Monday, May 20, 2024

Sybariticism for a Monday

—Nummy Illustration by Nolcha Fox
(and Microsoft Designer)

* * *

—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Taylor Dibbert, Caschwa, Sayani Mukherjee,
Joe Nolan, and Joshua C. Frank
—Joshua Tree Photos by Caschwa 

—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY

I left him at the altar
before the music played.
With running shoes
below my gown,
I grabbed the
on the tables,
made it out the door.
I was on the bus
before he knew
the day was off.
I’ll eat the sweets
in my pearl purse
and start a new
life where this
road trip ends.

—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales

A petit four, or five, all tray,
pink strip smoked salmon, more, whole fish,
glass Sauvignon or Chardonnay
from box dispenser on the side;
then steak and kidney, suet style,
gold treacle pudding, down side up,
to finish, stilton, glasses, port,
le petit déjeuner indeed.

Or is it grandma with grandkids,
the biscuits, sweets and other treats
that throws all routine to the winds?
E numbers ruin discipline—
I did rebuke her at the time
for surreptitious secrecy,
as guilty mask had told it all,
as soon the raving children would.

Our oldest, coins on the tree
unwrapped them all, as fairy saw,
his bedtime milk of chocolate,
then reshaped foil, so mint again,
but bilious throughout the night;
a punishment known as of now
by use, foil wrappers, dragon chase,
and that to foil cold turkey sweats.

The road to Canterbury, tales
whose Pardoner is here again,
with booming sales, indulgences,
foundation practice for Reform.
Permission, in advance, to sin,
a credit note held in account,
but only after church is bought,
enough to seek another lore.

It is a craving in itself
in old style discourse, wringing hands—
ever so humble, creepy snake,
beseeching me, Uriah Heap.
Unless it’s over—food of course—
the starter, main, then sweet, cheese board,
swirl brandy snifter with cigar,
too much of self, too little, health. 

—Taylor Dibbert, Washington, DC

He’s at a
Fancy airport lounge
In Doha and
He orders
A Blood Mary,
The guy
Behind the bar
Asks if
It would be okay
To use
Raspberry flavored vodka,
He decides
To go

With a scotch
And sparkling water

—Caschwa, Sacramento, CA

this morning I was in
the garage, on my way
to run some errands,
when I encountered a
Black Widow spider

so I looked around for
something suitable to
swat the spider and
the nearest thing handy
was a Woman’s Day
magazine sitting loose
on top of a pile of years-
old magazines waiting
to be recycled


mission accomplished. I
was able to borrow from
women to indulge one
of the needs that gents
have from time to time 


There have been moments
of heavenly joy, supreme
satisfaction, rich pleasures;
I would pray to anyone’s Gods
for those to visit me again

however most of the time was
occupied with baggage, household
chores, unfulfilled expectations

can’t recall how many times
I served as someone else’s
robot vacuum cleaner, with
never enough time to admire
the superior outcome; forced
to wear the lead-heavy reputation
of “you missed a spot” as if I
had promised to cleanse the entire
planet of Mother Earth herself

but ahh! those delightful moments
gave reason to struggle, to emulate
Sisyphus, to be able to look forward
to the time a neighbor gave me a free
ticket to a VIP seat at a Herbie Hancock,
Chick Corea concert at the Music Center
and I was also able to secure a vinyl
record of the event to keep and hold dear

so, even with all that baggage and stuff,
good things do happen. 


sticks, stones, and drones
can break all my bones,
then my word unheard,
brings on apathy absurd

the forces they use
the targets they choose
to leave me bare naked
without any shoes

it is not my religion
to shoot every pigeon
I intend no such harm
not even a smidgeon

can’t we all just get along
different voices in the same song
work toward peace and harmony
without righting every wrong?

let the freedom of jazz
be our boldest pizazz
off beat here and there
but welcome same as 


we know by the time
we’re a few years old
what number our age is
as good as gold

but we don’t know the fact,
just recite what we are told
like saying please or thank you
to get us in the mold

our birth weight and dimensions
aren’t memories that we hold
like John Hancock’s signature
so heavy and bold

we may know what a flag is
but not how to fold
we learn later on there
is a special way it’s rolled

fortunately, on our own
we do know warm from cold
and manage to figure out the
difference of bought and sold 


give us the money
give us the money
we want it all
we will tell you anything
no lie is too tall

Rosie the Riveter
Rosie the Riveter
all volunteers
our game is much different
we play to your fears

funding for Israel
funding for Israel
we need to raise the bar
buy the corporate CEO
another luxury car

keep the money flowing
keep the money flowing
doesn’t matter what the cause
the corporation needs more funds
there’s no excuse for pause

we’ve wars to fight
we’ve wars to fight
need full support, not half
doesn’t matter what flag they raise
our corporate banner’s top staff 

—Sayani Mukherjee,
Chandannagar, W. Bengal, India

I asked the divine rhythm to
Paint my dreamscape a little more drowsy
A Keatsian mumbling I pine for
Pine forests all around my dappled-branches
The rose garden spoke a little louder
For full of groomings a nebulous touch
The sky's limitless fantasy, a historic algorithm
Oh my godly hour I speak to my angels
For the love of vintage murmurings
A hissed purple hibiscus I care for
As the lonely hour called for the blameless rose. 

—Sayani Mukherjee

A partly frisky fall, a lonely jump
Across the plane
A watershed benchmark
Full of throttled wishes
The macabre knew what to do with anxiety
Your face a full-flanked rose garden
Tattooed in Australia, knows what to do
Coming over a backfired cameo at the end
Why is that blue flower so small?
I floated friskly at the fall garden
Silencing the primary force
For all at once I swarmed a whole gypsy plane. 

—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

Each wound we take
We hope will heal.
The pain it makes
May make us kneel
And pray to our Provider.

We pray it makes
Us wider
And wiser.

When we heal
Return we go
Back to what
Had held us,
Glad mercy
Thus had
Blessed us. 

—Joe Nolan

In speaking with
A little girl
Who’s disappeared,

Replaced by
Someone larger,
Gone away,

There were things
I’d thought to say,
But didn’t

And now the one
To whom
I thought to say them
Is gone.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joshua C. Frank

Star-filled, full-moon night
Frogs and crickets make music
For one little girl

(First published in
Asahi Haikuist Network)


This week has two events of note: The deadline for nominations in Davis for the next Poet Laureate is Friday (5/24); and, also on Friday, UC Davis presents its SAYS University “School is My Hustle” 13th Annual Summit College Day. Click on Medusa's UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS ( for details about these and other future poetry events in the NorCal area.

And our thanks today to all these nummy poets, with equally fine photos of Joshua Tree National Park ( from Caschwa (Carl Schwartz), plus Nolcha Fox’s illustration of our Seed of the Week, Indulgence. All of these poetry wonders gives me goosebumps…!


—Public Domain Illustration

A reminder that
Poetry in Motion read-around
meets in Placerville today, 10:30am;
Women’s Wisdom Art has a
prose poem reading this afternoon, 1pm;
and Sacramento Poetry Center begins
a new monthly feature of poetry and music,
PB&J Night, 7:30pm.
For info about these and other
future poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
 during the week.

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