Friday, November 25, 2011

Done, But Not Done, Til Undone

Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—Elizabeth Harrison, Davis

Mists fade into the light blue above
Gold hues vibrate the horizon
Green sprouts from the ash-gray earth
Wings ruffle dewy leaves
Not a breath of wind
The absent sound
And then


—Brandon Buonacorsi, Davis

Silence obliterates everything
      the sound
The battle waged between
   the polar opposites
          quiet and chaos
   creating music of life cycles

Each cannot live without
     opposites make whole
     the other.
Harmony exists within
  the contradiction
     of the two

Or does

Silence simply exists as
     a subset of sound
It is a way of hearing
     everything, nothing,
         and feeling totally at ease
              with one’s self

Silence brings
     the gift of peace
Too often ruckus surrounds human minds
                     cast ruckus aside

     Feel the


                the silence


—n.ciano, davis

once there lived an interesting man and,
he was different from the rest,
he was beautiful at dusk,
and always sad by day,
no one understood,
the loneliness,
he withheld,
yes the,



I went on a walk on a moonlight dusty path,
my one thought: who am I?
purpose and meaning
enemy is thought
but that didn’t help
the troll had told me,
“Everything is what is, or what can be.”


—Giselle Rodriguez, Davis

He lied there, motionless, not a word
out of his mouth. They all sat around him wondering
what was happening. From out of the blue he spoke.
They did not know this but he was alive and in his mind,
he was home, not the foreign home where they ate and slept
the past few years, but the home that was theirs,
the home that they knew and understood. He stared at it.
He stared at all the trees filled with fruit. He laughed with
his mischievous laugh that seemed almost taunting.
He was finally back, his orchard was as beautiful as he had left it,
but beautiful or not, there was much work to be done.
He put on his old sombrero and began to dig a spot where
new vegetables would soon grow.
He called out to his wife to bring him his gloves,
but his wife stood still. She merely stood there and then,
she disappeared. Then it all disappeared, and he was back
once again surrounded by his children, who were
no longer children. He lay there.
A few seconds ago he was in his thirties, now he was
too old to remember. He turned to his wife, told her he
still needed to finish all his work.
They then understood what was happening.


today i

passed the freeway

marked it with my trace

passed it on the way back

marked it, but not done



and will tomorrow too

til I'm done, but not done



             is the point?

                               back and forth

                               forth and back-forth

                               forth-back forward for

                               forty-four times


                               to the fourth power

                               times time

though it's already there

the trace

because I lived, I marked it

but not UNDONE yet

so keep going

              keep going

              don't stop

              til done

              don't break

              don't fall

              don't cough


til done

not done yet

til words are done

               til this is done

and when done

               it'll be DONE and UNDONE

                                all of this


                                same time

                                UNDONE by them

                                when they're DONE with me

                                and have my trace

                                (all they wanted)

they'll find it

they'll summarize it

               analyze it

               misinterpret it

and then make a theory

               teach the theory

               publish the theory

               learn from the theory

               test others on the theory

               preserve the theory

               feel smart about the theory





               and laugh

because I'm dead

and they can't correct me

and because

you'll believe them

—s.c. berci, davis


Thanks to today’s poets, most of whom are past or present students in D.R. Wagner's Poetry by Design class at UC Davis, except for Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) who is, well, a Student of Life.

James DenBoer of Swan Scythe Press sends us the following announcement of two new Swan Scythe books. (Michael Hettich is just about my very favoritist poet ever!)

Just last week Swan Scythe published The Measured Breathing by Michael Hettich, winner of their 2011 Chapbook Contest. Michael Hettich's poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cake, Hamilton Stone Review, International Literary Quarterly, Poetry East, and many other literary journals. His most recently-published book of poems is Like Happiness, from Anhinga Press; a new book, The Animals Beyond Us, is forthcoming from New Rivers Press. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he now teaches at Miami Dade College.

Also just released is My Naked Brain, Selected Poems by Spanish poet Leopoldo María Panero, translated by Arturo Mantecón, and with an Introduction by Jack Hirschman. This is the first appearance in English by the acclaimed poet. The publication of My Naked Brain was partially supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Culture. This bilingual edition has been praised by Stephen Kessler, Francisco Aragón, Jonathan Cohen, and William O'Daly.

Also in the New Book Category (just in time for Thanksgiving!) is The Measure of Small Gratitudes by Ann Menebroker, from Kamini Press. The first edition is limited to 125 copies, all signed by Annie, and 25 special numbered copies contain an original watercolor by publisher Henry Denander. Email Kamini at NOW!


Today's LittleNip: 

—Caschwa, Sacramento

A BLT is all that we get
From a bailout
When the county is too poor
To buy a vowel.



Photo by D.R. Wagner