Monday, March 16, 2015

Moonflower Eyes

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

—Robert Lee Haycock

Come to think of it
There never was a time
The rooms were bigger
Or I was smaller

Four flat tires
Broken branches
Everything slides
Away downhill


—Robert Lee Haycock

The quince by the fence
Always the first to blossom
Has already begun to
Shed its festoons of pink paper

A single sweetpea out front
One bloom on the Joseph's Coat out back
Three calla lilies, purple, almost black
Freesias like little censers

The lilac and the redbud
About to explode in a riot of color
Hoping that this will be
My year to flower too


—Robert Lee Haycock

But not very
Lips part hungry
Her mouth as well
Holding me in arms
Febrile and glistening
As if I were a broken doll
That could be loved whole
Consequences can go hang

 High Voltage Sky
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

If it already wasn’t a joke that I was 6 and repeating kindergarten
    I got picked on for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day
    I wore instead a new purple plaid dress I wanted to wear because it was my favorite colors
   At school, boys came up to me and pinched my butt
   Several times I had to go tell the teacher
   She said “Oh they’re pinching you because you’re not wearing green.”
   I said “What?!” because I had never heard of this “tradition” before
   My family’s heritage was German and never taught me Irish things
   (I thought getting “drunk” was for Octoberfest not St. Patrick's)
   and I didn’t know there was any obligation to wear green 
   Previously in L.A. before Mariemont School in Sacramento
   I even had black and Hispanic neighbors and classmates who never taught me about the Irish in        America
   But of course at Mariemont School it was always what can we do to upset Michelle, rather than play with her
   and then say she’s “socially inept"

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

 Almost Home For Dinner
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

I. Bella Vista High School

New homes are going up. To buttress this good,
up go good walls around all us good neighbors.
The end result of these erection labors?
Nothing to see of woods from where we’re stood.
No fields, no openness so wide and bare
it stuns the mind with iceberg-wordless awe.
Once upon a time before the law
of ravagement came backhoe, came ploughshare,

we called these fenceless grasslands Beautiful. View.
In Spanish, Bella Vista. The high school
clung to that name: prom girl displays one jewel.
Must younglings wear this difference without rue?
Will some insensitivity to rape
linger—& from what brute assault on shape?

From Bella Vista, the mountains—look to the snow.
No, that snow is noways to be seen
save climbwise for a hint of that serene
on those walltops atop which you can’t go.

II. South of Highway 50 (outskirts of Folsom)

Always the luscious grassland for the cows,
oaks for the hawks, and greenery for itself,
green that went gold in summer, yet a shelf
of sweetness undercut by slow kowtows,

deep intrigues mouthed quite quietly, handshook
via covert deeds to outskirt covenants.
Isn’t every developer the revenant,

the livelong ghost, of a deeplier bloodhand crook?
Who greatwhitefathered peoples from their homes?
Which trick insertions, clauses, popped up
        in promises, like gnomes? 

III. Blue Oaks Agoing

Those words I just set down: sonnets.
Development blues, in sonnets. What good that?
Best wellspring for thought: Your thought. Voice.
Heartsteak. Pursed eyeball. Does a grasslands,
a savanna, some (Anglo-Dutch?) landskip, ever
make your heart skip? Or leap? A landleap, then.
What squashed land ever leapt, lords and ladies?
What bulldozed acre last bullfrogged? Do you love
cows south of 50? Read the letters, a wee cascade
of rustle, turnpage sagegrass in the Sacramento Bee:

a few soft puffballs, protest tufts. Houses? More houses?
And what water, what sewers? Like Jeff Koons
sculpture—more Plop Art. Oh poop. Doth not
drought even now curdle the spears and stems
of forsooth green? Where will the lovely blue oaks go?

Where will the lovely blue oaks & sweet beasts go?

Eyes Open!
—Photo by Taylor Graham, Placerville

—Taylor Graham

Magic was afoot like puppies
three weeks old, from closet to deck to dusk,
the last of twilight giving up to evening;
eternity dressing itself in stars
above the slatted roof. Eight puppies
tried out their voices on the windy dark like wild
things but tentative, tongues of newborn
wonder. It takes practice to sound like wolves.
What lurks in shadow-tremble
and the larger dark beyond porch-light?
One soft animal has found a thread
of scent like magic crumbs through labyrinth,
a trail that smells like her own mother—
into mysterious places where generations
of dogs have traveled farther than she knows
but for the instinct of her birth.  


—Taylor Graham

Maybe the mother-dog didn’t like how morning
sun came ablaze through the window. And so—
in space left over from a suitcase that’s crossed
so many time zones; a drape of white silk slick-
shimmery as albumin (to quote a great-aunt), a
pair of mukluks (old Fur Rondy friends), their
ruffs as if shaven by crystal-ice and snowbanks),
chaos of the years, their memories—in the midst
of all this, eight small creatures magnify the dark
with puppy-sleep and stretching, groaning, hum-
ming, growing into their lives.    


—Taylor Graham

Seven dark bodies thrust up from unsprung
haunches, grabbing at her teats—puppies
always hungry. The eighth has had her fill of
midnight milk. She sits with just-opened
moonflower eyes gazing from the guise of a
sandstone statue that time or thieves have
gouged for its pearls—I mean the eyes, which
are forms from emptiness or holes of myth;
a caged bird flown from its body, its shadow
on the ground; cento of a hundred currents
of verse running over the falls, this night
feeding, sleepless famished as before; to be
continued as a question less, a question more.

Today's LittleNip:

—Robert Lee Haycock

Turtle dove cooing
Breathing his one note samba
I can't help but dance


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors!

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock