Friday, January 07, 2011

Will You Know When It's The End?

Trina Drotar
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Trina Drotar, Sacramento

Your name lit up
bright as some
Golden Era movie star’s
on the marquee outside
the Esquire Theater on
Manfield Street.

You would have fit in there,
probably taking a seat in
the grand loge where
the best view of Fred and
Ginger might be

You would have dressed in
skirt, blouse, pumps with
appropriate heels, hair
styled earlier that morning,
ready for an afternoon
matinee followed by supper.

You would have reached
toward the single screen
dabbed the corners of
your eyes with the
same handkerchief
carrying smears of lipstick.

You would have done these
things and more had
you breathed and not been
simply a character in my dream.


Trina and Rattlesnake Press will be releasing her new littlesnake broadside, Cormorant in the Desert, at The Book Collector next Wednesday at 7:30pm, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Trina Drotar, a San Francisco native, comes to poetry through prose, art, music, and design. She is the recipient of two Bazzanella literary awards and is working on a collection entitled In the Night Garden. Her work has appeared on Medusa's Kitchen and Ophidian 1, and in Able Muse, Brevities, Rattle, Word Riot, and WTF. She is also a member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board and serves as editor of Poetry Now.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

The Alameda Historical and Art Museum (2324 Alameda Av., Alameda, is celebrating Jack London’s birthday this month with some art, dance and poetry events, starting this Saturday:

•••Sat. (1/8), 1-3pm: Open mic poetry reading: Read from your own poetry or from a passage from any book by Jack London. Led by Poet Laureate Mary Rudge, there will be Birthday Cake as well as Jack London Books.

•••Sat. (1/15), 11:30-3:30pm: You are invited to celebrate the arts and Jack London’s Birthday, meet and hear wonderful featured and guest poets, see the latest poetic art works, enjoy great snacks and music, costumes and excitement of poetic dances at the Artists Reception, Visual Art Show, Poetry Party, and LIVE Dancing Performances in celebration of Jack London’s birthday with:
•••Paintings, Photography, Sculpture, Natica’s Poetic Art Masks
•••Works by artists of the National Association of American Pen Women
•••Poet Laureates, Alameda Island Poets, Excellent Guest Poets
•••Featured Lyric Poets, Dancing Poetry Festival WINNERS
•••the Dancing Poet Laureate of Davis (our own Allegra Silberstein!)
•••Natica and Richard Angilly’s International Dancing Poetry Troupe
•••The Poetic Dance Theater Company, The Dancers of the Pharaohs
•••and MORE! Delicious Refreshments too!

•••Sat. (1/22), 1:30-3:30pm: Workshop: Second Annual Moving Muses, Masks, and Mirrors with Artists Embassy International’s Natica Angilly and Brushworks’ Tanya Joyce. Please call Natica at 510-235-0361 for information and to reserve your space, or email Natica & Richard at

PS: The 2011 Dancing Poetry Festival Contest is now open! Your excellent poetry is needed; go to for contest details.


—Trina Drotar

A rock tumbled across and down the street, somehow
avoiding cars and trucks and people riding bicycles without
helmets. It made its way from intersection to intersection,
unaware of the meaning of red, yellow, or green. What
it sought is unknown. Where it originated is unknown.
That it was alive, those who encountered it would find
themselves in agreement.

A man tried to capture the rock, but it slid into a pile of
other rocks, broken rocks, crushed rocks, rocks that had
been discarded. The rock was soon on its way again.
The rock was spotted in a pile of orange, red, and yellow
leaves on one street, cooling its underside on a green
expanse of lawn surrounded by iron gates on another,
and at the bottom of a shallow pond on yet a third.


—Trina Drotar

A slender crescent lifts high
in the sky below Venus, the only light
against a sky fading from blue to orange,
striations blending into a (new)
single color that, as yet, has no name,
that might taste like tangerines available
only in December, their sweetness
exciting the mouth, their wetness
dribbling down chins, their scent
bred out of them.


—Trina Drotar

I waited at the train crossing. Third car back. A clean-shaven man in white shirt and shorts approached. He held, in his left hand, a tray of cotton candy. Pink, blue, green. I counted eight, and one empty space. He asked if I wanted any, pushed the tray through my car window. Spun sugar stuck to the ceiling, the steering wheel. I tasted its sweetness.
Why did you do that?
He smiled and withdrew the tray. He asked if I’d know when it was the end.
The end?
Of the train.


—Trina Drotar

Remains the ocean’s salt she carried
from midday into the bed they shared
dark and light gray sedimentary formation
across which two black crows soared
her voice starting as she shuddered
waves against her feet upon the sandy shore
where driftwood houses with windows or
shaped like whales begged to be explored
cold air unable to numb their senses, and
they tasted and breathed the ocean’s salt.

(First published in WTF #8, 2010)


Today's LittleNip: 

—Sandy Thomas, Sacramento

the foal follows the mare behind the cart
gallops on the crest of the waves
white-haired man holding a trident
rides a chariot
drawn by spirit horses
the ocean divides
a white dragon rises



Trina Drotar
—Photo by Katy Brown