Thursday, July 12, 2012

C'mon, Be a Lady!

Shadow Boxes
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

You are my luck, sweet lady devil,
my entirely unearned fortune.

Let me keep right on squandering your
white ankles, your poached-ivory back,

your heiress-run-wild tresses. I want to spend
that nut-brown gaze a squirrel would only

toss atop the stockpile, run through every
annuity those Himalayan pink salt lips barely

parting around mystery smiles will mini-grant.
Oh let’s lay waste to your after-hours aroma,

Venusian delta, underarm, instep steeped
in Clive Christian perfume. Retina-scan me

into your offshore vermilion zone. Greed
is good, my gecko. Crawl my thighs. I’ll

finger-lizard up each tendril that ka-chings
and ringlets largesse before your very

earlobes; deed me your most shameless
tasteless embrace, bond with me, my sweet

t-bill, bind me to the bedpost, then lose me
as every windfall just goldfingers away... 

—Caschwa, Sacramento

I was playing the nickel slots
In Las Vegas
Win a few, lose a lot
Win a few, lose a lot
Do it again

Then out of nowhere
Three lucky sevens!
Bells, whistles, fanfares
Loudspeaker announcements
Crazy happiness

Lady Luck herself
Pranced right over to me
Transgendered, mustached
And handed me a token
To redeem at the counter

Ten dollars

I got what I came for:
The experience of winning
Knowing that after 3 days Lady Luck
Would leave that town and deliver
A new heart to someone deserving.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

that evening
scuffling through leaves along a forest path
Uncle Bill said there’s another cabin somewhere in here
where young people used to hang out…students
they were poets
they got drunk on weekends
called themselves the Li-Poets
after the drunken 8th century court poet Li Po
nowadays called Li Bai; Uncle Bill paused,

a pot of wine, under the flowering trees,
I drink alone, for no friend is near
raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
for her, together with my shadow, will make three people

it’s much better in the original 

Uncle Bill! I didn’t know you could read Chinese!
there’s a lot you don’t know, kid.

the moon was rising
we followed our shadows home
covered in ivory glow


—Patricia Hickerson

at dawn
dancing barefoot in the woods
no care about poison oak
though Uncle Bill had warned me
dancing, dancing through the leaves
in the shadow of branches
pretending Mom was alive
jauntily playing the piano
playing music she loved
for me to dance to
music from Oklahoma!  
on the old upright she bought for $25
kept in the basement at Ross Avenue
singing in her thready Tennessee mountain voice
more like a bird screech
oh what a beautiful morning
oh what a beautiful day!
trembling at the high notes
sounding like a rusty bell

through my dream came the breakfast bell
an ancient triangle Uncle Bill hung on the cabin porch
dance home
prodded by a meaty aroma
Uncle Bill’s hamburgers
topped with fried eggs, apricot slices,
crumbles of blue-streaked Roquefort
what a treat, Uncle Bill
I’m starving!      


—Patricia Hickerson

evening snow
settling of cold white ash
on roof and timber
snow stretched across the clearing
to the waiting woods
bare trees waiting for cover
and here in the cabin
waiting for Uncle Bill
his Cajun soup—
catahoula from his bayou boyhood


dive in, kid! Uncle Bill commanded
as he set the steaming bowl before me


—Patricia Hickerson

snoring from Uncle Bill’s bunk
sunlight through the window
pinned me to my sleeping bag
awake as  sparrows and jays sang out
got their day going
snow slowly disappearing
a warm day first spring
solemn as drum tattoo
Uncle Bill’s voice booming across the room
wake up, kid! it’s your turn to make coffee  


Today's LittleNip:

hairy eyeball
—charles mariano, sacramento

i don’t know
what i’m doing
and i keep
writing about it!



—Photo by Katy Brown
Two reminders: check out Medusa's Kitchen's Facebook page
for a new photo album by Katy: Winemaking with Katy Brown.
And Katy will be reading at Sac. Poetry Center
with Claire J. Baker of Pinole on Monday, July 16. 
See the blue b-board at the right of this
for details.