—Joseph Nolan, Stockton, CA
I eat out at the taco-truck
All the dining
All the germs are blown away
By breezes from passing cars.
It’s all stand-up.
There are no seats.
You can distance as much as you choose
And the food is pretty tasty,
So what have I to lose?
It’s better than staying home,
MOTORS RUNNING AT STARBUCKS
IN THE MORNING
A nickle won’t buy you a pickle,
A dime can’t buy any wine
As it once did, before.
It won’t even buy
As it did in the Great Depression.
Now, a Starbucks’ Special Latte
Will cost you four dollars, or more.
Where do we get the money
To wait in line at the store,
With our engines running,
While exhaust through
Our rears, does pour,
Out into the air we breathe,
So we can get our
Surrounded by its paper sleeve,
So we don’t get our hands too hot,
When we slurp down morning’s
Unto the jobs we grieve?
Sometimes electrical failures
Come from mice
Chewing through wires,
Little creatures, hungry,
That gnaw through
Holes in walls.
The failure may come
Little by little,
All at once,
All in all
Or not at all.
It happens in dark places
When little, hungry creatures
Come to gnaw,
Quietly and by nibbles,
Little by little,
The light won’t work at all!
TO YOUR FUTURE SELF, UNREACHABLE
Let me dredge the channels
Of the back-streets of your mind,
Where you wander in amnesia,
Leaving the world behind.
Off into your future-world,
Eclectic, yet un-shined,
Where you set up all your boundaries,
To keep the world at bay.
I only shout
To the former self I knew,
Or, at least, I thought I did,
Whatever we went through,
But I can’t catch up to you,
No matter what I do,
It was only yesterday,
But yesterday is gone,
And now a lonely traveler
Must now wander on.
WHY I LOVE TYPING
—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA
(Ekphrastic form based on the public
domain photo of a hand with a pen
making notations on a spiral bound
notepad, found at end of Medusa’s
Kitchen, November 27, 2020)
Oh how I remember the awful imprints
left on my left hand, below the little
finger, when I attempted the task of
writing on a standard issue notepad with
a big, lumpy, wiry spiral on the left side!
I would have quickly traded grammar
school in Southern California for
Hebrew school anywhere else, where
the writing is done from right to left
the evidence was gone by the time I
had walked the mile to get home from
school, so day after day I was just
left alone with my problem
looking around the city today, its Old
Town, downtown, suburbs, etc., one
can only wonder how many other
individuals there are… who, day after
day, are just left alone with their
before I was born
people spilled things a whole lot
and learned not to cry
I started out by
crying my little head off…
rewards came my way
little by little
my brain reached great proportions
not that you could tell
imposed some adjustments, so
I eat with both hands
I’d get arrested
just for being natural
it takes discipline
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS
(“Sandwiched by Sevens” form, based on
Medusa’s Kitchen Seed of the Week:
“Things you should be grateful for,
you are choking on something
there is no song you can sing
quick response to your
huffing and puffing:
snap! pop! crack! and zing!
sorry ‘bout those broken ribs,
lodge your complaint with his nibs
Suspicions? Call 911
the police force sends a gun
they will kill your dog
and the neighbor’s son
if it moves it is
target number one
trying to be big heroes
reducing trust to zeroes
I have the white right to vote
in person, by mail, by boat
born to privilege
not cast as the goat
they gave me a bridge
for crossing the moat
I do what I want
Oh look! the Dow Jones is up
drop a penny in my cup
whether a young child in class
whose performance reflects
on the teacher, or
a member of an athletic squad
whose contributions affect
every other member, or
a consummate professional
upon whom many others rely
for getting the job done properly
you can be tossed out, traded,
or held face down, whether or
not you are part of a winning
hand, and then after the chips
are scooped up, the cards are
shuffled and dealt out again…
WHERE ARE YOU, REVEREND BILLY TALEN?
—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA
For me the Christmas season can’t possibly be complete without "Reverend Billy Talen and his Church To Stop Shopping” choir
Where are you, Reverend Billy,
my favorite liberal who used to get arrested by cops just for peacefully protesting things such as the crass materialism in our culture?
The Covid virus certainly didn’t stop the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade—
a corporation which promotes shopping that somehow fulfills all humans’ spiritual desires—
so why should it stop Reverend Billy from crashing in on the parties held by corporations exploiting Jesus’s birthday?
Yeah, your offering on your Facebook page of a musical choir version of William Butler Yeat’s “Second Coming” was interesting,
But for me, as well as the rest of the world, we need to see you doing your community activism
So come on, man,
in this season in which churches are being ordered by our government officials to be closed for safety reasons
but the stores and shopping malls are open, chanting “buy buy buy” as if it were people’s sole purpose in life
There needs to be a stand taken against such corporate greed on the holidays
even if they consider you a “grinch” or Ebenezer Scrooge
Demanding to ruin what they want Christmas to be about
For instance, it’s thanks to you, Billy, I bravely have said what you tell companies like Starbucks: “I don’t take slavery with my coffee”
as well as learning from you that I shouldn’t be taking for granted any of the human-labor costs behind anything else I may want
DEAL WITH THE DEVIL
If you made a deal with the Devil,
You may have to pay the price.
The Devil counts
What he’s done for you,
Every little thing, twice
And counts whatever
You promised to do
For the Devil’s pleasure,
Since the Devil intends
To keep his deal
And run off with your treasure.
Thank you to our three impresarios today, for poetry on a Monday to tie off November, 2020!
Sacramento Poetry Center is still reorganizing, but this week we have:
•••Tonight, Mon. (11/30), 7pm, the new Sac. Poetry Alliance (www.sacramentopoetryalliance.com/) presents Charitable Reading for MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) online. Many readers, hosted by Frank Dixon Graham at www.facebook.com/events/369637234316004/. To make a donation: www.maldef.org/donate/.
•••Thurs. (12/10), 7:30-9pm: UCD PhD candidate Thomas Hardy speaking about Language Acquisition & Language Learning on Zoom: Host: Frank Graham. Info: www.facebook.com/events/114362950397995/?acontext=/. Meeting Rm. ID: 828 3933 9639.
•••Fri., 7:30pm: Video poetry reading on Facebook by Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe at james-lee-jobe.blogspot.com/ or youtube.com/jamesleejobe/.
•••For more about El Dorado County poetry events, check Western Slope El Dorado poetry on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ElDoradoCountyPoetry/.
A reminder that Women’s Wisdom Art is holding Virtual Poetry Classes; go to their schedule at womenswisdomart.org/calendar for info.
If you refer back (scroll down) to last Friday’s post, you’ll note that I’ve gone back, at his request, and centered Caschwa’s twa-par-wee—if you know what that means…
Black Monday? Maybe we should read Michelle’s poem again…
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