Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Day at a Rhyme

Pumpkinhead doll with
Lara Gularte's cat, Sharkbait.
—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Gray cat
perched on her lap
waiting for All Hallows Eve
in a spider-lacework cubby
designed for pumpkin dreams.


—Taylor Graham

You asked me for some magic.
This young, dim morning of early dew
when the leaves are falling in every hue;
garden bloomers have done their due
and chicory’s hidden its spells of blue,
when scarce a sunbeam wanders through
and only the chilly gloom is new—
here’s pearly-everlasting, forever true.
Will this be magic enough for you?

—Taylor Graham

Missy’s dressed for Halloween.
By shadows cast across an old garage,
it’s late afternoon; too early
for trick-or-treat.
She’s a witch with a pointed cap,
she pipes on a magic whistle.
Could her cloak be just three
trash bags?
A striped tom purrs
against her ankles, weaving
cats-cradles, casting his craft upon
her: the knowing of birds, dogs,
lizards, and naturally cats;
a spell to hold her long after she
outgrows this costume.

—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Michael Cluff, Corona

The light touches
the tide just right
the pirates
fall back into
the sleep not given
to them in films and theme parks.
In half a month,
the moon tussles
the waters
in a new, opposite direction
the lure of pillage
becomes something
most dreamers
for a bit of REM rest


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Almost alive obscure voices
in Salem by the witch museum
the school class ventured
near the Druid holiday
on October thirty-first
near All Souls and Saints Day
we put on Arthur Miller's play
about demagogy and demonology
of New England's Puritan times
about the trials of those cast
to be demon possessed
or sacrilegious,
here in the waning strobe lights
the young would-be stars
of those who would act
at our rehearsals
would go to our workshops
thinking it would be fun
yet the woman who played Hecuba
had a flashing nightmare
of her own prophetic damnation
the day before we were to go
on stage
she acted so strangely
like a stammering succubus
incarnated into the Druid role
with such force of mysterious habit
she unfolded the great meaning
of the horror sequence
about how lower depths of politics
with uncompromising unbelief
can cast out truth
in her brilliantly real interpretation,
the applause took our breath away
and gave the critics
a veiled damned relief
when the performance was over.


OCTOBER 27 (for Silvia Plath)
—B.Z. Niditch

Near your Cambridge Apartment
voices of terrifying torment
enslaved the parallel bars
in your brilliant mind
trying to set you back
from fears of infidelity
and sacking your father's cruelty
with the so-called arrangement
when your husband was no gent,
with unreality of mankind
you lived dramatically
on a timely suffering stasis
in a borderline of solitude
no one understood,
surviving like us all
one day at a rhyme
abandoned erratically
on the basis and Anabasis
by living on a poetry's dime.


Today's LittleNip(s):


The bars are wrapped in velvet
My jailers escaped long ago
I will not can not leave now
Better the Devil I know



Like Ape-shit or Bat-
I'm crazy but I ain't
As crazy as that



What do you mean
My beauty sleep didn't work
In future please
Feel free to lie to me

—LittleNip(s) by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch



 —Photo by Ann Privateer, Davis