Friday, May 31, 2013

Walt's Birthday

—Photo by Richard Hansen, Sacramento

—Samira Noorali, Sacramento

Yummy muddy puddle:
A seasonal dessert.
A creamy fudge oasis
In a bumpy soil bowl.
A pupilless, dark umber eye
Always open
And never discriminating
As all things reflected are
A shade of brown.

I want to dive into
This messy mixture of
Earth and rain water
And roll like a marshmallow
In chocolate fondue
And then...

Give someone a
Memorable hug.


—Samira Noorali

There’s something about Yesterday…
… that implores me to return.
Through my porthole, I see a herald holding a scroll,
an olive branch, and rich fleeting dreams.
He proffers his soft hands to console my blistered heels
and beseeches me to burn the escape ladder from the past.

A twisted desperation for Yesterday…
… makes bitter love to me in my nightmares.

Yesterday, in an upsurge of jealousy,
scampers a league ahead of me only to
capture Time and Reason before I can
welcome them or even whimper a quick “hello.”

The ever-warm corpse of Yesterday…
… holds Midnight in a romantic embrace and delays it for fear of Tomorrow.

Yesterday promises me one last kiss,
one last dance and an everlasting rose.
There’s something about Yesterday
that seizes the peaceful moments before my wars,

before my scars,

and before my love…

for you.

—Photo by Richard Hansen

(Born on May 31, 1819)
—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
Here I am in Whitman
really nowhere,
with my bare head
covered in snow kisses
you always humoring me
with your pulsating
half photo in my mind
on fragrant fields
at cranberry harvest
playing around with words
full of unsettled life,
rounding out
an eyelashed history
under a chimera
and beggar sky
no one can explain
that I your adopted nephew
from a lost city
without a green card
from the underground,
washed in fires
of the limestone Beats
at fervid awakenings,
we do hear you sing
here Uncle Walt,
in Whitman
all the way to the cities
of down-and-out angels
where one stops
to read you
blinded in love
on bus stops
and cable cars
covering scarlet letters
from graffiti walls
amid every sex and sect
no longer hidden
from burning bushes
your kind words, Walt
swatting our brows
even in the middle
of nowhere.


—B.Z. Niditch

That big bear man
we cannot forget
around a luminous fire
with a black beret
resembling a pirate
turbaned in a covering
wrapped around his head
to keep him dry
from the May showers
on Memorial Day
bought at layaway
we saw in the windows
from the Salvation Army
store in town,
with a full grey beard
in a sky-purple sweat shirt,
sister and I discover
at the riverside wilderness
playing a wicked clarinet
crowned over his lips
in the Blue Hill woods
engraving in yellow
his hairy nailed
"BBM" signature
above our heads
on the Royal Oak
would not frighten us off
though still wintry out
here in New England
next to a first light
with an advancing flame
where franks and beans
in front of green bottles
as a gust of wind
picks up,
we are unevenly lost
near a mountain crag
until we hesitantly speak
and he roars with syllables
in an unknown language
slowing down his solo gig
in voices and fragments
of high E notes
and with blinding laughter
at his young spectators
directs us safely home.


—B.Z. Niditch

Picture him, Tex
six foot six
with a bandit tattoo
in green opal
with a quote from
a horror flick
saying 666
on his large chicken neck
out of his mind
and element
listening to my soft
heartbreaking alto sax
playing about
a lost love
with a country road beat,
and customers starting
to leave the club
because of matching fears
of this heavy dude
when he suddenly
bounces up
in a grandiose manner
on the old granite stage
and grabs the keyboard
looking like a child
shackled by an open fire
and his vagabond chords
match my acrobatic
unsettled music lines
even in improvisations of high "D"
which is hard to reach
he jams to an amazing duo
and he was not
what we expected
playing solo here
on the night's hairy edge
around me a guy in denim
with drunken spasms
as in a mouth-spewing stud
who entered the club
named "The Underworld"
with fisticuffs
aiming for a fight
but was tamed by a poet
like an Ovid or David
as in a metamorphoses
by my refrains
and got hired on the spot
for another season.


—B.Z. Niditch

Near the movie theater
and marquis
playing High Noon,
the forlorn bouncer
former weight lifter
and heavy-weight boxer
backs away
from the parking lot
in the darkness
with rough-hewn arms
loaded with
green bottles
and retributive
Texas style justice
decides to intimidate
a semi-circle of kids
disturbing the peace
who try to smash
all his glasses
after being ticketed
for parking
near the high school prom
in front of the colonnade
covering their faces
with war paint,
he recognizes his own boy
in the shadows
whom he abandoned
and his night
is transformed
by telling his junior
he is not forgotten.

Today's LittleNip:

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

There were giants
In those days—or so they would
Have had us believe.  My graduate
Advisor rumbled (or would have
Liked to).  Imagine instead Orson
Welles body, Truman Capote’s
Voice: “I believe the dear boy
Has caught on earlier than most
That we are all charlatans and
Mountebanks in this place.”
The department chair, almost
As massive, and much tweedier,
Tried to grunt an “Alas” worthy
Of John Falstaff, but a Midwest
Twang caught him up. I smiled,
Kept my silence.  And have,
Till just now.


—Medusa, reminding you that Sacramento Poetry Center's summer Hot Poetry in the Park series begins this coming Monday night, hosted by Rebecca Moos. Samira Noorali will read with Heera Kulkami; today's post has two of Samira's poems from her book, A Simple Rebirth. For more about Samira, go to; or; or

—Photo by Richard Hansen