Friday, December 13, 2019

Full of Possibilities

—Poems by Michael H. Brownstein, Jefferson City, MO
—Anonymous Photos


An old man in a wheelchair and a woman who bitterly despises him
A woman who bitterly despises him and a child holding a broken toy below the shelf
A child holding a broken toy below the shelf and a grandmother resting in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea
A grandmother resting in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and a young man full of possibilities
A young man full of possibilities and a wonderful woman entering an enchanted dance
A wonderful woman entering an enchanted dance and a man looking toward the entrance-way in awe
A man looking toward the entrance-way in awe and an old man in a wheelchair


Kaos in the undergrowth
Kaos as guardian of the window
Kaos on the couch
Kaos on the lap
Kaos wheezing breath control
Kaos wheezing breath patrol
Kaos rambling through the yard
Kaos finding something good
Kaos stretching
Kaos racing to the alley
Kaos wheezing breath on hold
Kaos wheezing breath withhold
Kaos leaping
Kaos searching
Kaos loving affectionate happy

Today’s LittleNip:

a curdling of wind—
black snake outlines
falling leaves

—Michael Brownstein


We're fortunate on this Friday the 13th to have Michael H. Brownstein with us today! His latest volume of poetry,
How Do We Create Love?, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press ( His poem, “Kaos”, uses the literary device/poetry form of Anaphora, a repeated word at the beginning of each line. (See And see also the chain of repeated phrases he uses in his “After the Broken Hip”.

Acapella Performance Poetry Showcase meets tonight from 7-9pm at Acapella on Del Paso Blvd. in Sacramento. Tickets are $5. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


Form Fiddlers Friday! 


It’s time for another contribution from Form Fiddlers! Each Friday for awhile, there will be a poem posted here from some of our readers, using forms—either ones which were mentioned on Medusa during the previous week, or whatever else floats through the Kitchen and the perpetually stoned mind of Medusa. If these instructions are vague, it's because they're meant to be. Just fiddle around with some forms and get them posted in the Kitchen. 

There is, of course, no such thing as a formless poem; as soon as you put two words together, you have, well, something. So we talk about “Free Verse” ( But you might check out the following article for some thoughts about what you’re doing on the poetic page when you think you're writing Free Verse:

Meanwhile, Taylor Graham sends us a Pleiades, mentioned to us last week by Carol Louise Moon:

—Taylor Graham, Placerville, CA
Reams of paper, words crossed off,
rewritten; pencils and pens
red and black, arrayed all-set
ready for the next draft, the
revision to render it
radiant, immortal. He
rubs his eyes—fading vision.

And Caschwa (Carl Schwartz) sends us what he calls “a little bauble that just happens to repeat the syllable scheme of 5-3-7”, sneaking a few rhymes in there, as well:


—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

I pledge allegiance
to the bell
that closes trading daily

and to the folks who
live quite well
if not a bit too gaily

to the republic
that will gain
when all stocks perform their best

when trickle down will
replace rain
with real money to invest

And another poem of his, which “rhymes, plus a dozen ‘nines’ (nine syllables per line)”:


He’s not an attorney at plumbing
he’s neither an attorney at law
he isn’t the song we’ve been humming
in fact, he is the worst kind of flaw

Electoral College diploma
Russian influence played no small part
Democracy’s now in a coma
and the Wizard denied him a heart

mere babe trying to play a woodwind
all his fingers too small for the keys
bad notes he’s unable to rescind
stop this nonsense now! Oh pretty please


Our thanks to today’s poets for their form-fiddling, and keep ‘em coming!

—Medusa, for whom kaos is a way of life ~

 —Cover from Michael Brownstein’s latest book,  
How Do We Create Love?

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.