Monday, April 09, 2012

Three Poets' Alembic Words

Loki, the Grahams' new puppy
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

How could I find you without a map
of the labyrinth of possibles,
spiral helix with its infinite permutations—

you, sable puppy in a world of black
and tans; focus of your amber
eyes distracted by worlds of sidewalk,

off-ramps, phone numbers? How
could I hear you for the
barking, the TV noise and sirens?

How would I find the good dog
concealed inside the impossible puppy
traded from hand to hand?

Why should I call your name
when nobody knew you
well enough to name you? Loki

maker of mischief—where were you
hiding? Or, were you looking
for me in the maze, to find me?


—Taylor Graham

The new pup has found a bone.
She's been running the April fields
and past the lupine corner
where old dead dogs lie waiting
for a command. “Come!”

The old dogs bloom with rosemary,
as if we could forget.
Bones. Stones. The stuff of underground
to build on; that pushes up
in the dark when we're not looking.

Now the pup has found this bone
to keep her quiet for a moment
or a day. A bone that holds the memory
of lives. She'll chew it
to its marrow, taste its secrets.

I might wait for twilight,
till I walk the waving fields
calling to this puppy;
listening if there's a voice that bids
the old ones: “Come!”



s n e a k s

—Taylor Graham


Loki discovers running water
—Photo by Taylor Graham


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

New lilacs
and orange foliage
gnaw against
the backroad fence
of a once
snow garden
a sparrows feather rises
in the windswept meadow
sensing in the breeze
of deserted dunes
an overturned umbrella
it is spring again.


—B.Z. Niditch

Besotted showers disguised as snow kisses
by the mourning doves on the last iced
evergreen branch.
First luminous light at dawn with swirling giant flakes in liquid silence.
Absent blue in the sky as an emerging sun
consumes a poet's alembic words from the
seasoned absentia of solitude.


—B.Z. Niditch

It was a rainy day
of unbearable laughter
at a boarding house
in New Orleans
old men playing black jack
the young flirting
where gas green lamps
lit on a adolescent poet
travelling alone
from moonstruck miles
along the coast
over murdered towns
filled with auctioned pianos
and pawn shopped jewels
and reading in the Gazette
that Tennessee Williams
will star off-Broadway
in his own play
"Small Craft Warnings,"
the young poet
with all the metallic
and chutzpah
grown inside him
goes by train
to the Big Apple
and buys a matinee ticket
shoring up courage
parades to the dressing room
filled with old costumes
and oilcloths of fate
at the sunset mirror
Tennessee calms me down
and takes my poem
in hand,
wryly says, "The muse is
with those who hear
her voice, and you
obviously do,
you have the gift
now take it,"
and it has not left me.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Robin Gale Odam, Sacramento

child in a room full of poets
and glasses of dark wine and
curious words and measured pauses
and thoughtful nods and knowing
looks for respect quietly slipped
through the tall door



Littles Waking Up
—Photo by Robin Gale Odam
Be sure to check out all the new stuff
on the green board at the right of this column, 
including Kool Thing Fat Kitty City, an online auction
to benefit the homeless kitty facility 
El Dorado County is trying to build. See:

And, if you scroll Allllllll the way down
on the blue board below the green board,
you'll see Michelle Kunert's Artie.