Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Budding Heart

—Poetry by Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar, 
W. Bengal, India
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of 
Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

Kitchen table a pink vase
Misty inspiration that lurks
Roaring twenties glossy chase
Mirroring reflections
My crystal gut feeling
Today the roses might bloom
Fresh flowers a hoping ship
Under tables lyrics fall over
The place and the violet hues
Rosetta dreams
My fancy has no bounds
Tripping boundaries
Beyond three-dimensional street song
I keep in my roseheart a strong blindfold
The keys and coded allure
The chase and the flame
The siren goes a depth deeper
Under the table
Petals Vase memoirs
Of my budding heart. 


Leftovers from the last night dishes
Faded days pastured alley-cat paws
Sickly sweet
That chuckles my dainty days.
Arrows I shot and killed my mirror
Still my oath to the miracle
Magic mondays swimming a great tenth
Kohl-eyed retraced strokes
Back and forth
Butterflies in and out of the squeaky screaming
Foggy smoky November geraniums
I journeyed for the hardest gem
Generations and cults
Population of the earth, ripped jeans
Recitation reconciliation omens
My black cat knows her nails
Sticky situation sat down and
Jot down a missing puzzle
The lights still on
Stillness and November
My daring swimming strokes. 


The thumping of my beats evoke
A swim of silence
where I enshrined our flag.
Today you graved it to the deepest earth,
Over a muddied red garden.

Soddy seeds we sowed,
With Time's haunting lullaby
Tears glisten them to grow up.
But my threads are now rock-solid
To clamp down our red string.

Looking through the tunnel of desire
A Childish fabric I tore up
And skinned in a silken robe.

Two fishtails scoop over each other
And when they rub open the surface
The mystery dissolved in coloured

Our island is now safely nestled in a
Firmly assured secrecy
And each night I sleep
In my Lord’s fifth Dimension.
Praying for our rarest gem to live on. 


Going home with plucked petals
Monsoon passed by
Before it's a long haul
Chain reaction and smokehauled gains
Blurry blue-eyed when night comes
Your fingers smudged with dedication
Carmen everyman ubiquitous trance
Earphoned humming among bazaar nights
Keeper of bonhomie and musk-rosed gaze
La-la land of my native town
Diving deeper than skin-deep high
My mourning Electra phase
Jotting scribbling karmic case
What happens when the casement is open
Deep vulnerability that paints
A shipwrecked muddy condition
Moss-flared bushes that topple
Kindle one’s la femme cupid arrow
Sun dizzy fuzzy pixie maniac trance
Skull tripping skin and bones
Femme fatality scheming negative
Sly wisdom that ends with digging a soul whole
A single blossom a new Millenium of ragpatched haul
I come home
Kindled fiery furry fuzzy. 



Eyes drenched drowned
Keepsake of bidding
For nothing comes secondhand
The classical needs patience
Rigorous and masculine
Sharp strong willpower
A force to be reckoned with
Must I force away my unkept
The weary afterwards
The smitten Hallows
That come with showy penchant land
No it's not easy to trifle with;
The comebacks are noontide waves
Smudgy sickly affairs
That whiplash covert paint strokes
We are holy war heroes
Greenest in the month of June
Neruda and his Sea maiden
Pioneer in tricolor lands
The smoky flags
Falsifying nothing
Feminine Electra eclectic show
A nuanced-up way to trifle with
A gentle dew at my fingertips
Its truant sweetness
Opulent pearl-like
That comes after much reflection
I landed on my shipwrecked land
Trees feathers hammock spaced
Breezy with springtime hawk
My time is up
A binding and hope and a full stop. 


Moments’ fury futuristic
One hand talks of many soul
Thirsty collarbone collaboration
Collective consciousness
I flew a burning rod
Up in the air
The answers came running
A slapstick humor a cherry on top
People's person coveted all smiled on top
Masked alleys don't show
They tell
Looking doing saying in the momentum
For other's sake
Diplomatic relations
When the surface overflows
The river runs amuck
Then looking for another face
A soul
Maybe too immune to open up
Wholesale mercurial fast business
Where is one soul
My oversoul I keep looking for
High hopes integrity hat
Childlike wonders in these masked alleys
The pied piper blows on
Children of heaven
Of synchronized floodgates
May flower cup
A single ooze of life itself
In its momentum in its glory
In one candle is peace
In its saintly attentiveness
Old soul frisky papers
Cottaged unity
I found my home.


