Monday, November 08, 2010

Morning, Word by Word...

Photo by Katy Brown

—Katy Brown, Davis

It is the light on the curve of an egg,
the small blueness or speckled oval
that nestles in the composition—
the perfect rendering of the form
that captures the perfection.

Though the nest is larger,
the bird more colorful and lively,
the simplicity of this oval
draws the eye
again and again to linger
along the perfect curve.


Of the three of us, only I can die . . .

Medusa . . . the little gorgon sister.
They will tell you I am a monster.
They point to my hissing hair,
my serpentine complexion,

my stare that turns blood to quartz.
I was beautiful — am beautiful —
and powerful, and deadly.
And I am utterly alone.

I seethe with jealousy and fear and anger.
My blood — yes, it is red —
races in my veins like a winged horse.
I am Medusa.

The world will forget
my immortal sisters.
In the firelight,
I will be the one who lives forever.

—Katy Brown


Thanks to Katy Brown for the beautiful pic and poems; Medusa likes it verily when people see things from her point of view. Congrats also to Katy and other area poets who came home with prizes from the annual Ina Coolbrith luncheon/contest in the Bay Area last Saturday: Elsie and Don Feliz, Laverne and Carol Frith, Joyce Odam and Allegra Silberstein. And thanks to Michelle Kunert for her photo of The Bob reading at last Friday’s WORD 2010 at the Guild Theater.

Due to some scheduling conflicts, there will be no reading at Sac. Poetry Center tonight. The Monday night reading series will return on Nov. 15 w/Ruebi Freyja, Phillip T. Nails & Friends, Tony Seymour & Rocket Poetry.

Lots going on this week and weekend, though, including a “poetic presence” at the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday at the Wayne Thiebaud “Homecoming” exhibit. Bob Stanley, Sacramento Poet Laureate, has assembled eleven area poets and asked them to write ekphrastic pieces based on six of Thiebaud’s paintings; these poets include Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Ann Menebroker, Frances Kakugawa, Shawn Pittard, Anna Sandidge, Albert Garcia, Emmanuel Sigauke, Lisa Abraham, Danyen Powell, Christian Adame—oh—and Kathy Kieth. In addition, Susan Kelly-DeWitt has done a broadside of each of the poems. Readings will take place at 6pm and be repeated at 8pm, in front of the respective paintings, and there will be other artistic goings-on besides. Check it out!

On Wednesday there will be a dogpile of readings, as you can see. In the No Good Deed Dept.: SPC graciously moved the Weds. night at the Library reading so it wouldn’t conflict with the Cal. Lecture Series at the Crest; then the dude didn’t even show up for the Crest lecture (family problems), so we’ve ended up with lots of events in one night (see b-board)! Ah, well, the NorCal community is huge, and I’m sure all the readings will be well-attended. Better too many than not enough, yes….?

If you do go to The Book Collector Weds. at 7:30pm, though, you’ll be well-edified with 13 poets cracking champagne over the new Ophidian, on which Richard Hansen has done a stunning job! Readers will include frank andrick, Shawn Aveningo, Trina Drotar, Taylor Graham, Pat Hickerson, James Lee Jobe, Cynthia Linville, Carol Louise Moon, Ann Privateer, Henry 7. Reneau, Allegra Silberstein, Sandy Thomas, and guest Oregonian Be Davison Herrera, each poet reading for a good solid five minutes to help us inaugurate this anthology of poetry and art.

Speaking of publications, the new poetry journal, Snail Mail Review in Modesto, is still open for submissions; deadline is Dec. 31. They accept simultaneous submissions! 35 lines of poetry (3-5 poems) or 1-7 pages of short fiction, cover letter w/brief bio and SASE. E-mail the editor at:

Mail Submissions to:
The Snail Mail Review
3000 Coffee Rd. Chateau Apt. B6
Modesto, Ca 95355

And speaking of Modesto, there’s a note on the b-board about tomorrow’s reading at The Barkin’ Dog. Host Gillian Wegner also writes: It’s time for another New Year's Poetry Challenge! If you are interested, I will email you a prompt a day for 30 days, from December 10 to January 10, the challenge being to write a poem a day for 30 days. If you'd like to be a part of this, just drop me an email at And feel free to spread the word about this, too. The more, the merrier!

Finally, Carl Schwartz took the Pleiades form in hand as it was demonstrated on Medusa last week; herewith are his results:


—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento

Pharmaceutical counters
Provide all kinds of remedies
Pertaining to all kinds of ills.
Perhaps you suffer from
Permanent pathos, or from
Progressive Pollyannaism.
Purchase a pack of Pleiades!


—Carl Bernard Schwartz

Who among us are any
Wiser than the media moguls
When they broadcast conclusions as fact?
What enables them to tell us outright
Which political opinions are valid?
Why are we buying their lynch mob strategy,
Where the noose comes first?


Today's LittleNip:

—Yü Hsüan-chi, courtesan/nun/poet c. 843-868

What can melt a traveler's grief?
Opening your letter I see the words in your fine hand.

Rain sprinkles a thousand peaks,
Tartar winds bleach ten thousand leaves.

Morning, word by word, I see the light blue jade;
Evening, page by page, I hum beneath my quilt.

I hide this letter in a scented box,
And when I'm sad, I take it out again.

(translated from the Chinese by Geoffrey Waters)



 Bob Stanley at WORD 2010
Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento