Monday, May 06, 2019

Sometimes, A Little Popping

—Photos from San Francisco’s Pier 39 
by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA

—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA

I smear cascade
Upon a page.

Whatever falls down
From waterfalls,
Or muse,
I put it there—
Down upon a page.

This is my adventure:
My trek in
Burning rage:
I put it all down
Upon a page.

Whichever page
Is before me,
Each page I’ve spoiled
Has borne me
No resentment.

They take it all.
Whatever I might spill upon them
From my well-soaked soul;
They take it all in
And swallow it, whole!

—Joseph Nolan

Water boils cooler than oil.
That’s where sizzle comes from.
Sizzle is good—
It’s what you want.
It makes things taste better.

Too hot and you get the pop.
Popping means it’s too hot.
Too hot and you get the burn.
Sometimes, a little popping is good,
Just before you drop in fries,
But most of the time
It’s over too soon—
All the cooking
That loves to sizzle!

Sizzle, a delicate daydream,
To be cherished, savored
And smelled,
Waiting for the moment
It’s tender—
Just before the bell.

—Joseph Nolan

Let’s imagine you’re connected
To your list of correspondents,
You send them lots of emails
About all kinds of things,
Articles you see in the news,
Photos of your loves,
Matters of “common” interest,
Some things they should like to know,
But they hardly every reply,
Most likely, because they’re busy,
And years go by and by,
And you’re still posting photos and themes,
And years go by and by,
And you wonder why and why,
They hardly every reply?

—Joseph Nolan

I am,
If you are,
But not,
If you’re not.
That is how
You destroy me—
How you crush me,
Such a weight
Upon my chest—
Your resistance
To my will.

I’m standing
In your mirror,
A shadow
Without light,
Without you,
Embarrassed, unreal—
A ripple in the texture
Of your mirror’s glass,
And nothing more
Unless you are
As I
Need you
To be.


I’ll admit, our household enjoys the
several anchors presenting on MSNBC
because they are politically polarized
the same as we are.

However, the style of one is a bit hard to
take as he will manifest as both the pitcher
and the plate umpire smugly wrapped up
in one persona.

He calls his own strikes on each pitch to
the corner, and hamstrings the hitter so
that he cannot even swing, just stand
there and watch the anchor always
prevail uncontested.

I guess it is not so bad to learn that one of
your favorite athletes is on steroids, when
it also comes that most of his competitors
use that stuff, too.


(a crescendo from whisper to shout)

pp     Must tread very, very, delicately in and
         around those displays of ceramic angels…

p       don’t want to have to explain why I levelled
         another china shop, or trampled on feelings
         and broke tender hearts, gosh darn it…

mf     the very pillars of civilization that support all
         that is good, melt away like quick sand with
         the thump and stomp of my approach…

f        I had become so overwhelmed with being
         the ghost, the readily dismissed and often
         disregarded tenderfoot, maybe I let my
         emotions overcompensate a bit too much
         by donning the hooves and horns of a bull…

ff       NAH!! They’re getting what they deserve,
         and there is more in store where that came

Free food will withstand
insults while diners prepare
for something better than
mediocre to please exacting
minds that insist on perfection;
just like a newly printed, crisp
$100 bill stands out from other
cash until it is broken because
only smaller bills are accepted. 


You know who you are
wide awake under late-night star

Getting all the attention,
mentioned in every mention

Always asked to the dance,
right at home with the ants

Rain makes you bigger and bolder,
sunlight only makes you golder

You’re pulled to be the first to go in the bin,
then when it’s emptied, you’re on top once again 

—Ian Copestick, Stoke on Trent, England
The first time I was arrested I was  16
One night, me and a couple of mates
From school were just hanging around
The streets. I was moaning about
Not having any cigarettes or money
When this younger kid said " The
Window to the shop's broken. You
Could just help yourselves. " We went
To take a look and he was right, not
Only was the window to the stock room
Broken, it wasn't even closed. The bloke
That owned the shop had left it open.
Not just unlocked, but OPEN. We took
This to be an invitation. I mean, it couldn't
Be breaking and entering, we didn't
Have to break anything, we just entered.
We helped ourselves to a carton of
200 cigarettes each and left it at that.
The problem was that at that age, no one
Knows how to keep their mouth shut.
So word got around about our little
Escapade. Suddenly everyone wanted
In on it. So a few days later, we went
Back, mob-handed, about 6 or 7 of us.
This time we got greedy and completely
Emptied the place. This was burglary
This was serious. Instead of 200
Cigarettes, we each had 2000. Even
Back in the late 80's that was serious
Money. Of course with over twice as
Many people involved, it was even
Harder to keep it.quiet and the C.I.D.
Picked us all up pretty quickly. I was
Lucky, as it was my first offence, I got
Let off with an official caution. A couple
Of the older lads were taken to court,
But not me. Well, I have to say that it
Scared me straight, apart from drug or
Drunk charges I've never been in
Trouble since. One of the older lads
Grassed me up to the police about
The first time when we only took the
200 cigs each. Luckily that time
The shopkeeper didn't even notice
We'd done it, or else it might have
Been my first time jail sentence too.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joseph Nolan

Something has changed;
It always will.
All that’s past is gone;
The future, free.

Can you still see me?
Or is the one you’ve known
Now also gone?


Many thanks to today’s SnakePals for giving the beginning of our week in the Kitchen some pop and sizzle! National Poetry Month may be over, but we’re always cookin’ here, 24/7.

Poetry in our area begins tonight with Sue Daly and Rebekah Bloyd (plus open mic) at Sac. Poetry Center, 7:30pm. And there are two Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-arounds this week: One on Tuesday in El Dorado Hills, the other in Placerville on Wednesday at the Sr. Center. Both begin at 5pm.

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.

Also on Wednesday, this time in Chico: Poetry at 15th Street Cafe, a monthly open mic., 6pm; and An Evening of Poetry at 1078 Gallery, featuring Lara Gularte, Bob Garner, and Linda Serrato, 7pm. On Thursday 11:30am, Wellspring Women’s Writing Group meets at the Women’s Wellspring Center, facilitated by Sue Daly. Also on Thursday in Sacramento, Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar features Straight Out Scribes, 8pm. And on Saturday night, 5-9pm, Sac. Poetry Center hosts the Second Saturday Art Reception.

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 poetry that pops!

 Is it summer yet?
—Anonymous Photo

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.