Today’s LittleNip:

Inspiration is the timid beast that comes to your open hand once you’ve fallen asleep having given up trying to coax it from its hiding place.

―Shaun Hick


Our thanks to Sayani Muhkerjee for today’s intriguing poetry, as we say good-bye to November and gird up our loins for the December crush.

Join El Dorado County Poet Laureate Lara Gularte for tonight’s stop along ED County’s Poet Laureate Trail, this one in the Cameron Park Library, with a free workshop at 5:30pm, followed by a reading and open mic at 7pm.

Some new events have popped up on our radar, with two for Saturday. Second Saturdays at the Brickhouse will feature Terry Moore at 8pm, with open mic sign-ups at 7:30pm. And, also on Saturday, Straight Out Scribes will talk about the meaning and significance of Kwanzaa (including poems and stories), with two programs: one at 2pm and the other at 2:30pm, at the Culture Collection store in the Florin Center in Sacramento. Also just in: Sacramento Poetry Center will feature Bunkong Tuon and Clint Margrave online next Monday, 7:30pm. Click UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS at the top of this column for details about these and other future poetry events in the NorCal area—and keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.


 Sayanı Mukherjee

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.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!



Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Quick of Night

—Poetry and Photos by Robin Gale Odam,
Sacramento, CA

The clink of ice—the long sip.
The minute hand gathers the night.
The cat curls his tail around his body.

I challenge myself to a tournament
and lay the cards in formation, hour-by-
hour, in pale starlight—clock solitaire.

The cat closes his gold eyes.
I shuffle the cards and move closer to
darkness. The clink of ice. The cat purrs.



Whisper of shadow in the dark,
the quiet death of indifference—

I shall retrace my steps, find  
what poured out into the dream.

Wing-flutter outside the window,
book of sorrow, origami sparrow.

I shall light my candle—hush of
memory, flick of light, the quick
of night.
 Night Fishing


the rent of time, the rendering,
arrangement of thought in a breath

the shape of the vowel, the cleft
of the consonant, the fraction of faith

the sliver of a second shivering the
cold inhale of the dark



I will sleep tonight . . . is that the
moonlight . . . I move closer to the
window, swirl the tea leaves in my
cup. The cat steals onto my lap.
The beautiful nighttime.


The day passed like a train
just out of reach. It was vague

and quick, the sound bending
away from the curve of troubles

onto the slow sweep of the night,
into the candor of the dark.
 Drawing Closer


the usual day—the mumble of the
deadline, the tapestry of hard colors,
the collage of the wind chime and the
crying chorus of sirens in the traffic of
motion and consequence, and the glare

but now this broad canvas of stars,
unfailing and obedient—the turning of
halcyon lights in the vault of heaven



as a child I read stories in the
afternoons and later they would
visit my dreams

the shuddering trees in the forest of
shadows, the birds in the light shaft with
seeds in their beaks—the bread crumbs
would vanish at the pass of their wings  

in the hours beyond the end of the
day, not the shadows of warning nor the
bright shaft of promise—I sharpen my
pencil and reach for my book—how I
twine my silvering hair



Shaping the curve of darkness
and tending the balance of force,

the night calls the day out for its
chaos and pulls the sun over the

horizon—there will be another shift
at the quick of morning.

I trim the wick and open my book.
The sky deepens.
I Never Dream


Poem out of the night hours,    
notebook at the gate—

chittering of birds, darkened woods,
morning far away, so little to say.

Maybe stay—fetch the fiery thought
that forged the catalyst for the cue     
and then faded before the page

was turned, before the pen was
lifted, before the night had fallen.
Even before the night.


Today’s LittleNip:

I've always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.

―David Benioff,
City of Thieves


Many thanks to Robin Gale Odam for today’s poems from her "Insomnia" series (poems from which have been published in
Brevities over 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022), and for her fine photos to go with them. She sends word that her mother, Joyce Odam, is due to be discharged from rehab this week—good news!

