Wednesday, September 10, 2014


—Photo by Taylor Graham

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

The first I knew was the old ewe
stampeding terror in a burst of dust past
the window. How could I not
have heard the oak fall? Half of the oak,
as if husband of a tree-pair linked
for life; his bride still standing. Batik
of leaves vibrant green against sky dyed
September-blue. For how many years
had the two live oak halves
drawn water from underground, twining
roots together, reaching upward
to lift their canopy for birds.
Now a crow passes over
the new gap like mandatory black
in the pattern. The fallen half blocks
our drive. Just so, a knife-slice.
The sheep have gathered to feast
on leaves so suddenly within
their reach. This leafy curved twig,
a teacup handle. Small details
of a greater fabric-weave.


—Taylor Graham

You jimmy the lid and start examining what’s
in the trunk. A fire to last the night. Mindless
distances singing the labyrinths of an uncle’s
wanderings. A designer-studio white vase
painted with what looks like blueberry jam.
A tiny city created inside a vertical crevice.
Winter and summer both mixed together in one
box, their roots intertwining. A nagging miracle.
Enough yearning to catalyze a conversion.
More of the same stuff your father’s brother
was always collecting. What puzzles you
is how he wrestled the old trunk
up the folding ladder and into the attic,
granted he had no fear of heights or angels,
dry-rot, or mysterious ways.


—Taylor Graham

These are the night watches, summer
into winter. The cat, black cougar
in domestic mask, assumes his Crescent
Moon pose of subtle transitions,
a motionless dance. You hardly notice
how he segues into Extended Sphinx:
claws retracted, unknown energy.
Never mistake it for giving up
the more than possible. And the dog,
who’s journeyed with you farther
from the wild, lies down before the cat
who radiates indifference, a mime
of Consciousness Exhaust. Palms open,
reaching, Dog touches fingertips
with Cat. Quiet. Do you dare lie down
with them, speak to them as friends?
you with your load of expectations
in a language they don’t share.  

 Tree Down
—Photo by Taylor Graham

(you know who you are)
—Richard Hansen, Sacramento

You know where
From who
To whom
There used to be a Why from the outside
Made Where so important
But Love progressed farther from that
The Why is internalized
the Where incidental
But a lot of fun
Permanent Friends we see each other


—Richard Hansen

Johnny B was distraught
a fan of crappy rap music
while driving with no license
crashed his Brand New Car
I tell yah
those wheels were squealing
off an embankment into
The Clam Room Bar and Bistro becoming
an inconvenience to Sheila
planning her wedding
and drinking with Father O'Shay
sitting by the window
he was killed instantly

 Drawing from Sacramento's Chalk It Up, August, 2014
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Caschwa, Sacramento

They arrived in a box
Packed closely together
Like the cheapest clothes
From the sweatshop they so
Desperately sought to escape

One among them had heard
A rumor that a visiting museum
Exhibit from their own country
Was greeted here with much
Adulation and respect

Surely the people in this land
With all their high ideals
And worthwhile programs
Would welcome real people
At least as warmly as exhibits

If only they had been born
Relics of tyrants, a goblet
Or even a senseless bauble
Instead of human baggage
Overpopulating their own country

Chalk It Up
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

‪In my dreams my grandma is alive again‬
‪She probably couldn’t stand to live in the 21st century anyway—
‪she had lived through the majority of the last century ‬
‪and complained she already had enough with “modern” times‬
‪At least I dream of Grandma in the condition when she was in during her 70’s‬
‪and not frail, ill and bedridden like when she died at 92 ‬
‪In my dreams Grandma in her 70’s is along with me—‬
‪she is riding with me in my car going someplace she wants‬
‪and sometimes she meets some of my friends‬
‪or tells me things like how she still doesn’t like the music I listen to‬
‪Once I dreamed she was with me at some musical play ‬
‪she got annoyed and bored and wanted to leave‬
‪and wanted instead to hear me play the piano ‬
‪I worry though if this is how being in “heaven" with her will be like‬
‪when I hope she’ll be like a young woman again, the one I saw in her pictures‬

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


My parents' neighbors who got rid of most of their front lawn to grow veggies   
have a sign posted about being on the Arden Park Garden Tour   
My retiree parents see so many stopping by to chat with their neighbors that
they’ve even gotten jealous
I told them they could have done the same

—Michelle Kunert

Chalk It Up
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

Today's LittleNip:

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove

There’s Aunt Irene’s Dominican
Nun habit, Aunt Agnes’ manuscript
Of her unfinished novel,
My grandfather’s calligraphy
Set, the keys to my father’s
Store.  None of it of any use
To anyone any more. Maybe.


—Medusa, reminding you to check out the blue box at the right (under the green box) for some 'way cool readings tonight and tomorrow!

Chalk It Up
—Photo by Michelle Kunert