Monday, April 02, 2012

Fools and Loose Damsels for Poetry Month!

Steps are merely mental plateaus
A view of the highs
A time out from lows
—Photo and Caption by Caschwa

—Caschwa, Sacramento

Riders entering a bus
Are greeted with a big
“Watch Your Step” sign
Presumably to let them know
About all those uneven terraces
Ready and waiting to swallow them up

Unless the driver is
Particularly temperamental
Whereupon that sign becomes
A challenge to all boarding riders
That if they say something the driver
Finds even the least bit offensive, heads will


              (For Ercole; For Susan; For Nelly)
—Kim Clyde, Sacramento

Sun on water
Paints an image;
Light reflected
From the wings
Of a bird—
Vermeer white.
The dove of peace
The wing
Of an angel
Flying to heaven.
Though I have stopped
In such things
I'll suspend
My disbelief
Long enough
For you
To get past
St. Peter and
His gate
Just in case.


feast of egos
—charles mariano, sacramento

imagined all these talented
artistic egos,
sitting around a huge table
on a festive eve
in medieval times,

minstrels plucking merrily, loose damsels swaying,
and fools aplenty, to entertain

a table
piled high with fowl, pig, and venison,
baked to a glistening brown,
served whole, while other assorted game
twirled on a spit at a large fireplace

quaffs of beer raised,
swilled to a staggering, rousing shrill,
these mighty scrolls, legendary quills
of tales and song,

in between ripping, and tearing
large chunks of meat off the bone,
challenging lines
spirited verse, metaphor asides,
tossed wantonly across the table
like slabs of meat, arguing,
spitting food,
on the pigeons marmalade,

colorful, immensely talented
slobbering egos, robed,
in the finest garb
pointing, screaming,
the proper therefores,
improper wherefores,
raising cain,

while fools danced, damsels swayed,
and minstrels plucked
their merry songs,
these mighty scrolls, fantastical lunatics,
poets all


—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

poised above
at high point
yet wavers now
sleeping mouse rolls away from brown shadow


—Michael Cluff

pared off
porterhouse steak
natty hangman straightens yellow ascot


The sheik rescues
the chic who improved
the improved skit
and the principle principal
makes the prince a pal
via neckties that ties neck
and neck to horses
hoarse from fouls—
fowls on a course
coarse with apocalypse
a pock on lips
red read by byes.

—Michael Cluff


—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

I knew an acorn once.
Short and brown, to the point.
He wore a little cap, ecru,
almost looked crocheted.

He smelled nice, reminding me
of what I have read about
other California Natives: how
they crushed and boiled acorns
to remove the tannic, and how
the acorn mush tasted good—
sort of like he smelled,
and I told him so, too.


—Carol Louise Moon

The stuff is not bric-a-brac, but rick-rack—
the quilt having squares sewn on and outlined
in pink rick-rack. Within this playful boundary
are three orange flowers appliquéd, applied
in such a way without stems as to hint at star-
shape, but for certain are flowers.

The star-shape flowers of the next rick-rack
square are printed green on white background
with little red dots for centers. Speaking of
red dots, the white field of the whole of this
quilt has red French-knots sewn through,
every inch apart in all directions. Like this rash
I have lying here feverish staring at a starry quilt.
Mother has left the room to call the doctor
once again: the fever not breaking, the dots
on my face red and festered.

I throw the quilt aside. There on the under-
corner—a small, dark-gray frog-shape, not a
sewn-on but a quick-breathing thing, foggy-
skinned and grinning. DO NOT JUMP UP AND
DOWN, I say, Hold still, or go away. You may
sit on a corner of rick-rack square. I will call
you Jack Black, or Blackjack. And whatever
you are chewing, you may NOT spit it out on
the quilt, this quiet quilt of quietude… quilting,
quilted quilt…


Today's LittleNip:

fifty miles of bad road
—charles mariano

i am,
for the most part
but the truth is
i shuffle too long,
too much,
and my feet hurt


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, including charles mariano's send-up of Poetry Month. For more ways to celebrate, find the National Poetry Month box over at the right of this, in the big blue box on our bulletin board.

 frank andrick hosts a recent Poetry Unplugged
at Luna's Cafe, Sacramento
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento
[Don't forget that the next deadline for WTF
the Rattlesnake Press quarterly publication that is 
edited by frank andrick, is April 15