Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome, Amanda!

Amanda Gohl

—Amanda Gohl, Sacramento

on his walls
creased posters of dark figures,
mouths covered by bandanas,
informing me that Capitalism is Doomed; Capitalism is a Pyramid Scheme;
Xenophobia Kills; and to Hella Occupy Oakland.
socialist, leftist titles
on every book in the shelf.
taunting patches
hand-sewn to clothing with dental floss.
the newest tattoo
the length of his thigh,
business man in suit,
hung from a tree,
still in hand.
he smokes pot and
I lose his eyes,
vacant eyes
fading back
into a vocal room.


—Amanda Gohl

he says the freeways sound like the seas.
background music
to my every move.
no matter where I stand
in this city
I am surrounded
on four sides
a box of roads,
and these roads
are boxed in by
more roads
and more
always more
out to the freeways,
which contain all the roads
on four sides,
another box.
the sea can be heard
in two sounds,
back and forth,
rocking chair tracks,
motion to honor
the material itself,
and returning to what is.
the freeway has just one sound,
constant hurtling forwards
inspiring a rhythm
to get going,
the pursuit
the goal of inertia,
never returning or pausing
for what’s true.
as I hear it,
this is what surrounds me,
what is making me.


—Amanda Gohl

the length of an entire fallen tree to choose from,
and he sits right next to me,
hand on my thigh,
big view of
water pouring white with anger,
and below
where it calms again,
the mist of seven bands of color
distorted and whipped around
rocks by wind.
enough to make me
forget his presence.
I never felt it
to begin with.
just the weight
of his body.


—Amanda Gohl

I am nothing more than a collection of senses,
and he encouraged it. Skin pressed against wet earth and grass,
and skin pressed against skin
underneath large leaves
twisting like a mobile above our rest.
Scarf to his nose.
What are you smelling?
Campfire and hair and sweat.
I thought I could wash it away in the lake when I swam.
Seventy-two miles of shoreline.
I took up such little space in the water and
lost my breath to the cold of it.
I thought I could wash it away.
Strange comfort
in the smell of his sweat
still in my hair.


—Amanda Gohl

we fill our bottles
from rushing creek water,
that guiltless path
allowing a view to the bottom
along its entire length.
deer slowly grazing through
make us stop what we’re doing,
stare as if in worship.
even the colors here are true,
primary and to the point.
a young bather runs across the bridge,
wet footprints slowly fading,
beginning with those farthest away,
evaporating heel to toe.
is packed up and taken away from this place
to cities or landfills,
bits of land
decided not good enough
to be preserved.

Medusa's Kitchen celebrates a week of Firsts (our SOW) by posting Amanda Gohl for the first time ever—welcome, Amanda! About herself, she says: I have no true hometown, thanks to a military dad, but spent ten years growing up in North Dakota. I escaped from there in 2005 with everything I owned in my car and drove to Sacramento. Since then I've been working odd jobs and attending school with an interest in Sign Language Interpreting. Although I've been writing casually for as long as I can remember, it's only been within the past couple years I've recognized it as something I have to do. 

Amanda also has a poem in the new issue of Rattlesnake Press's WTF. There may still be some free copies in The Book Collector (Home of the Snake), 1008 24th St., Sac., or you can purchase them through Paypal for $2 each on our website:  If you were a contributor and you haven't gotten your copy of this or any other issue, just lemme know at


Today's LittleNip:

One after another
croak the frogs—
a poetry contest.




Amanda Gohl