Monday, March 19, 2012

Of Ides and Tides and Coq Au Vin

Rain through the windshield
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Each surface is the perfect blue of sky
before the swarm of insects—
floaters, you call them—and the bright
sliver-moon inverted behind
the eye before the retina casts off

flashing on its own. Can you read
the script projected backwards
in the dark, across the room? It retreats
in time to each reversal,
each beautifully serif'd reflection,

the roadmap that brought us here
folded softly back into
mercury; where the X is a lake
for drowning. That's
what mirrors do, capturing us in image

as if it were our selves. Look
at yourself cut triptych in rippled glass
that abstracts your face
and gives it back forever changed.
Script ancient, unreadable.


—Taylor Graham

I unfold your book as if it were your
self in three parts—the bathroom mirror
hinged to cut your face in half—

as this morning I folded my knees,
wrists, shoulders into yoga-form foreign
to my living figure—origami

swan or cricket, beetle that only lives
an hour. Out the window, cigarette smoke
folds into fog; a century-plant

blossoms as metaphor.
This window a plate of broken glass
you meant for mirror—you

who no longer have a body. Only this
book, origami of yourself. Image by
image, I unfold from swan.


—Taylor Graham

We've gotten past the Ides
and last night's weather-tides—

storm runoff gushing hence,
rushing our pasture fence.

Black boots slick with water—
rain suits the creek's daughter.

Old Willow's deep in bud,
sheep meditate their cud;

the world is rainy-green
skirled with voices unseen.

Wild mustard on the banks—
child of fortune. Give thanks.


—Kim Clyde, Sacramento

For twenty-five years
And more
He kept his secret wish
Locked away behind
His crooked smile.
So charming.
So disarming.
Those electric blue eyes.
He told of adventures
In distant places
In my old green plaid coat.
His arms warmed
In the sleeves
Where the ghosts
Of my own
Lingered still.
The “Chicago Coat”
He calls it.
To keep out the winds
Of change
Against the day
He hoped to meet again
The girl he did not
Get to kiss
So long ago.


—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

"Use the simple words—
it will come across faster
and all will get it,
that's what you want
don't you,"
Mr. Matthews told
no one in specific

they had all left
their defiled desks
to crowd the window
overlooking the quad
to see the ice cream truck
slide by on Tucket Drive.

He undid his top
dress shirt button
and pulled hard on his tie
striped in gold, blue, black and white
and dreamed
of cream brulée
and coq au vin
in the Lesser Antilles.

He could never
afford the Greater,
at least in thought.


Today's LittleNip: 

(It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day.
What are all those snakes doing on my lawn?)

 —Caschwa, Sacramento

Long before Nobel’s invention
Which could be used for
Good or bad intention
There were serpents galore

Pure evil hidden in the grass
Ready to bite your ass
They were cast the most lowly class
Unless wrapped around a cross

Now the healing symbol ethereal
Discarding that old skin to the site
Ancients stowed biohazardous material
Soil by dark, skinfills by light

Then we have the ouroboros plight
Fated to eat its own tail
A graphic image of wrong versus right
And a plethora of vowels for sale


—Medusa, with thanks to today's chefs in the Kitchen, especially to newcomer Kim Clyde (Kim Richerson)—welcome!

Photo by Taylor Graham