Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Of Course You Can Write A Poem

The continued need to wish

that a strong poem lies in wait, in some adopted room
of my mind, inspired not by lust or loss, or by wanting
to inspire and project art into words, glues me
to the chair, hands and fingers curled to the touch
of keyboard, listening to all the sounds around me
or someone to say something I can use, looking for anything
to tip me into making a fullness on the page
a stain on the glass for the scientist to study
and be amazed by, a hard hit drive into center field
and gone so far, not one test tube is in danger
of breaking.

—Ann Menebroker, Sacramento


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

of course you can write a poem
and you must write a poem
you must sing the way, new poets
fire up through the crust
become irrepressible piebirds
sing your new words

smoke the way out of passion
tilt your words from your hip pocket
whip out the words
spray them across continents

set the sea on fire with hope
melt glaciers
light a fever in the head

new poets, give us new reason for words
words become fireflies
each word charged to flash its semaphore in the night
each signal pinwheeling into space

each word rattles a tail of hot sparks
new words flare up from the heaving cinders

each word a searing firestorm
each word a sun spinning a halo of new suns

each generation of words more flammable than the last
each word a burning seed
each word the incandescent womb of new poems


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Would it be bright-cluster
dense as filaree purpling the pasture
where lambs go sporting May?

or would it sound like woodwind
teasing willow leaves,
rummaging up the swale?

or harmonica to a blind man's lips,
silky-sound he pulls
out of the hat on his head,

with nothing at his feet to beg
pennies? Who makes
a poem, anyway, for coin?


for Steph Schaefer
—Taylor Graham

Heron's nest in a ramshackle snag
weathered the color of
Heron (Great
Blue) and all the jackstraw
lived-in nest

with two immense
heron-chicks practicing
wings, all
odd angles; and stretched
above, the dame

neck/head/bill reaching oddly
skyward; herself
a weathered snag pointing
toward Polaris;

the dead tree reaching
with its bone-
fingers remembering
all these odd

ready for flight—
that's the poem I wish
I could write.


—Robin Gale Odam, Sacramento

I stare to allure you. Notice my restraint and my
beautiful scales. I move like a stream of liquid ribbon.

There are many doorways...I feel their thresholds
as I flick my tongue and glide along nameless
passages. You can sense my restless eyes.

You are not unlike slide over boundaries and
gaze with quiet reproach. You love with icy passion.

I am limbless form curls around
your heart. You will come to know me. I can sense
your restless eyes.


Today's LittleNip: 

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

—Mark Twain



—Photo by Robin Gale Odam