Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fig Leaves, Black Cats & Nibbles on the Squash

 Artwork by Ann Privateer, Davis

—Ann Privateer, Davis

Acid can’t match
Yellow’s gall
bitter as it may be.

Endure or wilt
from too much

useless and brazen
is chewing at your house.

Temptation bites, rubs it
all away, when
we swarm, watch out.


—Ann Privateer

Exceptions rule
because runners

Inventory old clothes
never buy new fabrics
nor heavy thread.

Initiate a gong
minus the time spent
on shopping sprees.

Sober up
live in the past
forget too many sales.

Value what is
even what’s old
can be new.

No one’s house
ever imploded
from having too little.

No one wins
a prize for
earning too much.

Someone’s atrophy
might be your

Clouds that jettison
never get there
any quicker.


—Ann Privateer

A fig leaf
no bigger than a thumb

with white, sticky goo

milk like blood

a fruited bulb
that ripens

filled with seeds
a web of sweet pleasure

hidden by scalloped edges
irregular borders

crayoned yellow green.


—Caschwa, Sacramento

He was a rodeo star
As macho a man as there ever was
Tumbled, scarred, survivor
They called him Black Friday

The crowds would cheer
When Black Friday appeared
Always ready for action
He could handle it

His reward was multi-colored
Fabric paper depicting old guys
Wearing lots of makeup and
Those distinctive powdered wigs

Black Friday was clearly
Not one for taking handouts
His slogan was “I got mine,
Keep the change.”


The empty and abandoned Gottshalks at my local Country Club mall
looks especially creepy after Thanksgiving as I pass it by
with dark empty show windows and security caging bars
and its sign left behind to never again glow at night as it decays
I miss it since it closed for good from bankruptcy in 2009
not being able to survive its competitors on the New York Stock Exchange
Even though my friends and I felt it mainly sold stuff for "old" ladies
at least it had nice customer service when I shopped
As of 2011 J.C. Penney hasn't bought it as they promised
So Macy's is the only major chain giving the mall any heartbeat
as well as for the sake of Ross and the Bed, Bath and Beyond
and the Hometown Buffet customers wanting a cheap smorgasbord

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


My friend Laura swears after she takes her two dogs inside at night
rats come into her backyard's vegetable garden
(with fencing around it to keep out the dogs)
She finds little nibbles on her squash
but perhaps the reason they don't eat the whole things
just like so many humans
with the behavior of going to raid a fridge at midnight
they would too rather eat garbage than eat healthy

—Michelle Kunert


Dennis was staying
one-and-a-half steps
ahead of the sheriff
of each town
he visited
and then consulted
next pilfering the gentry
really only the men
of their neckties
dress shoes
and leather belts.

He was the best-attired lawyer
in the state
especially in glen plaids
and herringbones
elbow-patched sport coats
but that didn't matter.

He also ripped off
their underwear
in backroom trysts
and the staid businessmen
would not stand
for such blatant abuse
of their essential coverings
be they clothes
or corporate gains.

Sheriff Colvin
was now on his trail
having lost his shirt
in a rigged off-shore
oil deal.

—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA


I hired a stripper
to grade papers;
she concentrated primarily
on those dangling modifiers
that erupted unplanned
from those sheets
of tortured thoughts.

Her life had been driven
by adjectives up until now
when proper nouns
and definitional phrases
re-diagrammed her life.

I let her go
when her growing expertise
demanded she charge
more by the hour.

—Michael Cluff


The cat was playing tag
badly in the second-from-right
freeway lane
just after Foothill Blvd
near Rancho Cucamonga.

It did get through sideways
by a white foreign job
but made it back
just barely
to the patchy grass on the westside

Being a black short hair
its luck was go
for it alone
that early pre-eight a.m.
Wednesday morn.

—Michael Cluff


Today's LittleNip: 

I went back to drink
you went back to drugs,
and the dog went back to work,
but the cat ate up the salmon
you were too stoned to cook
I was too blotto-blitzed to unwrap
and Spike was much too busy
chasing his own tail.

—Michael Cluff



Be sure to check out our new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page: Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Katy Brown.

 Photo by Ann Privateer