Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Breaking Into Blossom

Cambridge, UK
Photo by Anyssa Neumann, Germany

MAY 25, 2007
—Anyssa Neumann

For three minutes today
I lost my cool
uttered nothing but expletives
thought only in screams
I folded my sorrow
swallowed my dreams
and walked into the rain-washed street


Thanks, Anyssa! Anyssa Neumann is an ex-Sacramentan who now lives in Germany. See the next Rattlesnake Review, coming in mid-June, for more of her poetry.

So where are we? The new Snake goes into production next week, and will be ready in mid-June. The new Snakelets, #10, will go into The Book Collector this afternoon; pick up the latest Vyper while you're there. The next book release/reading will be by Tom Miner (North of Everything) on June 20, and at that time a new B.L. Kennedy interview will be released (#3: Jane Blue), along with littlesnake broadside #35 by David Humphreys (Cominciare Adagio). Then the whole Snake kit and kaboodle will go on a wee break until Sept., except for the industrious Medusa, who can't keep her mouth shut, so she'll keep on nattering, day by day...


Mention of James Wright yesterday, with the new anthology that's being put together. Here are three of his poems, including, of course, the ponies:

—James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fields.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
There they are, the moon's young, trying
their wings.
Between trees,
a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
of her face, and now she steps into the air,
now she is gone
wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
and I lean toward mine.


—James Wright

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly
asleep on the black truck,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
the cowbells follow one another
into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
in a field of sunlight betwen two pines,
the droppings of last year's horses
blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.


—James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
to welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely,
they can hardly contain their happiness
that we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in
the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
for she has walked over to me
and nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
her mane falls wild on her forehead,
and the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
that is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
that if I stepped out of my body I would break
into blossom.



Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events to (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.)

SnakeWatch: Up-to-the-minute Snake news:

Journals (free publications): Rattlesnake Review #13 is available at The Book Collector; RR #14 will be out in mid-June. (Next deadline, for RR #15, is August 15.) The new VYPER #6 (for youth 13-19) is in The Book Collector; next deadline is Nov. 1. Snakelets #9 (for kids 0-12) is available; Snakelets #10 will be out this month. Next deadline is 10/1.

Books/broadsides: May's releases are Grass Valley Poet Ron Tranquilla’s Playing Favorites: Selected Poems, 1971-2006, plus a littlesnake broadside by Julie Valin (Still Life With Sun) and a Rattlesnake Interview Broadside (#2) featuring Khiry Malik Moore and B.L. Kennedy. All are now available at The Book Collector. Rattlechaps are $5; broadsides are free. Or contact or for ordering information.

Next rattle-read: Rattlesnake Press will present Sacramento Poet Tom Miner at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, on Wednesday, June 20 from 7:30-9 PM to celebrate the release of his new chapbook, North of Everything. Also featured that night will be a new littlesnake broadside (Cominciare Adagio) from Stockton Poet/Publisher David Humphreys, plus #3 in the Rattlesnake Interview Series by B.L. Kennedy, this one featuring Sacramento Poet Jane Blue. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's. More info: NOTE: For June, and for June only, our monthly Rattlesnake reading will be on the THIRD Weds. instead of the second one. There will be no Snake readings/releases in July or August.