Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What Sort of Omen?


In a rainbow
A spider spun a web
And there it captured
Fairies and the leprechauns
Until they were gone
Until — they were gone
Forever gone
Long gone
I swear this spider
Must be

—Photo and Poem by Ronald Edwin Lane, Weimar


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Two blind tin cups look out
intently as they can,
no eyeball bulbs to scout
the world as might a man
or woman. Who’d suspect
that deep inside, light-rings
make fires the cups reflect.

But seeing is their true thing.
All sights are scraps at most.
No optic nerves work here
to flip each invert ghost.
No retinas to collect
or filter chaos clear.

The cups insist on seeing,
regardless: they’re obsessed
with feeding unknown being
behind them in a nest.
No nestling there broods on
how disproportionate:

The widened cups that dawn
with sights that would elate
what lives inside the fretwork
—to that small scrap-fed husk:
close-woven shrivels of network
and silence sharp with musk.


This week we're talking about Katy Brown's photo of a jay's nest on the Kieth property; check yesterday's post to see what I mean (and you'll get the "tin cup" reference in Tom's poem). Send your musings to or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. I added Ron Lane's poem/photo because spiders, too, have nests. You'll also see Mitz Sackman's take on three recent Medusa posts—she seems to be working on an "Urban Solace" suite. And if you haven't gotten to it yet, click on Taylor Graham's photo on the b-board to read the delicious Bee article that appeared last week.

While you're at it, send your poems for The Ophidian—deadline is TODAY!

And join Rattlesnake Press tonight at The Book Collector (1414 16th St., Sacramento), 7:30pm, for Which Side Are You On? Songs and Poetry of Labor and Protest, hosted by Richard Hansen and featuring Abe Sass, Manny Gale, Mary Zeppa, Bob Stanley, Richard Hansen and YOU! Be there!

The Summer 10 issue of Convergence is now online!

Look for work by Marcia Arrieta, Francis DiClemente, Richard Luftig, Pierrino Mascarino, Eric V. Neagu, Mary Ocher, Benjamin Norman Pierce, Timothy Pilgrim, Elahzar Rao, and Richard B. Ressman in the Summer 2010 issue at In addition, Editors' Choice pages and photos throughout the website are updated monthly, so stop by often. The site currently features new work by poet Joyce Odam (on Cynthia Linville's page) and photographers Myles Boisen, Allyson Seconds, Curtis Wheatley, Thomas Raymond Hall, Tom Lux, Chris Jackson, and Brent Wiggans.

Addition to this week's calendar:

•••Friday (6/11), 7:30-10pm: Terry Moore presents Ainsley Burrows, the International face of Guinness in 26 countries, Internationally known poet/performer, author of 4 books of poetry numerous anthologies, 6 poetry/music albums, with his newest release, Empire, taking the world by storm. He has appeared on BET's Lyric Cafe, also on Word sound Power shot in Jamaica for BET J. Hear him at Boston’s Lounge, 96777 Lincoln Village Dr., Sacramento (916-366-6660). Cost: $7. Info: T-Mo at (916) 208-POET.


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

What sort of omen,
this abandoned nest
at the front door?

Rumpled, white-washed,
with late spring’s

leftover life. I’ll take it
as fledged proof
of blue-wing flight.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

In his pocket he carried a clown rubber nose
As a reason to love the world
—Stephen Dobyns

He trudges down the street
Alone as always
Looking at the ground
Feeling loneliness well in his heart
In, but apart from the bustling crowds
He reaches into his jacket pocket
In his pocket he carries a clown rubber nose

He slows his pace at the bookshop window
Gazes hungrily inside
Smiling at a cat stretching below the shelves
Looking forward he enters
His posture straightens, he looks more at home
He prowls the store with purpose and makes his purchase
As a reason to love the world


—Mitz Sackman

She withdrew into herself
First writing just for one
Then touching thousands
She incarnated ghosts, hurt and joy
Into paper and ink-soaked stories of wonder
—Deng Ming-Dao

A dancer she had been
A dancer was all she wished to be
Until the accident changed everything
She withdrew into herself

Separated from her art, losing her audience
She was unsure of herself for the first time
She plucked up a pen to confide her heart to paper
First writing for one

Her eyes opened on new visions
New possibilities swam in her head
Danced in her soul, singing to the stars
Then touching thousands

She wrote from her wheelchair
Of new life dancing within her heart
Pouring her story out
She incarnated ghosts, hurt and joy

Her world expanded beyond the confines of her chair
Seeing a beauteous world for her words to shape
A bird’s wing, an unfolding leaf
Into paper and ink-soaked stories of wonder


—Mitz Sackman

(based on The Nest)

She loved it here in the city
Seduced by all the motion, activity
The bright lights, the crowds
So different a world from where she lived before
But sometimes she misses her old home

Her old home was a wonder of nature
At night she went to sleep to the song of insects
She woke in the morning to hear the birds telegraph
She looked out on the wild world
Sitting with her morning coffee

She lived in an upstairs apartment now
Carved out of an old house, a garret really
Her window view of the security lights under the eaves
For her morning coffee
But today a bird has built a nest, she is really home at last


Today's LittleNip:

What does it matter if a large proportion of our population thinks that Chernobyl is a ski resort, DNA a food additive, a megabyte an orthodontal problem, and protons something you put on salad?

—Richard P. Brennan

We have been massively intervening in the environment... Like the sorcerer's apprenctice, we are acting upon dangerously incomplete knowledge. We are, in effect, conducting a huge experiment on ourselves.

—Barry Commoner


Finally: today I realized that we passed a birthday last month: Five years ago, on May 29, 2005, Medusa entered the Kitchen for the first time and started brewing up some snacks, starting with Takahashi and progressing in the next couple of days through the fine poetry of Carol Frith and Don Feliz. Happy Birthday, you quirky old coot, and thanks to D.R. Wagner for finding us this cheeky picture of our sexy Ophidian...