Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Coffee, Please

—Claire J. Baker, Pinole

As a newborn I wailed
one tremendous wail
to prove I was hardy & hail—
a kind of celebratory prayer
for mom & the clever cord
that fed me well, in there.

Now when I consider
the fleshy button bump,
the elemental lump
that rides my belly jello
I fall asleep in seconds,
old & odd, but mellow.

(first pub. in California
Federation of Chaparral Poets'
Contest Prizes booklet, 2010)


—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

Claude Peed would buy, sell
Or swap anything but drugs
Or flesh.  If he didn’t
Have it, somewhere in his
Storefronts, tucked on
Side streets on the other
Side of the tracks, he’d
Find it for you (’55 T-Bird?
The one with port hole
Windows?  Red or black?
Ceramics? Are we talkin’
Beam or Boehm here?)
And though I never
Bought much from him
(The occasional early
Hemingway—not firsts—
Those have cap A’s on
The copyright page, or
A Duncan Satellite or two—
Didn’t return worth a damn,
But the metallic paint, and
Sparkles made up for it),
But he liked to talk to me.
Asked him once about
Licenses. “What kind ya
Need, kid? Oh, me?
No.  Strange, but
Nobody’s ever asked.”


Every year at the California State Fair
   I wear sneakers so I can tell some vendors I don't wanna shoe shine
   nor put my feet up on the electric vibrating "Footsy Wootzy"
   My greatest fantasy is to instead receive really sensual foot and back rubs
   not at the Chinese massagers' booths 
   but from hot-looking guys who perform "salsa" or "tejano" music in the cantina

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Michael Cluff, Corona

While the rains never dried up
while the jello never kept its mold
and while the horse never forgot to use its hoofs,
since log cabins were once in abundant laxity
since the moon refused to recognize the sun
and since the river begged not to sing,
once the persimmons were perserved
once the owl flew homeward
my calm came to an abeyance
while the snow began to fall.


—Michael Cluff

So many times elusions
so intense warp truths
sow delusions
sew weak fabrics
so loosely
loose changes slide through there....
their responses are
they are sowing sous
so their tears
tear allusions
sew fair happy weeks
so tightly
so illusions lose their loose
threw allusion phrases into
phases so-and-sos
sowing intense elusions
tear through


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

I told Uncle Bill how my cousin and I
as little kids at the breakfast table
when no one was looking
put morsels of bacon
between our toes and let our new puppies
come and lick them and try to eat them
from between our toes

Uncle Bill thought this was disgusting
just what little kids will do, he said
then told me his own theory:

toes love to stretch
and wiggle
they love to be watered, soaped, squeezed dry
with a warm fluffy towel
to have their nails clipped very carefully
feel the sun, rain, earth
dig into hot sand
toes like to be twitched, squeezed
fondled licked kissed played with
this little piggy went to market
this little piggy stayed home
this little piggy ate roast beef
this little piggy had none but
this little piggy went wee wee wee wee wee
all the way home


—Patricia Hickerson

dawdling in bed
it’s Sunday and hallelujah for mid-August
we’re all warm and sweaty and full of bliss
World War ended and now the call to hot biscuits
home-made grape jelly and drooling butter
the white metal table top
squeezed into the kitchen
the swinging door
here comes Daddy
bathrobe cinched, hair askew
Mom soon after, pale without her lipstick
Grandma briskly aproned
eyeglasses steamed
gurgling coffee pot
Martinson’s best
spaniel at the knee ears flapping
waiting for scraps
World War over
uncle soon returning from the Pacific
still in one piece
Kamikazes didn’t get him after all
Grandma briskly aproned
eyeglasses steamed for pure happiness
her son sailing back across the big ocean
here come the hot biscuits 


—Patricia Hickerson

the writer has to keep writing
coffee or Rock Star
which shall it be
the writer has to…

every morning, quarter to 8
sits at the computer
the machine for churning out
as though it were the lifeline
to reality
when, in truth, it’s all fantasy

memory, fantasy
which shall it be
her hips are beginning to ache
from sitting so long
the price of old age
OMG, when will it end?


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Let's consult Medusa
when night surprises
her echoes settle
a poet's lament.
The moon is feverish
to lock light in riddles
hoodwinked by fate,
so don't turn a poet
into stone.
Medusa, fair
indebted goddess
where fruit and music
jumble up paradise
in your kitchen,
let me bask
on the hammock
among sleepless blankets
tasting elixirs
of good fortune.