Monday, June 25, 2012

Inspiration Sans Confoundation!

Napa Sign
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

ODYSSEY:  Always Being Somewhere Else in Dreams
—Michael Cluff, Corona

Mr. Browning made love
to his image on the Internet
the photo in pin-striped blue suit
and blackest socks and loafers.

Many hours
were spent
in such an indulgent way.

Miss Lemon
three buildings up
shared the same experience......

They knew each one
by sight over in the grocery store,
the fast food lines
and the nursery
where she had a thing
for black-eyed Susans
and he babies' breath

but they


—Michael Cluff

Arugula and argyle
ancestors fester ficus
pica typeface
travels transversely
towards toyon and impalas
implied imminent domain
governing bodies
buoyed by both pallid
partisan palindromes
the cough from coffee
creamed in bovines
balancing budgets
in terms only
a budgie
or begonia
in tinted topaz
would undulate
and then understand
ultimate spinners
of saltines
and brine shrimp
continue on cue
from either Edgar,
Coriolanus or Coredila.

Leer and roam
e-male until
the tilled tillerman
brown wingtips touching ties
into Cupid's cumberlanded
cussed and cursed
doggerel and dogma
intermixed and
then tensely


—Caschwa, Sacramento

From all appearances, I am a full-fledged detective
Not academy graduated, certified, or accredited
But there is no other logical explanation

When I’m given a task to perform
I don’t get tried-and-true instructions, I get clues
Questions bring no answers, just more clues

As if all it should take is a fragment of information
To trigger complete recognition and analysis
A precious clue … take it from there …

And then there’s all that good advice about
How to process clues:  use common sense,
Don’t embarrass me again, just do it

I work in a laboratory and take silent orders
From brains sitting in jars on the shelves
Bring me exactly what I need right now, just do it 


(Yeah, right.)

Surfing the Internet can be terribly fun
But it rubs the Dead Poet Society in your face
There is one sure way to reach that place
Imaginary, like the square root of minus one

The advice of people in high places is
Don’t look down, whether poetry or prose,
Window washers, mountaineers, CEOs
Or women in saunas with towels that read “His”

Practice makes perfect, MacNeice knows that truth
Two short marriages from five flickering flames
Booze, lectures, books, more sickening games
Not knowing who or what is in the kissing booth


     “[Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute] estimates it will 
       take at least a year or two for the radioactive material 
       released at Fukushima to get across the Pacific Ocean.”
                                          —Huffington Post, April 3, 2012
—Brigit Truex, Placerville

Cradle of life, this vast blue bowl,
convexed water, reaching from pole
to icy pole. First just dimpled,
the familiar surface rippled, wavered. Our sole

home, familiar blue ball,
hewed a monstrous sea-wall.

All crumbled, as an ax to coal.
Now those diamonds and doorknobs roll
in deep sea-currents. Foam marbled,
roiling fishnets, trawlers, riddled from reef to shoal,

begin to cast a pall—
deadly cues, radiant scrawl. 


—Taylor Graham, Placervlle

This refuge in the live-oak shade
past sun-gold on a meadow laid—
a lightning shadow overhead
with flash of copper, broad wings spread—a hawk on raid.

How many larks must die
to spark that cold red eye?

Hushed songbirds in the nesting spring;
each feather-flit's a fearful thing,
ellipsis in the skitter-shade—
a hawk? even the wren's afraid to fly or sing.

No breeze to break the sky,
an ache as wings soar by.
—Taylor Graham

In my dreams I saw them coming
from the back rooms of
hunger—sheep opening doors gates fences
ripping dry stubble with their teeth,
gathering dusk in their fleece
invisible as twilight
as the void no fields of clover fill,
the belly of oblivion.
Am I responsible for drought?
For all the hay bales and grain sacks
they ravage unbounded
foraging dry brush to cutbank,
helmeted in their skulls
without horns or swords but
raw famine they march
out of those speechless realms
older than history. I wake
to sheep hungry beyond my dreams.


—Taylor Graham

Still peering from the frontispiece
armillary of your book, 576 years past
your birth, do you float now
unlimited by symbols, rules of theology?
Born in June, died at 40 in July.
Regiomontanus, Königsberg. King's
Mountain below the Almagest.

A cool shower of meteors streaks the sky
above this island dark beyond the reach
of city lights. I shiver without a jacket,
blind without telescope or trigonometry.

Infinity, unflinching night
of prayer. They say you died too soon.
What could you discover
with the naked mind, the observing
eye? God unhidden more
than imagination-high? They named
for you a crater of the Moon.

Many thanks to today's poets and photogs! Brigit Truex writes: Ok, at Judy's [Taylor Graham's] insistence I'm sending along a new form/poem. I told her I couldn't leave well enough alone—we had a choice of doing "florettes" and/or "essences" as part of our T@2 workshop assignments. So I dove in and combined them—a "floressence"! Voila, "A Gift from the Sea" is born. Hope you like it—maybe it will confound and/or inspire readers!

I told Brigit that most of our readers are confounded, and hopefully inspired, too. Taylor Graham tried the floressence and came up with the fine "Under the Shadow". I asked her to describe the form, and here's what she came up with: As I understand it, it's a florette stanza followed by an essence; at least 2 of these alternations, although I guess you could keep going as long as you want.

Florette stanza: 3 8-syllable lines + 1 12-syllable line, rhymed aaba, with internal b rhyme at syllable 8 of the 4th line:

Essence: 2 6-syllable lines end-rhyming (a), with an internal rhyme (b) somewhere in each line. [I don't know if that's clear; there must be a better way to describe it.]

Anyway, there it is for your formsters out there, with two fine examples. You can catch both Brigit and Judy tonight in Placeville at Poetry in Motion; check the blue board for details.

As I mentioned last week, our blue board at the right of this is undergoing changes. I've done some sweeping and vacuuming and added what I hope is a full roster of area periodicals and publishers. Last to be cleaned up will be Medusa's inner life—the Snake on a Rod section in the green box which links to inside Medusa pages. 

One of the publications listed is Trina Drotar's articles for Sacramento Press. (She sends us a link to her latest, this one about the Crocker/Squaw Valley benefit reading last
Those of you who are reading this and are publishers should check over what I said about you. Hopefully it will inspire and not confound... 


Today's LittleNip:

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

—Ray Bradbury



Summer Sunup
—Photo by Taylor Graham