire
barbed or blanching

orbiting around
my impulses
ricochets or mercury
I know
best of all.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

An ocean of ink in a single drop
Trembling at the tip of my brush
Poised above the stark white paper
A universe waits for existence
—Deng Ming-Dao

A sea of thought fills my brain
A rolling wave of feeling dances toward my notebook
An ocean of ink in a single drop

The canvas of life impels me
I must find my way into this life’s paint
Trembling at the tip of my brush

Ink awaits the time ideas gel
Slowly in my mind words form pattern
Poised above stark white paper

The poem blooms slowly forming
Creating visions never seen
A universe waits for existence

(Inspired by Medusa's LittleNip on Tuesday)


Today's LittleNip:

The poem is momentary though it has not the same moment always. Changes occur and it changes with them. The moment is felt.

—William Bronk



Photo by (correct me if I'm wrong) Katy Brown, Davis

Some of our many, many SnakePals:
Bill Gainer, frank andrick, Taylor Graham,
Kathy Kieth, Joyce Odam, Ann Menebroker, Sandy Thomas

Want to be a SnakePal?
All it takes to be a SnakePal is to send us poems, artwork or
we're cheap and easy that way.
Got a reading coming up?

Send a pic, bio and 3-5 poems to Medusa for posting!
(The only bad publicity is NO publicity...)

(By the way, when this photo was taken earlier this year, I was also sick.
These kind people stood next to me to prove how brave
and supportive they were...)