Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Of Dachshunds & Yo-Yos & This Coming Friday

—Anonymous Photo

There are wolves
Out there.
More likely coyotes.
Could be they'd
Like you.

Coyote understands
He'll never be
In the family album.

Coyote's friend
Lunch. Coyote
Gets stuck
With the tab.

Coyote in
Old story lines
Coyote in
Checking out
The trash bins,
Maybe not
So much.

Coyote so tan
Offers him
As a shade.

When coyote
Got to the place
There was
A huge line.
But the guy
In charge
Beckoned him
To the front.
"What are you?"
"Dog, sort of."
"Are you a good
Dog?" "I try."
"And what is your
Gift?" "I tell stories."
"Good enough. You
May enter."

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA

 —Anonymous Photo

—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley, CA

What do you do
when it’s late
and lonely
brushes your cheek?
Listen to Tom Waits
think of all the women
you’ve loved—
you love.
Hope one of them
loves you back.
But hey
who knows.
it’s just about
how much
money you got
how many drinks
you can buy
and maybe a round
of hash browns
a cup of coffee
Who knows?
Who cares?
You need
to talk to
and tonight
she does too.
You both do.
Anything else
is just a morning
with a stranger
trying to make
a clean getaway.



Winter’s visit
the surrendering
of the leaves.

The old men
in their heavy coats
and the old women
in their hats
hold tight
to what was—

the bare branches
of hope, wish
and dream—

to be held
and never said
goodbye to

 Alice Chasing Lizards,
May She Rest in Peace
—Photo by Bill Gainer


—William S. Gainer

There are lizards
in the trees
around the house.
They do pushups
and sun themselves,
at times climbing low,
teasing the dog—
most are missing their tails.
In the evening
the dog lays on the porch,
knowing the sweet taste
of revenge
and lizard...

 —Photo by Bill Gainer

—William S. Gainer

I have a feeling
I’ll be buried
by strangers.
The kids grown
lost to their own lives.
a few. 
Most hoping
I won't take too long.
The dog
might miss me
the cat
not so much.
We never were
that close.
So the dog it is.
If there's anything
it's for Alice
the dog.
Keep her happy
and fed.
Don’t let
the postman
try to pet her
he never was
a favorite.
And make sure
she doesn’t
sleep alone.
Neither of us
ever liked
sleeping alone.

 —Photo by Bill Gainer

—William S. Gainer

I’m sitting here
messing around
minding my own
Out of the corner of my eye
I see the cat.
Then I hear the dog
Well, not really a bark
something more like burr
maybe kind of like a barff
short and low
quiet like
more just to get
my attention
than anything.
The truth is
we don’t have a cat.
It’s late
and I’ve been drinking.
I’m glad the dog
saw it too.


Today’s LittleNip:

—William S. Gainer

She told me
always embrace
to the left.
That way
you’re heart
to heart.
And if you hold
tight enough 
and long enough
the beats become
Said it is a magical
if I wanted to try?
Said the secret is
to never
let go.


Many thanks to Kevin Jones and Bill Gainer for today’s fine poetry! These two entertaining poets will be reading at The Other Voice in Davis this coming Friday, 7:30pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 27074 Patwin Rd., hosted by James Lee Jobe. Both of them are SnakePals from ‘way back: Kevin did a broadside for Rattlesnake Press and has been posted many, many times in the Kitchen, and likewise with Bill, who also did a Rattlechap. To hear Kevin on Facebook, go to He is also famous for yo-yo-ry, and promises to bring one to the reading.

Bill Gainer, publisher/poet/humorist and maker of mysterious things, was once the proud owner of Alice (see photos), who has, unfortunately, gone on to a better life and is sorely missed. Those of you who've joined us in the Kitchen for many years may remember when we used to feature the many adventures of Alice now and then; Bill's "Lizards in the Trees" is from back then. Anyway, Bill is traveling a lot these days, reading around the country, and he also has a new book out:
The Mysterious Book of Old Man Poems, from Lummox Press. See info and order it at, or it will be available at Friday's reading. Bill's website is

Got a reading coming up, or a book coming out? Don’t be shy about sending five or so poems—plus some photos (of anything), if you’d like—to We'd love to advertise you and your goings-on! Or send stuff (1+ poems, and/or maybe photos) even if you
don’t have a reading or a book coming up. The snakes of Medusa are always hungry…


 The Cover of Bill's New Book
(No, that’s not Bill…)
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.