Robin’s first photo is entitled, “Calling on Faith”, a reminder that last week’s Seed of the Week was “Faith”. Our new Seed of the Week is “Cats”. That should be an easy one; most people have plenty to say about cats. Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from. And see every Form Fiddlers’ Friday for poetry form challenges, including those of the Ekphrastic type.


Can you find the cat…?
—Public Domain Photo Courtesy
of Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
(Remember—click to enlarge.)

For upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page.

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.




Monday, November 28, 2022

Scattered Candles in the Dark

—Poetry by Stephen Kingsnorth, Nolcha Fox, 
Sayani Mukherjee, Joe Nolan, and Caschwa
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of 
Joe Nolan and Nolcha Fox
—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

What can I say, for Faith employed,
yet fallback, verging heresy,
weak trembling hope, all will be well.
So little, orthodox, remains—
dissenting, though, my rootstock known—
but evidence of fruitful creed?
Just as that scene, Golgotha’s skull,
religious man yet crucifies
that pilgrim search, stepped out of line.
Ashamed to wear the name, abused,
whose reputation soiled in world,
corrupted truth, beyond the lake.
Despite religious evidence,
the only signs of light I see—
faint scattered candles in the dark.
Of every race, belief or none,
some smoulder wicks unquenched as yet—
though slipping grasp, holistic earth. 


that to swallow something
beautiful is to keep it.
So, I swallow sunlight
resting on your ribs,
curved angel’s wings
fluorescing this tiny
hidden hope that you
won’t fly away.

—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

She is the sound

of thunder, a chair
dragged across
the floor, thrown
out the window,
shattered lightning
in her eyes.
She is the perfect

—Nolcha Fox


Based on a true story of II Hun Ro, who disappeared in Yellowstone Park in July 2022. His body dissolved in a hot pool, except for a foot preserved by his shoe. Also based on the unsolved case in British Columbia of shoed feet appearing in the water, minus the bodies. 

Listen to your mother,

always wear good shoes.
Foul play or accident
in water, hot or cold,
may disappear your body.
But shoes preserve your feet,
so we can bronze you,
place you on the mantle.

—Nolcha Fox

Poets should write

about birds gobbling worms,
starlight pricking holes in the dark,
moonlight caressing the mountains.
But I grew up in a city; to me,
birds are jets spewing thunder,
starlight and moonlight
hide behind smog. But
I can tell you where
to find the best coffee.

—Nolcha Fox



Weathered sand dune ridges
worm up to wild curls.
Wind-scared cheeks.
Grey-splattered grizzle.
Those eyes, though.
Those wondering child eyes.
See less than face’s years.

—Nolcha Fox

Time hates

tidy. Time stomps.
Stories into slime.
Run from home.
But don’t return.
Time pulverizes
panes. Rots wood.
Peels paint. All
your nostalgia.
Sawdust clouds.
In the wind.

—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India

Bring back solemn thoughts
Night's carpe diem of mahogany sighs
Of Tweetering Florentines of mega-city high
Passion's twofold manifestations
Keeping an eye over the bamboozled gyre
It opens at the mighty funnel
Glistening teardrops along the hooded path
Collecting numerous vigilant eyes
Looking inwardly at the silverdisc high
Of its luminosity that may warm in the eye
Lakes of regional temper that mumble
With tremors of bloodshed wars
Longest night of the year’s end
Oldest ruins of the kaleidoscopic gyres
Little ink-eyed keeping songs
Of folklore of year's end night
Tweetering daisies that sigh in my mind. 

—Sayani Mukherjee

Uppercut finesse of demanding precision
Liabilities of going against
Grain of finest particle
Land of principles and undercover
Mother's nourishment only makes her weak
Weather-beaten thirsty for the
Blue umbrella
Daughter of the universe
Soils that soften her growth
Only add volumes to her
Hair-swooping strokes
Negative impulses vapours in
Rainbow palettes
Kinesthetic and insights from
Sahasrarat realm
Boots red and black tights
Modern-day bluestocking faithfulness
Zipped chain that soften her wavy sparks
Noontide gloom just a penchant
Of disinterested disillusionment
Magical, a two-edged swordfish
Finesse precision of moderate risk. 

