Monday, May 13, 2019

Mona Lisa's Mustache

—Photos by Caschwa, Sacramento, CA


In the first decade of my existence
I rode on the Cyclone Racer right
out over the water, before making
an improbably sharp turn back to

The second decade had me happily
strolling to the Colorado Lagoon for
a swim, then feasting on yummy
Flying Saucers at my aunt’s place

For the next couple decades I had a
tiny house near a busy street that took
countless tourists over to Knotts Berry
Farm, and then got a more generous-
sized apartment near the Traffic Circle
and Recreation Park

Then we moved to Northern California
and saved hundreds of dollars a year
on our auto insurance


I grew up hearing that newspapers were
aimed at an audience with a 4th grade
reading level. Now as a college graduate,
I will sometimes treat myself to television
shows which at first glance seem to be
placed at about that same level.

But have you seen the ads??

New cars, new teeth, new body, keep your
door knob and they’ll replace every other part
of the house and its contents, solar, security,
diet plans, professional sports teams and
stadiums for sale, luxury cruises, high end
hotels and eateries, jewelry and clothing to
suit a king or queen, speaking of which, the
latest Darwin evolution of beds and pillows,

So the audience has shifted all the way from
the elementary school level to those high
rollers in the topmost income bracket: see it,
like it, buy it, price no object.

Must be nice. We still get the paper.


Beloved King

Tasteful, delicious,
smooth, right on

All the best qualities of
musical expression minus
the negatives of imposed
social order that titles of
nobility may often imply

Biased socialism
Biased capitalism

All the worst qualities of
property and ownership
loaded with greed, slavery,
debauchery, as opposite to
true nobility as one may
ever get.

America, the melting pot of
all of the above, plus extreme
interpretations to suit the most
twisted minds. Put in your
quarter, make a selection. 


Candidates touring the country will
sometimes refer to “The Great State
of Iowa” as if their ranking among
other states needs some explaining
and emphasis.

Moving west they encounter another
state which just happens to be ranked
the 5th largest economy of the world,
and the adjective “Great” just falls to
the wayside as unnecessary fluff.

While some candidates go out of their
way to paint a picture of themselves as
not being tied to “big money” interests,
all of them are shown by the media in
terms of who has raised the most money
in the shortest time.

Notwithstanding the significant impetus
among many voters to reject a ticket that
asks citizens to pledge allegiance to an
obnoxious dictator, the flawless alternative
has yet to be proposed, so don’t put up
that celebration banner just yet.

Waiting in the wings is the full, unredacted
Mueller Report, which still may hold the key
to the public’s awareness of just who is
trying to cause problems and who is working
to solve them. 


When God was much younger,
even by His terms, He was
delighted to come across one
of those newfangled hot and
cold bags to store things in.

Still too short to get a seat on
an amusement park ride, and
not knowing any better, He
kept Himself occupied by loading
the bag with both hot and cold
items at the same time.

And so it was quite by accident
that Earth was created with its
raging infernos of volcanic
disruption, held in place by
frozen polar ice caps.

Don’t try this at home.

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

Relentless ambition
Commands obedience
To never-ending
Work and acquisition,
Endless acquisition,
To be better
Than a jerk,
Who grew up poor.

From years of hard labors
He had grown more:
More than his parents
Ever would or could;
Sorry to say, now,
Just memories of wood. 

Mexican Orange Tree

—Joseph Nolan
It’s a really big soup,
This universe,
With lots of big, huge noodles
Floating through it.

But no matter what,
As long as you are stuck
On this tiny little planet,
You will never know
More about it
Than you can see from this little speck,
Somewhere in a little, lost corner
Of nowhere.

It’s cool that one of your guys
Found out that light gets bent.
How does it get bent?
Not on its own.
It gets bent because space gets bent!
How cool is that?
Bent space!
Who would ever have thought that one up?

It sure took you guys a long time
To figure that one out!
And then there are black holes,
Where space is bent the mostest.
If you thought that one up a thousand years ago
They wold have burned you at a stake,
Cut off your head, put you in an asylum
Or cast you out into the outer darkness.

And what about the space inside people’s heads?
That’s where space gets bent the mostest, mostest, mostest,
To be sure!
And time, too, gets really warped
Inside some people’s heads.
Totally bent, warped and twisted!

I think you know
Who we are talking about, here?
I won’t mention any names
Because I don’t want them to get
Even more bent out of shape.

—Joseph Nolan

The epicenter of suffering in the Western World.
Where is it?
I’m glad I don’t know!
If I knew, I might be in it.
I’m glad I have dodged that bullet,
So far, at least.
God forbid
It should relocate itself to my house!

I can look around
And see plenty
Who suffer more than I.
Oh, how heavy life may be!

—Joseph Nolan

I saw an ad for Philly cheese-steak
With cream-sauce on the top.
I hate it on my cheese steak.
I wish they would just stop
With that slop!

How could you ruin
Something perfectly fine?
It’s like squeezing a lime
Into rich red wine!

I decided to place a call
To tell them
How I feel,
And all,
About how
Nothing exceeds perfection,
So don’t put a mustache
On the Mona Lisa!


Today’s LittleNip:


I bought my wife some lovely
European belts, scarves, and purses
at the department store, but they
were all charged as accessories
and deported.


Good morning, and thanks to our poets today and photog Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) for his delicate bees and other denizens of his garden!

Tonight, Sac. Poetry Center will feature readers from Kate Asche’s poetry workshop, 7:30pm. SPC workshops this week include Tuesday Night Workshop for critiquing of poems at the Hart Center (27th and J Sts.) on Tuesday, 7:30-9pm (call Danyen Powell at 530-681-0026 for info); and MarieWriters Generative Writing Workshop at SPC for writing poems, 6-8pm on Wednesday.

On Wed., T-Mo Entertainment presents The Big Show in Sacramento with poets, comedy, and music at Celebration Arts on B St., 8pm, $10 admission. Third Thursdays in the Sacramento Room meets this week at noon in the Central Library on I Street: bring poems this month (by writers other than yourself) about spring, work, and/or collective celebration. Then in the evening, head over to John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis for the Poetry in Davis book launch, which will feature Hmong author, Pos Moua, plus Gary Snyder, Sandra McPherson, and open mic, 8pm. (Host Andy Jones says the sign-ups for open mic fill up fast, so get there by 7:45pm.)

On Friday, The Other Voice in Davis presents Vicki Carroll, Aeisha Jones, plus open mic at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Patwin Road, 7:30pm.

Then on Sunday, Poetry of the Sierra Foothills features Wendy Patrice Williams and Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas, plus open mic, at Caffe Santoro in Diamond Springs, 1pm. 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.

—Medusa, celebrating the poetry of the garden!

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.