AN AMERICAN CHANGE, 1925
—Patricia Hickerson, Davis
speeding thru the Swiss Alps
to Zurich on a fast train
she thought of her mother’s birth
in an Appalachian coal camp;
how her mother made it possible
for a daughter to be now traveling
in a warm compartment,
a place of the moment,
with brief forays into the corridor
much as the mother breached the womb
and came out squalling into a hard life
a long lean red baby
never a beauty, but whip-smart
destined to ride a train
from backwoods to big city
in one generation
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
Sometimes the fault line, sometimes the fault.
There will be consequences for all the actions
Taken here, the wind, the rain, the mornings without
Incident when we neglected to differentiate between
One day and another, believing each day was just
Like another because our surroundings remained
The same. One cannot trust to consciousness
To explain change. People die totally unnoticed.
The kind of music they loved may appear in a dream
Shifting between call and response, Ol’ Hannah,
Then that sound of hammer against huge steel nails.
We struggle and swim ashore. “Are you having
A good time?" The ground beneath our feet
Opens and the tectonic plates move slightly,
Not much, just enough to bring down Los Angeles.
Our feelings are electric. They belong to the realm
Bounded by animals, guarded by animals, surrounded
By others who bear a resemblance to ourselves but
Will always remain other. We still choose to call them
Brother, afraid that if we do not we will no longer be able
To read the book, stand in lines with them waiting to get in.
This is a form of praying or so I am told by the swirl
Time puts on on our presence here. There will be
Consequences for all the actions taken here.
Sometimes the fault line, sometimes the fault.
Thanks, DR, for the poem, about which he says, I was reading Dawn DiBartolo’s excellent “The Illusion of Reinvention" [on Thursday morning's post] and began thinking of one of her lines. Here is the result. And thanks to our other contributors—couldn’t do it without you!
Some of next week’s NorCal poetry events are posted in the skinny blue box (the “b-board”) at the right; check ‘em out. And keep scrolling down the box for SPC's schedule, past Bob Stanley (in the weeds) to the posting of future NorCal readings: “Other Events to Watch For”. These are upcoming happenings that are more than a week or two away. And, as always, go to eskimopie.net for a more complete listing of weekly readings and workshops.
Editor Monika Rose writes to say that poets who contributed to Vol. 6 of Manzanita are invited to read at the release party in August, and everyone else is also invited to the blow-out, which will include an open mic. (Heck, stay overnight!)
•••Sat. (8/14), 11am-8pm: Manzanita Volume 6 Book Release & Reading & Reception at Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County. Manzanita writers will be reading new work published in Vol. 6 of Manzanita: Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra, and photographers and artists will display their art. The event is free to all, and the public is invited to participate and share in the community reading. Writers can pick up their free two copies of the book hot off the press at the event and purchase additional copies at 1/2 off ($7.50 each), as well as share their writing with the public at the reading. A no-host Leger buffet lunch and dinner is available, so reserve ahead for lunch, dinner, and reading slots with Linda Field, Events Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 454-5738.
11-11:15: Manzanita Writers Press staff introductions and acknowledgements—sponsor recognition and program details
11:15-12:15: Manzanita Writers reading their work from the book (by sign-up)
12:15-1:15: Lunch with the writers—buffet with paid reservations in advance, $12.00
1:15-3:15: Manzanita Writers reading their work from the book (by sign-up)
3:15-5: Manzanita Writers reading their work from the book (by sign-up)
5:15-6: Open Mic in the Lounge—open to the public—sign-ups taken in advance and at the event
6pm: Dinner with the Writers (Buffet pre-paid reservations are $19.00)
Writers are encouraged to bring their books to sell—prices need to be posted on books. All proceeds of individual authors’ books at the table go to the authors of those books.
Event sponsored by Manzanita Writers Press (www.manzanitacalifornia.org) and The Hotel Leger. For Hotel Leger Reservations, go to email@example.com or www.hotelleger.com
—Janet Pantoja, Woodinville, WA
As the heat of summer fades into the chill of autumn,
I sit by your side watching you sleep in your hospital bed.
The tide has changed . . .
. . . the time has come for me to care for you.
It's not a burden really . . .
. . . the hardest part is accepting the reversal of roles.
You loved me even before I was born.
You cuddled me in your arms and cared for me . . .
. . . helped me, consoled me, encouraged me, loved me.
Now as the tide changes, I hug you close, I care for you . . .
. . . help you, console you, encourage you, love you.
I remember the many wonderful moments in my lifetime that we spent together.
I know there is one constant throughout all eternity . . .
. . . unconditional love for each other.
Mother-Daughter love doesn't and won't change—no, not ever.
Not even when the inevitable happens—
THE ABSENCE OF PROOF
Chaos lasts; orders all go by.
The chaos, not the orders, is where we live.
What is it to write a poem, that ordering—
who does it? What does it do? As if to say
—what does it say?—that we might trap it here,
sing siren, seduce it to this shape?
June now, sweet roses accent the road.
It is as though shapes were: patterns, lines.
In there, we pose ourselves for proof. Take trial.
Oh, we pass time, assuming time,
race against it, against all or one.
Contest. Measure. In spite of no contest here,
no goals, gains, rules. Only infrequent words
mean something, are known or said to be known.
there once was a chick called Medusa
over time some struggle to abuse her
but I truly find her behavior instructional
assisting behavior beyond confessional
suffering, it's true, her choice to be loser
—Be Davison Herrera, Corvallis, OR