(Will think for food)
Dr. Jigaro Kano
The art of
It, taking it
Gotta look out
Thanks, Kevin! A refugee from a small Illinois town that closely resembled either Winesburg, Ohio, or perhaps Masters’ Spoon River, Kevin Jones currently resides in Fair Oaks and teaches at the Sacramento Center of Union Institute & University. When not teaching or poeting, he enjoys grubbing through thrift shops for obscure books, spending time with family, and performing what he insists is comedy magic as Poppo the Not Too Bad. Join us at The Book Collector next Wednesday, December 10, for the release of a new chapbook from Danyen Powell (Blue Sky Flies Out); a littlesnake broadside from Kevin Jones (Low-Rent Dojo), and a brand-new issue of Rattlesnake Review (#20)! That's at 7:30 PM, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's.
To see more of Kevin Jones' poetry, click on Medusa's August, 2008 archive at the right and scroll down to August 25, or see Rattlesnake Review. And, of course, he'll be reading this coming Weds. at the release party.
Rattlesnake Review is the Golden Child of my old age. That's where the Snake empire started, and that's where I let my own creativity run free. And I love the poets, how they write about anything and everything! This issue, we have poems about backed-up sewers, juggling rattlesnakes, and Allegra Silberstein's "Ode to my Feet"—and that's just the beginning! The Snake posse has come up with wonderful columns for you—including Katy Brown's report on last September's Dancing Poetry Festival—and local photographers have sent me a passle of pix from our recent Road Trips. Plus, more and more poets are sending photos to go with their poetry. We here in the Snakepit are truly blessed, and, as always, I'm having a great time putting it all together. Thank you! Contributor copies will start going into the mail later this week, and copies will be available at The Book Collector beginning Wednesday night.
BALLAD OF THE WASHED HAIR
The stones on the mountain are always
awake and white.
In the dark town, angels on duty
are changing shifts.
A girl who has washed her hair
asks the hard world, as if it were Samson,
where is it weak, what is its secret.
A girl who has washed her hair
puts new clouds on her head.
The scent of her drying hair is
prophesying in the streets and among stars.
Their nervous air between the night trees
starts to relax.
The thick telephone book of world history
NEAR THE WALL OF A HOUSE
Near the wall of a house painted
to look like stone,
I saw visions of God.
A sleepless night that gives others a headache
gave me flowers
opening beautifully inside my brain.
And he who was lost like a dog
will be found like a human being
and brought back home again.
Love is not the last room: there are others
after it, the whole length of the corridor
that has no end.
INSIDE THE APPLE
You visit me inside tha apple.
Together we can hear the knife
paring around and around us, carefully,
so the peel won't tear.
You speak to me. I trust your voice
because it has lumps of hard pain in it
the way real honey
has lumps of wax from the honeycomb.
I touch your lips with my fingers:
that too is a prophetic gesture.
And your lips are red, the way a burnt field
It's all true.
You visit me inside the apple
and you'll stay with me inside the apple
until the knife finishes its work.
Our lives are like the plants
floating along the water's edge
Illumined by the moon.
(translated by John Stevens)
SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:
Rattlesnake Review: Deadline for the current issue (#20) has passed (it was Nov. 15); that issue is currently rattling around in the SnakePit and will be released at The Book Collector reading on December 10, then mailed to contributors and subscribers in mid-December. Next deadline is February 15: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. E-mail attachments are preferred, but be sure to include all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of Medusa are always hungry!
Coming in December: Join us at The Book Collector on Wednesday, December 10, for the release of a new chapbook from Danyen Powell (Blue Sky Flies Out); a littlesnake broadside from Kevin Jones (Low-Rent Dojo), and a brand-new issue of Rattlesnake Review (#20)! That's at 7:30 PM, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring your own poems or somebody else's.
Also available (free): littlesnake broadside #46: Snake Secrets: Getting Your Poetry Published in Rattlesnake Press (and lots of other places, besides!): A compendium of ideas for brushing up on your submissions process so as to make editors everywhere more happy, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting your poetry published. Write to me and I'll send you one. Free!
Coming in January: The Snake will be snoozing during January; no releases or readings. But our October road trips inspired a new Rattlesnake publication, WTF, to be edited by frank andrick. This 30-page, chapbook-style quarterly journal will primarily showcase the talents of readers at Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, but anyone is welcome to submit. Deadline is Jan. 15 for a Feb. 19 premiere at Luna’s. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but send three poems (each one page or less in length), photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to email@example.com (attachments preferred) or, if you’re snailing, to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. And be forewarned: this publication will be for adults only! so you must be over 18 years of age to submit.
Medusa's Weekly Menu:
(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for any and all of these!)
Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar
Tuesday: Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOWs; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.
Wednesday (sometimes): HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing: favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorite tools.
Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy. Send books, CDs, DVDs, etc. to him for possible review (either as a Drive-By or in future issues of Rattlesnake Review) at P.O. Box 160664, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Friday: NorCal weekend poetry calendar
Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily munchables for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ravenous poetic souls.
And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far and in-between! The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!
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 email@example.com (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.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press (rattlesnakepress.com). And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.