Monday, October 30, 2017

Our Inner Godzillas

—Anonymous Photos

—Cynthia Linville, Sacramento, CA

We all have an inner monster
we try to love
or at least appease
no matter how disturbing

Mine is Godzilla
angry and spiky
He likes to roar and
destroy tall buildings

Over the years
I’ve miniaturized him
Now he mainly visits
while I’m sleeping

He spends the rest of his time
at his rooftop playhouse:
umbrellaed drink in his tiny hand
sipping straw in his toothy mouth

When he gets bored or worried
he puts on his extra-wide galoshes
and creates an tsunami
in the wading pool

Or he puts a red plastic bucket
on his scaly head
and stomps out

When Goddie’s really het up
he might push
a few lounge chairs off the roof
or smash a few cocktail glasses

But at his size,
he can’t wreak
too much

—Tom Goff, Carmichael, CA

Sunflower, you rise for all of us and speak
dark-centered music with butter’s best color of voice.
Your axioms tell, while, near the impoverished creek
or planted in the well-cherished garden, choice
of all the master’s flowers to lift full face,
you incline toward sun’s kiln-crumbling skin, the space

that’s never known what oxygen is. Though bleak
that height, or higher, you’ll dare. Exhaust all ploys,
yield yourself as all must do, unique
though you be: soon the warm air that buoys
can’t float you, corolla and core, so high above base. 
Grateful, you sink back on yellow twilight and grace…

—Tom Goff

Great Sappho, black-haired, wide-browed, serious,
you gaze, lips parted, eyes a clear severe
brown, sizing us up, your thoughts both far and near,
front teeth just visible, museful, not delirious,
tracing our speech’s sense yet paying more heed
to Aphrodite. Eyebrow raptor-wings glide
atop the deep-lidded stare. No lyre-note slides
past that acute right ear-coil. Fashioned to breathe
purest inspiring oxygen, your straight nose
lengthens as do the gods’ who drink the smoke
of throat-cut offerings burning. Brittle rows
of chips, your Roman photograph, still shimmer.
And you, my Sappho of now? Lost blush, spent joke
face fragment…must this crumble enhance the glimmer?  

—Tom Goff

The finest sonnets ride without a title
Across the page—anonymous as you,
Deceptive, airy, old, young, fitfully vital,
Distilled from sweetest scandal, though few, few
Slurp their full juice. To love of man for man,
Woman for woman, sonnets lend secrecy.
Their coward yes-no-maybe bridge: short span
Above where toxic shames dump raw debris.

The finest sonnets claim equivocal title
For bastards, sexual predators, cutthroats.
Aren’t sonnets elegant knives across necks of goats?
Sin stinks more faintly mephitic in their recital.
Dark Lady, Fair Youth—“Shakespeare”—the most frail in blood,
Nameless as the Old Testament God of the Flood. 

After Smith’s “Status Report 96” in the Kitchen, 10/27
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

Disabled vet, barely hangin’ on
Mental, physical, financial issues
Doesn’t give up hope, chases
That light at the end of the tunnel

Reads what’s trending
On various media
Trying to keep one’s
Head above impossible floodwaters

Oh, isn’t this nice?
An open invitation to join the VIP Club
Just send in $150 or higher
To claim your special benefits

Patriotism, liberty, equality, sacrifice
Are just kid toys to occupy the po' folk
The really, truly “Very Important People”
Prove it with money

—Michael Ceraolo, Willoughby Hills, OH

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
the score stood four to two with but one inning more to play

And with the New York Yankees bringing on their relief ace,
the chances weren't very good of a comeback taking place

The first hitter Cooney was a strikeout victim,
and then Barrows struck out swinging following him

But even a superstar's concentration can flag,
and with two down Flynn worked a free pass to the first bag

And that brought hot-hitting Jimmy Blake up to bat;
if he got on, Casey would get his whacks, at that

Oh there was no joy in Mudville that summer's day,
because Blake's K meant Casey did not have a say.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Cynthia Linville

I drop in unexpectedly
He’s surprised to see me
He’s sitting on the couch
with his feet up
eating cheesy popcorn
watching one of his own movies
on TV


Many thanks to today’s fine contributors, with paeans to the end of baseball season, Godzilla, the buttery sunflower and, well, lots of other cool stuff.

Poetry readings in our area begin tonight at the Sacramento Poetry Center, with Torsa Ghosal plus open mic, 7:30pm. Thursday (11/2) brings The Love Jones Experience at Laughs Unlimited in Old Sac, 8pm, and Joe Wenderoth in Davis at John Natsoulas Gallery, also 8pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Celebrate Poetry!

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.