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

I only listen
To flip-side songs,
The ones that didn’t make it,
The ones that didn’t play
On AM radio,
That never made the Hit-Parade,
The ones that no one loved,
That only served to
Fill a vacuum
On the back of vinyl discs—
Junk-songs and throw-aways
That remind us that brilliant artists
Make junk,
Sad to say.

It makes me feel better,
Since hardly any poetry sells.

—Joe Nolan

The telephone rings
And goes unanswered.

Later, a phone call’s returned,
A message is left,
That also goes un-returned.

Later, a text-message is sent
And one is sent in reply,
Then another,
And another,
And a semblance of conversation
Is treated as completed,

Since we wish to avoid
Talking with one another.

—Joe Nolan

It’s a matter of
Instant gratification
For a dog
To receive
A bone.
Smiling, she,
Glad that she has a home
Where the giving of bones
To dogs
Is not forgotten,
Not minimalized,
Not trivialized,
As though a vain obligation.

The stomach prevails
In all cross-species relationships.
It is “What for,
You give me,
I love thee!”

Not that there’s anything
Wrong with that.
It’s just that we’re dealing
With instincts and needs.

—Joe Nolan

R.u. serious?!
It’s been ages.
We gotta do it soon.
Text me when u.r. ready.
I’ll be waiting.

—Joe Nolan

On my Pop-sickle stick!

Just when I was getting rich,
They pulled the rug away;
It had something to do with the Fed
Increasing interest rates.
Leaving all
On margin call
To suffer their own fates.

This is how the game is changed—
The music stops and
Many chairs are pulled away,
Off into some back-room
Until it’s time
For larger play.

Then the chairs
Are set back out
In the middle of the room,
Interest rates are lowered
And the Market zooms.

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

criminals have no limits
is cruel and unusual punishment the solution?
but our justice system has to stop short of that
therefore, criminals have no limits

the South will rise again
are centuries of slavery the solution?
but our justice system has to stop short of that
therefore, the South will rise again

one royal family owns all the land
is government by consent of the people the solution?
but then we are mere tenants subject to eviction
therefore, one royal family owns all the land


no men allowed
trouble enough
only women with
ideas and diaries

transform failures,
duds, misfits, how
could you! insulting,
unwearable, stinky
atrocities, and

go back to
square one
to build a
worthy to
wear in


(response to “Bingo”
by Stephen Kingsnorth,
Medusa’s Kitchen,
November 25, 2022)

my best effort
cast aside in
favor of another’s
daily grind

what am I missing?
or do I have too much?
are they allergic
to adverbs?

no amount of editing
will spruce up my
finest baked ham
for a kosher menu

good thing they
now keep those
spray cans locked
up tight, awful

tempting to affix
my words to a
wall of indifference
for poetic justice


that the lips
of a canyon
utter more
real truth
than the
sworn under
oath by

the visceral,
bold echo of
lightning bolts
in the Grand
Canyon voice
powers greater
than that of
any man



Today’s LittleNip:


Fall lacy sweater
Winter tell neck
Spring culprit end
Summer longer than others


Faith was our Seed of the Week, and writing poetry requires not a little faith, yes? Thanks to our poets for musing about that and other subjects during these troubled times, and I hope you had an edifying Thanksgiving weekend.

Sac. Poetry Center Monday night readings are still on hiatus, but events this week include another stop on Wednesday on El Dorado County’s Poet Laureate Trail, this one in Cameron Park, and a Poetry Night Reading in Davis on Thursday with Katie Peterson and Christian Gullette. Both include open mics. And of course there is Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar in Sacramento on Thursday, with its massive open mic beginning at 8pm. Click UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS at the top of this column for details about these and other future poetry events in the NorCal area—and keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.

Congratulation to El Dorado Poet Patti Farrington for having her poem, “Together on the Path”, published in
Mountain Democrat’s Poem of the Month. See




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.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!



