Friday, April 12, 2013

Three Prom Queens and the New Moon

—Photo of Croatian Street by 
Eva West, Rancho Murieta

—Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

I wake up in the back of a fire engine. There doesn’t seem to be any emergency. No one is around, so I climb down, load my shopping bags full of vitamins into a cart, and go looking for my car.  I push the cart past people lounging by a swimming pool.  I am singing, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”  I can make the cart go really fast uphill just by kicking my feet.

Now it is night and there are three prom queens in my car, two in the front seat, one in the back. I open the driver's door and shoo the front two out.  The one in the back is more stubborn.  I walk around, open the door, and say, "That means you too, Missy Higgins!"  I pick her up, dump her in the street, and drive off.

At home, one of my best friends is lying on my bed.  She has found my toy box and is tempting me with my favorite vibrators.  She wants me to make love to her.  We kiss, slowly, but then I have to re-park my car, I have to find my phone, I have to clean the house for guests.

I wander into the backyard and spy some other lady’s house in my garden.  I want to go live there, but she won’t let me.


—Caschwa, Sacramento
She basked in
diminishing moonlight
not one to doubt the
deep night of
dwindling nothings
which lay ready to
fill in the spaces
between what she
assuredly knew
and what good
people have learned
from questionable

new moon darkness
is the bumpy street
on which ideas
travel aimlessly
lacking even the
faint memory of
a guiding light


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

He mends levees, she dresses trees.
She etches bees, he defends beetles.

She esteems chess, he gets treble clefs.
He deeps creeks, she sweeps breezes.

He erects steeples, she seeks betweens.
She bends nettles, he threshes weeds.

She greets new green, he evens edges.
He fledges wrens, she blesses sheep.

Then sleep.

—Photo taken in Croatia by Eva West

(In the style of Viola Weinberg)
—Jessica Kathan, Davis

I want to write about
the night we laid together
on the bridge near the reservoir

and how the passing hikers laughed and thought
we were high, but we were really only nervous
and in love, which now seems a petty distinction.

I want to describe how it felt
to kiss you underneath the barren August sky
trying and failing to remember to breathe

But whenever I try,
my bones become weak and my innards
heavy, with what I do not know.

I grow tired and recede
into the present. I put my pen
down, close my notebook,
turn off the flickering lamp,
and go back to sleep.


do not tell me to quiet my thoughts, to
temper my intemperance.
I will consume the world and spit out
like chicken bones the parts I don't despise.

My heartbeats are war drums and my lungs
are bugles. My mouth sings the songs
of my mothers and my mothers' mothers.
do not tell me to ignore my bloodlust.

My limbs are weak and my mind is
riddled with fractures and rot. But
remember the words of your fathers.
The bear is most dangerous
at her weakest. do not tell me I am not the same.

My shoulders arch, my knees buckle, my head
drops like a cannon. My mouth forgets
the song, my heart abandons the beat.
do not tell me to breathe.

You do not see me. I am a wisp
of smoke, I am the defeat
of my mothers, I am consuming the world
and keeping every inch for myself.

(In the style of Viola Weinberg by Jessica Kathan)


(In the style of Billy Collins)
—Kamieko Kayoshi, Davis

Instead of fighting for us to still be together, I turned away and allowed you to slide out of my hands ever so nicely, and while I walked farther away from you, your heart now shattered in tiny, little pieces, somewhere far away, there I was, but instead of walking away, I fought for you, for us, for this ghostly relationship to still continue, only in another world, only in another time, another me that actually cared about you, those measly seconds of staying instead of walking away—those measly seconds of healing your heart instead of breaking it.


(In the style of Billy Collins) 
—Kamieko Kayoshi

The teacher’s pet will not stop talking.
Every day, it’s the same old, high-pitch talk
that she talks every time she doesn’t agree with our TA.

The teacher’s pet will not stop talking.
I sit far away from her
and I go to sleep to escape this torture
but her voice slips into my dream,
talking, talking talking,

and I can imagine her debating with the innocent TA,
both standing on a podium as if debating whether to accept or reject 
the new health care bill.
I sit there chained to the seat in the audience
and all I could do was to listen to this non-stop talking girl.

When the debate was over and she was deemed as the victor, she is still talking,
standing in front of the TA just talking about nonsense,
her fists banging on the TA’s podium who is
surrendering his position on the new bill

while the audience just listen to
the aggressive, talking girl’s plea
that finally kicked me out of my slumber
and into the talking girl’s rant.


Today's LittleNip(s):

(Poems written in the brief For-Get-Me-Not
form by Taylor Graham)

1. Gardens Day

Rake out Winter's
bitter splinters.

2. Sempervirens

From under snow,

3. Dandelions et al

Beg weeds' pardon,
weed the garden.

4. Schinus molle

Pepper leafs out—
a spicy shout!

5. Spring Fires

These poppy days
gold's all a-blaze.



—Photo taken in Croatia by Eva West