Monday, January 14, 2019

Twililght: The Magic Hour

—Anonymous Photos

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA

Between the
Wistful pastels
Of a western sunset
And a raucous, bawdy,
Too-early promise
Of sunrise, though
No one knows quite
Where, lies Twilight.

It is a time of ineffable,
Indescribable, probably
Unbearable blue, and
Perhaps the only time
A navy blue velvet cape
Is appropriate attire.

It is a time when beings,
Things, are as they are,
Rather than as they appear.
Careful not to step
On that frog. It
Could be a prince.
Or a toad.

—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicago, IL

orange moon,
orange sun,
witch's brew,
witching run

orange moon,
orange sun,
storm of wind,
storm of drum

and then the moon
lets loose the night—
orange moon, orange sun,
witch-less light.

—Michael H. Brownstein

Thomas of the hundred silent women
Thomas of the million masochistic march
Thomas of the blood-lit beacon

Thomas did not speak dreams
nor did he communicate in mix-match or mis-matched

Thomas of the beef griping tribe
Thomas of the hibernator and migratory
Thomas of the suicide detention league

Thomas did not speak the language of eyes
Nor did he communicate with hands and arms

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

Mulholland Drive on
a 10-speed bicycle
catch your breath
check the brakes

Coasting downhill
to Westwood Village
occasionally faster
than some autos

Lots of wind in the face
careful to engage rear
braking system only,
no real need to pedal

Sold that bike
kept the leg muscles
for a while, now just
memories in the face



As we watch campaigns
taking shape for the 2020
presidential election, we
see contenders ranked
according to their ability to
raise enormous funds….

….while nothing could be
further from representing
the value set of everyday
American citizens who are
24/7 preoccupied with the
enormous responsibility of
properly raising their children.

Show me a ballot that just lists
all the barefoot candidates who
can easily walk a mile while still
keeping up with their chores,
and spare me the glossy image
of their opponents’ expensive
designer shoes!


When we entered the Second World War
life was no longer business as usual;
documentary b&w films show major sporting
events in progress halting at once so the
players can leave to serve as soldiers

and now we come to the Twenty First Century
when the world is still at war, our nation is
still involved, and the Commander In Chief
nonchalantly shuts down the government
under the pretense of border security

No longer are we drawing on professional
athletes to fight our wars;  the new resource
seems to be convenience store clerks,
students, and just about anyone who gathers
in a crowd somewhere, since they are already
quite used to being a target, so we might as
well put them in uniform.



I asked to be born rich,
but someone else got it instead.

I applied for unemployment,
but someone else got it instead.

I voted for a responsible candidate,
but someone else got it instead.

I once had an original thought,
but someone else got it instead.

I live another day to annoy people,
got that, and it’s a keeper!

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

Do you have
Twenty dollars
For gas?
I’d like to attend
Your meeting,
But, if not,
I’ll have to pass.

Poetry don’t
Pay much
And so
I have to ask
If you’ve got
Twenty dollars
For gas?

My car
Doesn’t run
Without fuel.
Some people
Poets are all fools;
Some think
We’re all crazy
And need to
Get a life.

If you don’t
Have twenty,
Could I
Ask your wife?


—Joseph Nolan

Plants grow toward light;
Poetry toward pain.
A wizard,
In darkness
May explain—
A thousand roses
Draw much blood
Dragging up the slope;
Perfection of poetry—
Relinquishment of hope.

Plants grow toward light;
Poetry toward pain.
The will of night,
Forlorn, the
Need for rain,
Leaking into buckets
Upon the floors
In vain,
Never to be emptied
By resident,


It seems that poets
Live not long,
That they
Too early

Lowell, at 60
Sexton, at 45
Plath, at 30
Roethke, at 55.

It seems that poetry
May be
A short-fused
With death.

Perhaps if
We were wiser,
We poets
Might hold
Our breath?


Today’s LittleNip:
—Joseph Nolan

Do snails
Ever fail
To slip along?
Ever say,
“My pseudopod
Hurts today?”
And then
Just stay
Where they are
And gaze
Upon a star
The whole
Night long?


Thanks to our fine contributors today, with a few riffs on our Seed of the Week: Twilight.

This week’s poetry readings in our area begin tonight at 7:30pm at Sac. Poetry Center with Emily Wallis Hughes and her new book,
Sugar Factory. Then on Wednesday, the new weekly MarieWriters Generative Workshop meets at SPC, 6pm, facilitated this week by Cristin O’Cuddehy. Or head over to San Andreas for their first-ever Poetry Slam from 4-6pm.

Thursday at noon, Third Thursdays at the Central Library meets; bring poems by someone other than yourself. That evening, Emily Wallis Hughes and Meredith Herndon read at Poetry in Davis, 8pm, or, also at 8pm, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe presents featured readers plus open mic.
And on Friday, Robert Ramming and Deborah Shaw Hickerson read at The Other Voice in Davis, Unitarian Universalist Church on Patwin Rd., 7:30pm.

Akinto and Pachamama Coffee Co-op on 20th St. are hosting poetry and conversation with Margaret Ronda and Marilyn McEntyre, plus open mic, Saturday from 5-7pm. Then Sunday, more poetry in Davis, this time at the Davis Arts Center Poetry Series, featuring Tim Kahl and Taylor Graham, 2pm. 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.


 Vanilla Twilight: Between Sunset and Serenity
(Celebrate Poetry!)

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