Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Sacramento's Cynthia Linville reads at 
the Valona Deli Poetry Series in Crockett
last Sunday, Jan. 13
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


The path leads

to a hill

where, as a boy,

when my father

was alive,

we sat, watched

what seemed to be

the endless 
circling of stars.

I had imagined they were smiles

of the dead. Their shining pride

a parental amusement

at our merry-go-round ride.


alone at the hill’s crest,

my eyes adjust

to the night’s gray.

I look down to where the path

dies away, swallowed

in the yawning black

of woods

and see—

—Matthew Travieso Williams, West Sac.



The woman rummaging

in the garbage

has strapped

a flashlight

to her head.

Its distant


is the light

they tell us

not to go

toward. It illuminates

a creased face

beneath her

dirty bangs,

that hangs

gray and brief

as the hot


put into her


and dissolves

in the night

behind the next

set of refuse.

—Matthew Travieso Williams


—Marie J. Ross, Stockton

They listen to elegant sounds of the cello’s bow 

Which only they could hear

With city lights in the distance

They sit dreamily in ethers of enchantment

The cool breeze of night a symphony 

Of waltzing wishes

Moon swings high its revered crown

Round and silver, aimless yet stationary

In the eyes of the two beneath

What might they be thinking?

The moon can be ambiguous and

Sometimes the face of gloom

But the cello’s bow was smooth music to their ears

A romantic odyssey across the strings

Surly destiny was lingering there between the stars

And the swoon of night’s elixir.


—Marie J. Ross

She dreams
Hears flash of thunder
Feels mystic flesh tingle
Like a steed 

Stealing her breath

They roll on silk sheets,
She sighs,
In slow revealing moments,
And hears
His ache of completion

Her long black hair
Lay limp across his shoulders
As she kisses a drop of sweat
From the tip of his nose

When she dreams about him;
Stars tick like tango rhythms
Dancing on her pillow
Teeth marks surrendering
To his music,

And she turns
To dream another dream of him.

Ice Pitchers
—Photo by Katy Brown

—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

They say our sun is one big star.
That's hard to believe, because we're looking
at it up close, well, closer than other stars.

So instead of twinkling, it looks
to be a lamp without a cord.  "Don't stare
at the sun," my mom would always say.

"Looking directly at the sun
could make a person see stars."
So, don't even try looking at the sun
through a telescope.
Just star-gaze with your telescope
the more distant stars—

sort of like the way you spend all day looking
through those magazines about movie stars,

instead of time with little brother looking
like a lonely little left-out-of-all-the-star-
gazing-and-fun-brother things.  It looks

as if he's got you on a pedestal: you, a star
shining brighter than all other stars.



before our golden age, our golden age
now bronzed before our time, and
time has taken feathers and other
nesting from this nest—the rest of us
all drift away.  This house that housed
the thoughts we thought were so

Of importance now, that what-of-what
is left: a crate on earthquake earth:
quaking, shaking that of what on earth
we knew of her.  Too late, now, to think
our thoughts of late—of Mother who is
gone before our golden age, an empty
cage. . . she's gone. . . and now,
she's gone.

—Carol Louise Moon


—Carol Louise Moon

A ladder of nine rungs leads up to a loft,
a storehouse of memories wrapped
in brown paper bags, collecting dust.
Framed pictures of the ancestors from
Ohio, the poet among them—his
writings, some bound, some loose,
are also collecting dust.

What have I awakened to today?  A
memory of my father?  That too,
should be poemed so that it can collect
dust in a loft, like the grief I still store
somewhere between my shoulder blades,
somewhere within my nine-run ladder-
back—which leads to thoughts of my
father as memorialized in his portrait—

his portrait, which sits up in the loft
unwrapped of brown paper… like the
dream I had last night.  My father was
helping me move and unwrap furnishings
for my new apartment.

As he left, he hugged me so tight I just
knew he was with me again.  But no.
I awoke to find myself wrapped in a
brown paper bag of grief.


Today's LittleNip(s):

—Caschwa, Sacramento

The easiest way
for graying men
to keep their edge

is to put their new
razors aside and grow
more facial hair


We used to have
a surefire way
to lose pounds

until they converted
to euros

—Medusa, who welcomes, in addition to some of our regulars, newcomer Matthew Williams of West Sac.! Also take note that we have a new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page: SECOND SATURDAY IN SAC by Michelle Kunert, featuring artists and poets around town at January's Midtown Second Saturday event. Check it out!

Cynthia Linville of Poetica Erotica; watch for
"A Marathon of Love Poems"
which she'll host on Feb. 15 at SPC.
Scroll down to the blue board at the right of this
for details under "More Than a Week Away".