Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Phoenix Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, AZ
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento, CA

—Michael Marrotti, Pittsburg, PA

They might

as well
start digging

the ditch

The inevitable

has arrived

leaving me 


This time 

of peace



white clouds

have fled 

from above

I'm in the 

wrong zip code

The storm 

I've had to 

pardon myself

of this 

chemical smile

a shutoff notice

Out to make 
a connection

when the WiFi

is turned off 

it starts from 

the legs 

working its

way up 

If all it took 

was a switch

I'd turn it on high

I've always


the future

now I'm

left with 

nothing but 



—Michael Marrotti

I see you 





you from

the depths 

of my 



Feel you 

as the one 

worthy of 

this urine


We share


that are


through the


of chemistry

We'll run 

this course

down to the 

last line 

Then sleep

in harmony


is ours

It's a 



that keeps 


on high 

Until that

fateful day 

when the



those words



 Berkeley Pier, Berkeley, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

naked heart in solitude, wordless, empty of deeds, devoid of fear, devoid of hatred. invisible in the garden of the soul, invisible to night rain that drops from heaven like monkeys scampering down from the sacred trees. yes, on the sharp slice of the pine woods the waiting was long and hard. wind and storm. what dedication just to be still and empty, and fully present. and then the sound of someone walking slowly through the wet twigs and the fallen leaves. go ahead, say the names of god out loud. one at a time. say them over again.

—james lee jobe, davis, ca


there it is, the star of you and me. look, my wife, at how tired that little star seems. far away, it winks at us so weakly on this cold, windy night. like us, it needs some rest. and although it is tired and getting older, like us, it still manages to shine a little. like the light from the two of us.

—james lee jobe


the day passed like the old man who died in his ragged gray underwear. no one was watching. yesterday's chicken was reheated for dinner. and no one was there to speak to the old man, so the meal was silent. bland chicken and bland peas. then the sun slipped down and slowly the room grew dark. that happens a tiny bit at a time, like old age creeping in. he did not reach for the light switch. he closed his eyes, put his head down on the table, and let out one long and final breath. then it was night, and the day had passed like the old man who died in his ragged gray underwear. who knows now what was in his heart? no one knows that.

—james lee jobe 

 Pt. Arena, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville 

we stop to look upon the corpse in the snow. blue skin and an open mouth. open eyes. moonlight across the frozen face. moonlight that plays a soft music that entertains the snow. and we say a prayer for soul of the deceased. and we say a prayer for the ones who grieve. and we say a prayer for ourselves, for our lives. we stop to look upon the corpse in the snow. and around us gather the ghosts of many others who died alone, without even their names. we stop. we speak the words. and we move on. but before we move on, we cover the body with snow, using our cold and wet hands like shovels.

—james lee jobe


in her eyes, a field of wheat. and in her heart, the head waters of the yangtze river. wheat and river. her hands can be as strong as iron, or as gentle as the birthday wish of a child. often, when she tells me some long story that doesn't seem to have an end, i float downstream, past the wheat, past the iron forges, and past the birthday parties where the children run and laugh. her heart, her eyes, and her hands, my friend, are here with me. wheat and river. here. 

—james lee jobe

 Pt. Arena, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

—J.D. DeHart, Chattanooga, TN

My father used to have a talking
crow named Jack; at least, that’s
what he told me.
Maybe that’s why I have an affinity
with black birds, “The Raven” being
a favorite read.
He used to tell me many fragments
of evidence about him in his quiet
voice.  How he used to raise chickens,
used to walk to the store,
always owned a wristwatch.
He taught me how to fire a gun and tried
to teach me how to change oil, but it
never stuck.
I dream sometimes about his talking
crow, perched on our mantle,
telling me secrets I cannot hear.


—J.D. DeHart

The way she says rubbish,
it makes you believe that rubbish
wears a long robe and recites
Latin, that rubbish owns a yacht,
ceramic busts of famous thinkers,
and rests between marble pillars
while discussing Spinoza and HBO.
Rubbish has read all the latest
authors I have never heard of,
attends readings, is fashionable,
so much better than trash,
who simply loiters about, begging
for change, spitting on the sidewalk.

 Phoenix Moon
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

—J.D. DeHart

He is now climbing the tree, tasting
the sky, and now edging sideways
out onto the slick rock, held up only
by a single twig, asking about origins
of waterfalls, and now reading
about Dresden, now reciting Lilith myths,
now standing, clapping, pontificating
measuring the content of young minds,
lapping the stream of consciousness
like a well-dressed canine.


—J.D. DeHart

They can be observed, suspended in air
for miles around, the tiny figures
dancing across a wire, poised between
the bulbous royal blue spheres
(a man told me once how he moved on
from the loss of his wife by writing
her name on a balloon and letting it go)
All is fine and well for walkers until
a sheer wind rose through, the barest
turn and, seconds later, chutes opened
skydancers dropping to some safety.


Today’s LittleNip:

—J.D. DeHart

It was early morning
when he noticed the translucent
bubble, the swimming ink inside,
and by lunch, the size had increased,
the sense of hope and light
giving way to an unfortunate shadow,
his fuse a little shorter,
a resisting but ultimately yielding
personal metamorphosis.

 Michael Marrotti, Pittsburgh, PA

Our thanks to our Master Chefs in the Kitchen today: two from far away and two from close by. James Lee Jobe is working with prose poems right now; Cynthia Linville sends us cameras-full of photos today; and J.D. DeHart pops in from Chattanooga every so often.

New to the Kitchen is Michael Marrotti, an author from Pittsburgh who says he is “using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he's not writing, he's volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man's work, please check out his blog at for his latest poetry and short stories.” Welcome to the Kitchen, Michael, and don’t be a stranger!



Charlotte’s Web illustration by Garth Williams, 1952

 Celebrate poetry!
Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column 
at the right) for info about upcoming readings in our area—
and note that more may be added at the last minute.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.