Sunday, November 27, 2022

As Harvests End

—Poetry by Nancy Chisholm Haskett,
Modesto, CA
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
As I walk today
in hazy heavy air,
I pass cars, plants, mailboxes
dusted with fine black and gray powder,
and I breathe in
these same particles,
from fires all around our valley.
In camps like Treblinka, Sobibor, and Auschwitz,
the ash fell thick, like snow
twenty-four hours a day,
while local citizens denied knowledge of these places,
swept dust from porches and windowsills.
The guards who worked within feet of the chimneys,
inhaled fragments of their victims every day,
took in air filled with microscopic pieces
of men who had read from the Torah every Shabbat,
women who had baked challah and lit candles,
children who had practiced their Hebrew lessons.
With every life-giving inhalation
they breathed in those who no longer breathed,
absorbed them into their lungs, their blood,
close to their heart 

Russian tanks
roll across deserted roads,
grandmothers make Molotov cocktails
as I drive to Target.
A journalist in Kyiv
interviews a lawyer
who has never shot a gun
or thought he could
until now
as I drive to the postal center.
In Kherson,
families hide in parking garages,
a mother cries,
a dog barks,
as I head to the grocery store
while Ukraine bleeds out.

His parents drove in silence,
parked their car
near the spot where his abandoned truck
had been found.
they carried hope,
fragile and soft,
as weeks became months;
it whispered not to give up
until now—
now that hikers had discovered his remains,
now that fragments had been unearthed
now that the truth had been found in pieces under their feet.
They walked through the forested area
over a pine-needle carpet
thick enough to keep a secret
buried for seven months.
They had no answers,
nothing that would explain
how their son, who was also a father,
could leave to meet someone on a hot July afternoon
and never return.
Perhaps it is a bond that is never broken,
a connection between a mother
and her first-born;
perhaps that would explain why,
as she walked in ever-widening circles,
eyes looking always down,
she found another bone,
overlooked somehow by all the other investigators—
a rib bone of her son,
a bone she once nourished from her body
as he grew under her own rib
so close to her heart,
so many years ago
when the future held such promise.

It sounded intriguing:
a Human Library,
a safe place where people
become books,
where participants are given
an opportunity to listen,
ask questions about taboo topics—
in other words,
to “read” the living books.
And so he went to the event,
looked at the selections—
Alcoholic, Feminist,
Convert, Unemployed,
Naturist, Disabled—

decided, at last, on Refugee,
took a seat at her table.
In precise English,
softly accented,
she told her story,
where she used to live,
her escape from violence
and oppression,
where she lives now,
in this city filled with stares,
distrust, prejudice.
She was an open book,
honest, inspiring, strong,
and they shared similar dreams,
hopes for the future.
He lingered
after the other readers had gone,
asked her to tell another chapter,
didn’t want this book
to end.

Four of us in the car
headed to Irvine
in typical freeway congestion
which quickly evolves into
no end in sight.
To pass the time as we inch along,
one of us suggests we sing
songs from Broadway musicals,
so we start with West Side Story,
on to My Fair Lady,
Sound of Music,
Les Mis—

windows rolled down,
we belt out tunes
like theater performers,
pay no attention to the stares
from travelers around us,
amaze ourselves with the lyrics
we can remember,
forget our slow progress.
An hour later,
we arrive at our destination,
brother and sister-in-law
anxious to hear all the news,
but after our family concert,
all of us can hardly talk.

the Valley rests
when canals run dry,
as harvests end,
wind blusters, temperature drops
when canals run dry,
ducks and geese abandon the banks,
crows perch on bare branches nearby
as harvests end,
dry peach pits and almond hulls underfoot,
no drone of machines or bees,
wind blusters, temperature drops,
leaves removed from eaves and gutters,
thirsting for rain.

ravens speak
in caws and clicks,
watch from trees,
strut proudly on the ground
summer storms bring rolling thunder,
jagged lightning across slate skies
autumn chill paints trees in watercolor
shades of red and gold
squirrels scamper
across residential streets,
scurry up tree trunks in backyards
deer browse, raccoons scavenge,
coyotes smile,
lope leisurely
through fields of wildflowers.

