—Poems and Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA
This time, this barely perceptible
line—this line that diminishes
as it crosses the page
and its inverse—the part that
is under the page—upside
down—growing shorter as the
And the page—a seam between
dimensions of perception—
I find myself between the rails,
trying not to fall upon the
lethal third one—
to flail about with my
briefcase held between my teeth—
avoiding hoods of moving rail cars—
At work, the modem hums along—
the computerized office managing
just fine without the line, the
page, perceptible reality on the
inverse side of electrons—
without me in my straitjacket.
The old plum drank starlight
sipped the long summer days.
At night, its dry wood whispers
of seasons in its flame.
your hand in mine
in the dark
when sleep won’t come.
* * *
You can’t take back:
the hour, once it’s gone;
scorn, once it’s hurled;
trust, once it’s broken.
* * *
My ghostly committee
comes on a shaft of moonlight
—in twos and threes
whispering of the past,
portending the future.
empress of the wild sky
mother of thieves
caller of the moon
spinner of myth:
mistress of the world
The battered brown case,
—an overnight bag, really—
packed with essentials
and left at the foot of
the steep trail up a wooded hill—
I had no idea it was yours, Marji.
No idea you were preparing
to leave us so soon.
I’d have waited at the foot of that trail
all day and night and night, again,
had I known.
I should have realized you
wouldn’t take a lot with you:
your lightness and understanding,
the patient love of a youngest child.
Your smile. And that deep chuckle
I long to hear again.
If I had opened it—if I had
taken it, would you have left us,
anyway? Yet, who has the right
to strand a soul
in such a dark and painful place?
Take your suitcase filled with laughter,
then, worn a little from enough adversity
to guarantee a well-lived life. Take it
up the hill and wait for us.
They tell me: shorten this line;
make it present tense,
exchange these words—
tinker with a mobile
and the balance is lost.
Our thanks to poet/photographer Katy Brown for today’s fine poems and pix, including “Marji’s Suitcase”. “An Empty Suitcase” is this week’s Seed of the Week, and it was inspired by Katy’s finding of an empty suitcase up here in Placerville on one of her recent visits (see her photo above). She has woven it into a tribute to “Marji”, who passed away very recently, and who was the younger daughter of Sacramento poets Don and Elsie Feliz. (Elsie passed away several years ago.)
Katy will be having a busy poetry weekend: On Sunday from 2-4pm, she will co-facilitate another in the Capturing Wakamatsu workshop series with Taylor Graham at Wakamatsu Farm in Placerville. Then on Monday, she will read at Sac. Poetry Center in Sacramento, with Phillip Larrea, 7:30pm.
Tonight in Placerville, Stan Zumbiel will read at The Good Earth Movement Poetry Night at the GEM Coop on Main Street, 6:30pm. And a note about an event next Wednesday, May 9, that wants your reservation: From 6-8pm, Sac. Poetry Center will present a Poets & Writers’ Sacramento Literary Roundtable Meeting to exchange ideas, news, resources. Guest Speaker: Katie McCleary, co-founder of 916 Ink. Sac. Poetry Center, 25th & R Sts., Sac. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org/. Free. Info: www.facebook.com/events/359490141229320/.
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, including the Wakamatsu workshop details—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
—Anonymous Photo of Gina Lollobrigida on the move
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