Monday, October 24, 2011

Heading Into Now-Noir Nights

Trying Again
—Photo by D.R. Wagner

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

Not even understanding why
There should be such a wind,
If it were a wind, or if it were a
Breath into an ear just before
Sleeping, too late to come back
To the a waking world, too late to think
Someone might be talking to us,
Asking a question. I could see

Something in your eyes that
Was important, a sheen of white
Upon the tail of a mermaid or snow
Blinding us just as we reached
The edge of the ice field, the highest
Pass and it is noon time and it is wind.

I will, I promise, follow you as
Far as I am able just to know
What you might say next, like waiting
For Basho to reach the frog pond,
Or Whitman the dooryard, or noticing
From the corner of my eye the Windhover.

It will propel me into a new mind,
Some place I had not expected to find
Myself. I will be unarmed, afraid and still
Somehow fearless knowing I can use
All of this to touch you deeply for an instant,
Than vanish back into the page, maybe
Even truly falling asleep next to you.


THE JOURNEY (a Villanelle)
—Dillon Shaw, Davis

.the smoke might have foretold the blaze
,i suppose then that i had not the mood
,entered unseen ,to escape from this maze

.broken ,beleaguered ,i set down to graze
;twisting the cud, i swallowed and chewed
.the smoke might have foretold the blaze

.struggle to find ,as my eyes glaze
-with way lost ,my hands do brood
-entered unseen ,to escape from this maze

and if i must ,this whole field i shall raze
!fuck this whole place ;don't care if it's crude
!the smoke might have foretold the blaze

...heading forward and torward for days and more daze
while polarized nymphs offered me bells in the nude
;entered unseen ,to escape from this maze

.livations are needed, so grant me your gaze
!grant me salvation -my sins are renewed
-the smoke might have foretold the blaze
;entered unseen, to escape from this maze


cold blood
(after reading “The Split” by Alice Anderson)
—charles mariano

it seems like
i find,
or discover,
another writer
who blows me away

i’m struck
by skillful phrasing
precise weaving
the power
of her words,
and wonder

what the hell
am i doing?

it’s not just sheer
but what they’ve all got
to say,
so damn important,

while i
trudge aimlessly
through layers
of thickening
murky swamp

i mean
how could i?

twenty, thirty years ago
i suffered greatly
from this gigantic
inferiority complex

that continues to rear
its ugly head,
kills me

(Ed. Note: Alice Anderson will be reading at Luna's Cafe 
this Thursday; see b-board for details.)


—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Tim always
hides it away
before his office
is entered
by those
who do not understand
or won't
by innocence
or intent.

The picture frames
Roy at work
in his professor garb
of brown herringbone sports coat
black tie, brown khaki-like dress pants
and button-down blue and white-striped
dress shirt, probably long-sleeved
and Tim admires the small shock
of greying hair
that divides Roy's brow in two
but only in the photo
taken four months before his death.

A man loving
another as thoroughly
as they did
is still frowned upon
by some of his colleagues
in the liberal arts college
they have taught at
for more than a half-century


I will bounce
the red empty moon for you
twirl the dynamite stick
until sparks of purple
splash into the frozen bay.....

The waggle of the waffles
hopping hot out of the toaster
in retro avocado green
will never coincide
with the shift
I will do under the earthly cover
to shake the fallout
off your rust-riddled hair.

Once the slippage of water
is confounded by my in-held breath
monasteries will chant
your name
and lost books of antiquity
and religious lore
will descend into libraries
where data bases will shimmer
with a batch of light
once seen long ago
and not again
until now-noir nights.

—Michael Cluff


Today's LittleNip: 

—Caschwa, Sacramento

In Persian the poetry of Omar Khayyam
Resembled the gait of a woods-savvy lamb
Then came the TransLations of Edward FitzGerald
Not truly preserves, but more of a jam.



 A fella named "Keith" shows his mettle at
Red Night Poetry last Wednesday night
—Photo by Annie Menebroker, Sacramento
(For more of Annie's Red Night photos, 
go to our latest album on Medusa's Facebook page:
Red Night Poetry, Take Two)