Monday, April 04, 2011

What Desire Destroys

Sharp-shinned hawk, Fair Oaks
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

"the animals/they are mute/they are/
our link/to our/instinct"—Squeak Carnwath

There is
a guilt to bear,
replacing innocence
with harsh intention—what desire

For all
harsh intention
replacing innocence—
guilt still denies that there is guilt
to bear.

What’s left
is aftermath.
Life is its own. No price
restores—to kill for what we want
and take.


Thanks to today's contributors Joyce Odam and Katy Brown! National Poetry Month continues with, among many readings (see our B-Board), a poem in yesterday's Sacramento Bee by Sacramento Poet Laureate Bob Stanley about the Kings leaving Sacramento. Scroll down on the B-Board and click on the pic to find it.

Sometime soon, by the way, our "counter" on MK will pass the 100,000 mark. While you're scrolling on the b-board, check that out, down there near the bottom. (We should have a pool, offer cash to whoever guesses the closest day.)

Poets Chrissy Davis and Kenya Mitchell of Stockton are putting on a contest for children's poetry, called the In Flight Kids' Poetry Contest, created to showcase the literary talents of Central Valley youth. They're accepting poetry in three categories: ages 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18. Telepacific has graciously donated gift certificate prizes of $50, $25, and $10 for the first, second, and third place winners of each category. Submissions will be accepted via email at until April 9 at

And gird up your loins for lots of poetry readings this month (not to mention Rattlesnake Press's seventh birthday party on April 13!), plus workshops, including Sac. Poetry Center's workshop this weekend. You know where to look for all the details.............


—Joyce Odam

So, Love, you said we were enemies.
And it is true.

At first
it was not so.

Then we drew blood—
dangerous words—

adding salt when necessary—
whetted for more;

the veils between us
whipped and tore—became scars.

It did not matter that we loved
and destroyed each other.

Love is never easy—
we learned that.

We reassured each other
with this explanation, but loved the war.


—Joyce Odam

How like a sorrow is our love,
ever wounded,
ever cruel,
with its little humor space,
with its cutting tool.

Love, your eyes are hot as hate
and mine are such an answer:
when we look,
and when we speak,
our hate is like a cancer.


—Joyce Odam

Her closet of dresses; my hurrying to be
grown up—child of growing pains and

moodiness—child of tantrums. Her closet
of soft smells and fabrics. My jealousy of

her dancing. How I envied her little step
of blues. How I wanted her cosmetics—

her reddish hair. How I hated her when
she raised her wall against me. I wanted

to wrap her closet around me—make
it mine. I wanted her eyes, her smile,

her face, her flirty ways. I wanted to be
grown up—to be her—to be free of her.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

we sulk through the house
wishing we could love each other
or wishing we could
hate each other better

(previously published in West Conscious Review)



—Photo by Katy Brown