Monday, August 27, 2012

Vision, Crocodilian and Otherwise

—Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

First time I got Marylou pregnant
—charles mariano, sacramento

when she asked me
to come over
to the darkness
of her parent’s garage,
we were thirteen

i was socially inept
no clue,
about what goes on
with female bodies,
except from tv

she had long black hair,
nice lips, buckteeth,
and she smelled…intoxicating

after what seemed like forever
she pulled me close
kissed me, softly at first,
then harder
and i was lifted magically
to a very warm place

that overwhelmed my senses
in hands, arms, lips,
breathing, pressing

walked home afterwards
stunned, ashamed, worried sick

she was pregnant,
i was sure of it

took weeks
before i figured it out
felt foolish
hid in my room for days

i called Marylou, to ask
if she wanted
to get pregnant again


Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

Does it help to know
that an alligator sees in vivid color?
Would it help to show him
my shirt collar is already ripped, snagged
on a fish hook my last fishing trip?

Is my Kayak green, gliding through
his murky glades, seen in techno-vision?
Does he know the quirky color of my blood,
appreciate its pink dilution in water.....
his waters?

Is the St John's River wider, kinder
in places other than this place
of ever-fresh indifference—
ever-dangerous, ever-flesh?

A "nightmare" for Prince Harry—
        He is awakened by a guard while sleeping off a hangover from another wild party
        The guard declares, "Your grandmother has died,
        and grandfather and father and brother have been killed in an ‘accident’ involving the paparazzi
        You are expected at coronation ceremonies tomorrow evening after the memorial services.”
        All the guards then declare, "The Queen is dead, God save the King!"
       "Wait—how can this be?!" decries the only royal whom practically everyone has seen naked
       "I think I'd rather go back to Afghanistan..."
       "Oh no you don't," the head guard declares. "English parliament has ruled to pull out of illegally occupying all other countries. 
       —By the way your highness, a queen of royal blood has already been chosen for you
       And now you shall love her as if she is your wife..."
       Prince Harry's heart froze in horror—
       Suddenly he awakens, drenched in sweat and relieved that it only was a dream. Or maybe it isn't, he wonders… 

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Ann Privateer, Davis

Now I wash my hair every five days
Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday, Friday
you get the idea, time has dried
it and at times it looks fried
it’s unruly wiry hair that needs dye
or palmate or a pretty tie
to tame the haywire pile
of gray/brown into style.

In high school I washed it every day
puberty’s oil glands would sigh
and pump out more oil, Grandma
loved my red locks gleaming in sunlight
but I called them auburn, chestnut, ginger,
or summer sandy brown on my
driver’s license windowed
with genuine leather stays.

—Photo by Ann Privateer, Davis

Somehow you keep exploring in my dreams

—Timothy Sandefur, Rescue

You must be up there still,
Neil, sliding down
that flimsy ladder, bolted
to the lander’s spindly
like a jungle gym—
and poised to mess your new,
white boots with billion-year-
old silver dust; scuff up
some sand on that tranquil shore;
waving too fast in your home-
movies, making faces
safely behind your mirrored
mask.  Your laughter crackles
back to grown-ups in Houston.
Summer vacation will last
forever.  Out of sight.
Tonight again, you’re splashing
at Buzz in the Mare Cognitum,
or bouncing after a ball
out of bounds.  Man in the
Moon, gleaming like
an upturned smile.  Hail
Columbia; Peter Pan;
Captain America; Nostalgia
Man.  No, not Man,
mankind.  Host of Daydreams,
you keep flying toward
that earthrise; fling yourself
at a horizon that falls away
as you approach, around
and around forever.


—Michael Cluff, Corona

I would rather not hear sing
the actor Bob Hope
but with his sometimes partner Bing
Crosby's voice I can easily cope
but the other's makes me consider a suicide rope.

The pretty blooms
of the late summer
finds their way into dining rooms
as days do pass they become a bummer
the growing smell makes the nose go number.

As I teach my new class
watching time is a task
used to indicate who will pass
and let students grow and bask
yet I keep on the professional mask.

The potbelly mollie
new in the fish tank
makes the water quite jolly
never in mood dark or dank
the joy she produces I gladly have drank.

The new necktie that I tied
blue, black and white stripes
is paraded around with pride
its importance cresting overt hypes
by colleagues of lick-spittle types.

—Taylor Graham

First star of evening. Storm clouds pull apart
as if that star might speak, And then a tongue
of lightning, sudden silence. Is the heart
of heaven waiting thunder? How you've clung
to hopes of stars. The ancient songs are sung,

and still repeat, but translated in dreams
you half remember, puzzle, and forget.
The forest beasts won't talk to you, it seems,
disappear to dark. Stars. One night you met
a man who'd caught so many in his net,

he'd reached his limit. Could you catch just one
and keep it in a night-bowl by your bed?
What kind of dreams come of a burned-out sun?
The sky keeps its secrets above your head
as webs of stars behind the storm clouds spread.


Our thanks to today's cooks for their cheeky poems, "first times", and quintains, and welcome to newcomer Tim Sandefur from Rescue and his tribute to Neil Armstrong! This week's Form to Fiddle With digs a little deeper into the quintain and other five-line forms with the help of The Poets Garret; see the green "board" at the right of this column for details.  

Another way to stretch your poetry muscles is with Lilliana Mendez-Soto's East Sacramento workshop, which begins another six-week session this Wednesday (8/29). Check that out on the green board, too, under the brain. And once you've got those wonderful poems done, send 'em out into the world, fer criminentlies—either to Medusa or to some of the publications listed over there on the green board. There are lots of deadlines coming up this week. Don't be shy—the world wants to see your work!

Today's LittleNip:

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

What to do with a child
who shoots down moons for fun?
Just before they start to wane;
pewter targets in the sky. He'd collect
what fell to earth, as if shards of clay
pigeons. The smallest, perfectly silver-
round, he'd tuck in his pocket
for plugging meters and the juke box
with its achy-breaky. His father
frowned if he aimed at stars—all that
splintered glitter, image of eternity
burning itself out. And angels—
broken wings plummeting
like swans in season—he promised
his mother he'd never shoot
one down. What good
is a dead angel?



  —Photo by Katy Brown, Davis