Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Tower of Poets?

—Photo by Caschwa

—Caschwa, Sacramento

We needed to do a little shopping
So we drove over to visit the mall,
Allowed a cavernous enclosure to swallow
Our car, then ambled inside where multitudes
Of shops were honeycombed together

Our shopping led us to have appetites,
Which led us to the food court, offering
A wide variety of tempting lunches.
We were waiting in line just about
To place an order, when…

The aromas of cooked foods disappeared,
Leaving our senses to be dominated by a live
Charles Ives concert of two thundering
Marching bands passing each other
In opposite directions…

Displacing all those food vendors
With the Homecoming Queen
And her elaborate court, their
Dazzling white dresses and perfumed
Everything, posing for the cameras…

Then the roof melted away and all were left
Standing in an open air courtyard
Around a fire pit, wearing some excuse
For clothes that would never be the
Fashion, talking politics in Greek…

Someone approached us with a couple of
Don’t ask, don’t tell beverages almost spilling
Out of primitive earthenware cups and I
Handed over some shiny coins, then mused,
I wonder if they validate parking?


(Reminiscing through the high school yearbook)

She was a real spoil sport
Who could sap all your spirit
With limitations on fun
From her mouth you would hear it:

Avoid drinking alcohol in excess
Don’t light your own clothes on fire
Resist showing off how fast your car is
Do not play any pranks on the class bully
Put tight restrictions on your boa constrictor

C. Alice could not run
For homecoming queen
She was far too busy
With reputations to clean.



Maybe you have met
One of these people
Who claim to have devised
An easier, more efficient
System of Braille

You can tell them apart
By their condescending tone:
Why don’t you do it the
Easier, more efficient way?
Your boat just won’t sail.

Notwithstanding that
Next Tuesday they will
Revise their system
With changes that
They send in the mail

And then there is my dog
Who is quite fine eating
Whatever the pack chooses
To eat, while playfully
Wagging her tail.


A Naughty Photographer's Pic of Trees

(Sometimes we-eds prosper by defying the very logic,
order, and sense the rest of us are sworn to follow)

We editors (We-eds)
Take the fallen leaves
Of truth under the
Giant oath tree

And weave them into
Aesthetically pleasing
Baskets that like sieves
Just don’t hold water

Schizophrenic stevedores
Try to rearrange the
Order of nature to suit
Cargo hold designs

Seeking to salvage the
Promises of the Titanic
And weave them into
Aesthetically pleasing

Poems that are raked up
Into rootless piles
Smothering the we-eds
That summoned them.


On June 10, 1983, Tracey Thurman
was stabbed 13 times, kicked in the head,
and left for dead with a broken neck
by her estranged husband.
The police, though called before the assault,
arrived but did not intervene.
Her tragic ordeal eventually rallied the nation
to apply the Constitutionally guaranteed
equal protection of the law
to victims of domestic violence.


She lay alone,

a victim of repeated violence and threats
despite a history of restraining orders,
and earnestly called for immediate help.
But to the highly trained and dedicated police,
she was an anomaly with no synonyms
in their giant thesaurus of urgent responses.
Instead, they just lowered and polished
their shiny shields,
leaving her to be savagely attacked
again and again.

For the longest time, the justice system’s
exclusive club of practitioners
did little to repair the wrong.
Like giggling children on a seesaw,
they only measured the weight of opposing arguments
and the richness of playing the game;
their own well-being was paramount,
hers was left out.

Finally her cause prevailed,
but far too late to rescue her
from wounds that will not heal.
Even the millions of dollars she was awarded
cannot begin to undo the paralysis and the anguish.

She lay alone.



It sure feels hot today!

Well duh, it’s summertime!

You think that’s hot?
Try being a first responder in the Sahara!

The record high temperature for this
location is blah, blah, blah.

Don’t forget your sun screen, and be sure
that it’s the right rating.

You get what you deserve.

A good time to go green and line dry your clothes.


People who don’t work are just plain lazy!

You can say that again!

I guess we should go over to the hospital and pull all the plugs.

Look at how long some star entertainers go between gigs.

It’s all about just compensation: put up or shut up.

That’s why Sarah Palin quit her governor’s job.

Disabled veterans hope you will join them someday.



Craftsmanship abounds
History in the making
Excellent credentials, its
Authenticity defies faking

Pedigree undeniable
Gold standard here, no less
Immaculate appearance
Moral fiber defeats stress

Mountains of good intentions
Integrity beyond compare
Cake and ice cream happiness
Kick the ties, stop and stare


Thanks to Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz) for today's Kitchen fare!

Don't forget U-Nite at the Crocker tonight, kicking off Sac State's week-long Festival of the Arts which begins on Saturday. Then head down to Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe for the release of a new chapbook by Bob Stanley (from little m press). As always, the info is all there to be had on the blue board at the right of this column.

We also have a new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page, this one taken by Michelle Kunert at the Sac. Poetry Center Tule reading last Monday night. Check it out!


Today's LittleNip: 


The works of Joyce Kilmer
Should never be read
From a podium

That was a beautiful tree
Felled and distorted
Into lumber

A tower of poets crouched
One atop another would
Be more apropos

The top one could turn leaves
While the bottom one
Turns red



Capitol Steps
—Photo by Caschwa