CNN celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain
said we should think about death
at least once every day,
which probably isn’t the best advice
since he took his own life four years ago.
I sometimes think about death,
but not what happens afterwards
which I can’t really wrap my head around,
but what I know I will miss,
like my family, friends, blue skies,
rain, wind on my face, music, books,
hot tea, fresh bread, soft cookies—
everyday things we should cherish.
And maybe that’s what Tony
was trying to tell us.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Nancy Chisholm Haskett

Heaps of rusted cars
transform into mounds of pristine white;
litter disappears, sidewalk graffiti erases.
Dirty water in the bird bath freezes,
reflects rainbow colors on its surface;
weedy vacant lots become playgrounds for sleds,
loud voices are muffled
as snow continues to fall
hides a multitude of sins


Welcome back to the Kitchen, Nancy Haskett, and thanks for the fine poems! Nancy now has a collection available on Amazon from IF Books, titled
Shadows & Reflections, which is available at

Today at 2pm, Poetry of the Sierra Foothills features Stephen Meadows with his new book,
Winter Work, at Chateau Davell in Camino. Then at 4pm, Sacramento Poet Brad Buchanan celebrates the release of his new book, Chimera, with a Facebook Live reading. Click UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS at the top of this column for details about these and other future poetry events in the NorCal area—and keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.




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.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Poets in the Rain

—Poetry by Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Michael Lee Johnson
My life began with a skeleton
with a smile and bubbling eyes
in my garden of dandelions.
Everything else fell off the edge,
a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.
When young, I pressed
against my mother’s breast,
but youthful memories fell short.
I tried at 8 to kiss my father,
but he was a welder, fox hunter,
coon hunter, and voyeuristic man.
My young life was a mixture
of black, white, dark dreams,
and mellow-yellow-sun-bright hopes.
Rewind, sunshine was a stranger
in dandelion fields,
shadows in my eyes.
I grabbed my injured legs
leap forward into the future.
I’m now a vitamin-C boy;
it keeps me immured
from catching colds or Covid-19.
Everything now still leaks, in parts,
but I press forward.


Staggering out Wee-Willy's
dumpy dive bar, droopy eyes,
my feelings desensitizing,
confusing my avocado fart,
at 3:20 a.m., with last night
splash on Brut aftershave.
Whispering to my outcast
self-sounding is more like pending death.
My body detaching from myself,
numbed by winter's fingers.
I creak up these outside stairs
to my apartment after an all-night drunk,
cheap Tesco's Windsor Castle
London Dry Gin—on the rocks.
I thought of Jesus
how He must have felt
during His resurrection
dragging His holy body
up that endless stairwell
spiraling toward heaven.
Inside this late October 31st night,
this poem turns into a pumpkin.
Animation, something has gone
devilishly wrong with my imagery.
I take the lid off the pumpkin’s headlight
and the pink candles inside.
Demons cry, crawl, split, fly outsides—
escape through the pumpkin’s eyes.
I’m mixed in fear with this scary, strange creation.
Outside, quietly tapping Hazel the witch,
her broomstick against my windowpane rattles.
She says, “nothing seems to rhyme anymore,
nothing seems to make any sense,
but the night is young.
Give me back my magical bag of tricks.
As Robert Frost said:
  “But I have promises to keep, 
  And miles to go before I sleep.”

Most poems are pounded out
in emotional flesh, sometimes
physical skin scalped feelings.
It’s a Jesus hanging on a cross
a Mary kneeling at the bottom
not knotted in love but roped,
a blade of a bowie knife
I look for the kicker line
the close at the bottom
seek a public poetry forum
to cheer my aspirations on.
I hear those faraway voices
carrying my life away—
a retreat into insanity.

All poets are crazy. Listen to them soak
sponge in early rain medley notes sounding off.
Crazy, and suicidal, we know who they are:
Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas
the drunk, Anne Sexton, Teasdale.
This group grows a Pinocchio nose.
At times I capture you here under control.
I want to inspect you.
All can be found in faith once
now gone in time.
With all your concerns, I see
your eyes layered in shades of green,
confused within you about me.
Forgive me; I’m just a touch
of wild pepper, dry Screaming Eagle
Cabernet Sauvignon, and dying selfishly. 
We don’t know if it is all worth it.
I have refined my image, and my taste
continues to thrust inside your crevices.
Templates of hell break loose thunder, belches, and anomie.
Asteroid Ceres looks like you are passing gas,
exposes her buttocks, and moves on just like ice
on a balmy rock just like yours.
I will wait centuries, like critics, to review
this fecund body of yours—
soiled, then poppies,
poetry in the rain.

Today’s LittleNip:

Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.

—Anne Sexton


—Medusa, with thanks to Michael Lee Johnson for today’s poetry and photos!
 Michael Lee Johnson

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