—Mary Lynne McGrath, Sacramento, CA
Why would she wear a skirt so short—
She's at a dance at the senior center
for God's sake,
and even though one Japanese gal
wears a short skirt,
Not six feet tall in gold heels.
Two suave dudes wheel her round the room,
farmer plaid shirts, pressed slacks,
Her black lace hem is dangerously
close to full disclosure.
How old or how young do you have to be
to risk it?
Her hair is long, straight and blond,
she looks old enough to be a grandmother
but she has great legs.
The word is passed around by the ladies
circling the room. "She says she likes
freedom of movement."
The snickers are mostly covert.
She's a joke—or is she?
Senior sex—sexy seniors,
somebody's always ready to bring you down.
What is unseemly, undignified or trashy?
and standing on principle
in those gold heels.
Her legs flash around the floor,
a samba, a tango full of dangerous dips,
cha cha cha. The skirt looks something like
the bottom of a two-piece bathing suit,
except, of course, it's a skirt and
between the legs
TWO POEMS FROM DUGOUT ANTHOLOGY
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH
I was a better pitcher and a better writer than Bouton,
but he had played for the Yankees and so received
all the superlatives from those who hadn't heard of me
and even if they had, probably didn't realize
I actually wrote my books myself
I had had a good year for the White Sox in '63,
but when they wanted to put a clause in my contract
prohibiting me from writing without their consent,
I retired from baseball
Years later I testified for Curt Flood in his suit
and I was proud to have done so, though he lost
And that led me to my one regret in baseball:
that I, perhaps having an even better case,
hadn't been the one to challenge baseball
* * *
Long before James Frey,
I knew the value of marketing fiction as non-
And while I would never compare myself to Shakespeare,
old Will and I are alike in this:
my Eight Men Out and his Richard III
have both been taken as history
by those who should know better
WHAT IS IT?
—Jean Jones, Wilmington, NC
When Orpheus asked his critics what they wanted from him,
Bitterness was not your calling card.
THE DOUBLE IN THE MIRROR
I’ve been told
(These three above poems were prev. pub. in The Horror Zine at www.thehorrorzine.com/Poetry/Feb2020/JeanJones/JeanJones.html)
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?
—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
What would you like to do,
Keeping in mind,
You run out of time,
Time is not money.
They can’t be exchanged.
You might auction off
Each spare moment
To the highest bidder,
To enhance one
At the cost of the other,
But you can’t buy a
Single moment back.
Time is what you lack,
When all your time
Has run out.
So what would you like to do?
How would you like
To spend your moments
In your tiny
Slice of infinity?
ALL THE NEWS THAT BLED
Oh? I didn’t hear.
Oh? I was nowhere near.
I had no idea
That it happened.
I didn’t watch
The news that day.
I must have been out fishing
Or somewhere else, away.
And that’s why I missed
The story of a tryst
That made a prince
At least that’s what they said,
On the news-cycle replay,
All the news that bled,
From the previous day.
HOMILIES SUNG IN SPRING
Sung in Spring,
Run through the glades,
Leaving us amazed!
Our world, unruly,
Was ever meant
To show such
Put my arm around your waist
And pull you to me.
Blessed, we must be,
To be within the ambit
Of such beauty,
AMBITION IS A LULLABY
When sun is low.
When sun is high.
Old man winks
And says “Hello!”
The street, he goes.
He’s been there.
JUST SHADOWS WASHED AWAY
I have never been here,
I wander, abstract,
In a reckless dawn.
Where could I belong
With restless legs
Causing me to amble
Across the endless dregs
Thrown across a landscape
With nothing touched,
By the flooding light
Of each new day.
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
once tired of being colonies, we sing
unity as states, pretending to be just
and abiding by the rules written to bring
equality to all the stakeholders first
and then to people of all origins and
beliefs, eventually becoming the worst
Hippocratic States, beyond the pale
we have one race unite against another,
and you already know which must prevail
we have managed to disprove the “one
size fits all” underlying design, but are
slow to recognize that always using a gun
to enforce the laws for all of the citizens
is actually harmful, such as going to the
County Fair with all its differing denizens,
buying a blue-ribbon pecan pie, and sharing
it with someone allergic to tree nuts, causing
them to become deathly ill, and stop living.
DING! DING! (Bored)
“Little things are great to little man.”
—Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller
morning commuters swarm up
the ramp to board the light rail
train for that last leg of their daily
trip to an office of some sort
carrying books, laptops, pillows,
newspapers, anything and every-
thing they will need to avoid that
dull reflection of their own image
they are ants, no longer amused
by the hill they built, happy enough
to ensconce themselves in elaborate
tunnels they bored for high purpose
arriving downtown, scurrying hither
and dither, hunting for this and that
credit card and key card to grab some
fresh coffee and start the new day
ALL THOSE DEVICES (Still Bored)
clockmaker by trade
creator of myriad
faces of period
collectively one giant,
for in or out of home
when to propose,
shut off the hose
key to great sex,
release of a hex
tuning up engine,
tossed into dungeon
winning a race, letting
grief run its course,
watering a horse
the heart of a joke,
retire to bed,
something else instead
GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF IT
Old people certainly do
have bigger behinds than you
all those years of their past
slip by sneaky and fast
looking much smaller in rear view
Wake up and good morning; it’s Monday, the last day of August! We have an action-packed post for you today, including a new SnakePal, Jean Jones, who will be featured on Sept. 23. Mary McGrath sends her musings on seniors; Michael Ceraolo continues his book on baseball; Joseph Nolan sends powerful poetry and often-astonishing photos; and Carl Schwartz worked with our Seed of the Week: Bored. Artistic Adepts, they all are, and we’re mighty thankful for it!
Here in our area, Sac. Poetry Center uses Zoom for weekly readings and workshops. For more info, go to www.sacramentopoetrycenter.com/. SPC online poetry events this week include:
•••Mon. 7:30pm: SPC’s Fifth Mondays Charitable Reading Series presents A Reading for Autism w/Dr. Michelle Bitting, Connie Post and Dr. Andy Jones. Info: www.facebook.com/events/3227892217297720/?active_tab=about/. Zoom: us02web.zoom.us/j/81599704076 Meeting ID: 815 9970 4076
•••SPC Tuesday night workshop at 7:30pm, hosted by Danyen Powell. Bring a poem for critique. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and Zoom info.
•••Wed., 6pm: MarieWriters workshop (prompts), hosted this week by Laura Rosenthal; go to zoom.us/j/671443996/.
•••Wed., 6pm: 916 Ink young student writers share their work from the 916 Ink Amplify! Virtual Summer Camp. Zoom: us02web.zoom.us/j/82475207127?pwd=ckYwZVFDWEpnTkUvQ0ExNVVRNng0QT09#success/. (Note: Zoom number is not the usual SPC Zoom link.)
•••Fri., 4pm: Writing from the Inside Out workshop led by Nick LeForce. Reg. in advance at zoom.us/meeting/register/upwkde-opjkpnyQECAVBKolY4hKCdl61uA/. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. (If you have registered before, use the same link.)
* * *
Also this week:
•••Every Friday, 7:30pm: Video poetry reading by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe at james-lee-jobe.blogspot.com or youtube.com/jamesleejobe.
•••Saturday (9/5) is another in the series of Mad Mouth Poetry Readings (Week 9) for Black Poets Matter, this week featuring Marvin Jordan, 8-9:30pm via Zoom at us02web.zoom.us/j/84225455829/. Info: scroll down on Facebook at www.facebook.com/madmouthpoetry/. To see videos of previous weeks’ readings, go to www.facebook.com/search/str/mad+mouth+poetry+video/keywords_blended_videos?f=AbrGD37exJ_M3gQpkQgkR3ymizu8iV16YfgC9WxwrS0nGeKUNKuj-US2JqtVb454ACKyDe8N7-FPsu-yF7XL9YjlFkwYdtkQM6o55_kovdjgu7qBKu6rPlHDVTIROM8jg4exvpgEU_tUUS3bWYlu13j4&epa=SEE_MORE/.
* * *
Finally, this letter was in my email box from Sac. Poetry Center:
"The SPC Board of Directors has voted to postpone the annual meeting for the election of new directors—usually scheduled at 1719 25th St. on the second Monday of September—because of being shut down due to COVID-19.
We need to determine the most effective protocol for holding elections, including whether members can vote electronically, and then amend our bylaws to reflect that protocol. After this has been accomplished, we will inform you on when and how members can vote for Board candidates.
In the interim, we will continue our regular Board meetings at 6pm on the second Monday of each month via ZOOM. We use the same zoom room where we hold our Socially Distant Verse events. The information for entry into these meetings is as follows:
Meeting ID: 763 873 3462
If you are at all curious about how the Board operates, please drop in to take a peek. Hopefully you might even eventually decide to run for a director position yourself!"
—Medusa, agreeing with Jean Jones' friend, Howard McCord, [who] said, “Poetry is whisky. Prose is mash. DISTILL!”
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