Monday, July 24, 2017

Listen to the Shadow

—Anonymous Vintage Poster

—Michael H. Brownstein, Townsville, N. Queensland, Australia

The insane among us
drugged and decomposing
fashion a light between themselves
dark, dense and beautiful.
A river swells in them like a beast,
its long tongue whipping brush and briar.
For a long time
its hunger is insatiable.
Listen to the shadow.
Pay attention to the voice of air.
Sunlight is not always
a light of health.

 —Anonymous Cal. State Fair Photo

—Michael H. Brownstein


How is it I sit in a puddle
and only when I stand
does the moisture slip through my clothing?

I remember the time I was old enough
to be better,
the style of dance changing,
clothing no longer matching ten speed bikes.
Tears grew onto me
and I couldn’t know how,
but there they were,
unfolding into eyes seeking the ends of the earth.


How can someone be this dizzy?
How can someone not know enough?
Not an armor of skin?
Not the layers of flesh christening bone?
Not the silence of muscle bending to the task?

 Cal. State Fair Dinosaur Exhibit, 2017
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA

Winnie the Pooh got banned in China
         Now, what did Pooh do against the country’s leadership?
         (its creators are not like artist Ai Weiwei)
         It’s not known,
         other than it’s said President Xi doesn’t like to be compared to him
         Besides doesn’t China make the toys for the Pooh franchise?
         Perhaps China’s leaders want to turn back time
         to where the “red book” was the only literature the common citizen could have
         (any other books they got caught with got destroyed)
         and they could supposedly “control” their population better than now
         But Pooh fans, alas, take solace
         When the Chinese Communist Party bans something,
         its citizens want to buy it even more than before
         For instance that's one reason the Bible still sells so well in China         

—Michelle Kunert

I went to the State Fair instead of Phillip Larrea’s Sac Voices presentation on July 15, 2017
      I just had to listen instead to choirs from local churches singing gospel music that day
      even though the sound system of the PG&E Stage wasn’t that good
      (and I shared what I know about "creation science” with the hosts of the animatronic dinosaur exhibit—
      “it was thousands of years not millions, and dinosaurs lived at the time as humans,” I said;
      I got strange looks like I was “weird")  
      and had fun despite some vendors trying to sell me gadgets and gizmos I didn’t need
      So, sorry, Phillip, and others who went
      Tell me all about what happened at SPC while I was at the fair
      Did Tom Goff and Luz Maria Gama read as indicated on the invite from Facebook? 

—Michelle Kunert

 Cal. State Fair Dinosaur Exhibit, 2017
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—Michael Ceraolo, South Euclid, OH
Cleveland Haiku #107

Countless spider webs
woven between rocks
guard the beach's entrance

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #108

The clouds arc
in a veil across the sky—
I think they're hiding something

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #109

The garbage bins hidden
behind a fence—
out of sight, not out of scent

 —Anonymous Cal. State Fair Photo

Cleveland Haiku #129

Sunshine through the window—
I am like an egg
frying on the sidewalk

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #132

One lone boat
stubbornly sails against
the tide of changing seasons

* * *

Cleveland Haiku #133

The percussion of the waves
by the hum of insects

 —Anonymous Cal. State Fair Photo

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

Desperate pleas from favorite celebrities
Right to die debated, right to kill inflated
Countless bitter Tweets, zero laudable feats

Cannot conform with the norm
Not worth a shit or willing to quit
Government mess creates far more stress

Nuclear codes given to man missing brain lobes
Lower the bar for the oligarch tsar
Every mynah recites made in China

Lapel flag pin opens floodgates of sin
The bait is honey, follow the money
“Believe me” visits Russian pee

Deports valued residents, not my president
Sacred trust trumps Constitutional must
When leaders forsake honor, truth is a goner

 Who says everybody in California is a health nut??
—Anonymous Photo

Today’s LittleNip:

—Michael H. Brownstein

The acne of death and the kaleidoscope of the living bloom into measles, mumps,
the disease of the month, filibuster of the week, forty-nine dollars off the price of a soul


Our thanks to today’s contributors for their tasty stew of fine, fine poetry, all the way from Australia to Ohio, and points in between! In addition to her “takes” on the State Fair, Michelle Kunert has sent “Bros, Not Bras”, an album of photos from the Sacramento Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Show at the Shephard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento, July 22. Check out Medusa’s Facebook page for these photos. And Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) says that he “never anticipated that retirement would present [him] with the melting of both our polar ice caps and our trust in government.”

Stockton Poet and Editor Donald R. Anderson sends us a link to (Poets’ Espresso Review), which includes poetry by Marie J. Ross, Nikki Anderson, Roger E. Naylor and Donald R. Anderson. Check it out at

Poetry in our area begins tonight with Poetry in Motion in Placerville at the Placerville Sr. Center, 6-7pm; then with a book launch at Sac. Poetry Center at 7:30pm, as Dale Houstman reads from his new book,
A Dangerous Vacation, followed by Art Mantecon plus open mic. On Tuesday at 11:30am, Cal. Lawyers for the Arts presents A Legal Guide to Traditional Book Publishing with Bob Pimm. (Go online to register—it’s cheaper.) And of course Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe presents featured readers and open mic in Sacramento on Thursday, 8pm. 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.


 —Anonymous Photo
Celebrate Poetry!

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