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Friday, April 21, 2017

Elizabeth Herron Workshop, May 6th at the Laguna de Santa Rosa

Elizabeth Carothers Herron will be leading a special writing workshop, Saturday, May 6th, 10 am to 4:30 at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa. Entitled "Writing the Watershed: Poetry and Prose," it is for especially for writers seeking a deeper connection to our beloved Sonoma County landscape. For more information, please go to

Also see below for an incredible poem by Elizabeth, first published in the Free State Review.

Dead Snake
by Elizabeth Carothers Herron

Ovoviporous snakes hatch their eggs inside
and bear their young live. But she was hit
torn open by the tire, and here they are
half out her, some dragged and blurred
over the pavement. Close to term, perfect

tiny replicas of her – gray-brown, the long
stripe down her side pale green or yellow gold.
It’s hard to tell with the dust, and the way
the color fades when life goes.  What if
they were inside me, so if you slit me open

they would spill out in a slithering lump?
Think of my own eggs in their thin sacks
like the granular roe of shad pressed
to the roof of my mouth with my tongue,
or translucent, glistening like flying fish roe

which I eat on sticky white rice. My eggs
a delicacy wasted, one by one
in their lonely descent, their brief lodging
their final exit beautifully wrapped
in their bloody bedding. I wish you could see

how deep and red it is, how it flowers
open on white cotton, or blossoms
on water, widens, fades into a pale pink
tinge. Sometimes so thick even clotted,
the drops hold their shape the way fudge

after you’ve beaten it a long time
holds together when you drop it into cold
water off the end of a spoon -- this
rich blood, this necessary nourishment my body
give up, belongs to the Mother’s garden

as this snake, medusa bellied, unarticulated
eye still clear and shining, this sad and
beautiful snake, swinging grotesque
and miraculous in her holy multiplicity
when I lift and carry her on a stick

to the grass beside of the road -- already
she is everywhere, her eggs the still green
beaded buds amid the small sharp leaves
of coyote bush will open creamy white
flowers staining the hills with the smell of honey.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Jonah Raskin and Steve Shain present April/May readings with music from AURAS at local Sonoma County Libraries

(from "Auras")
By Jonah Raskin

In the grotto of grief,
a slip of a girl
greedy for her own
bony self to call
out to her and

for her pumping turquoise heart
to remember the streets
she has walked,
the cigarettes she has begged
from bankers in bowlers
bent by the wind,
along the carrion canal,
winding toward the palace,
in place of
love betrayed,
that delivered her to
the grotto of grief
beneath the

among the skeletons
wrapped in linens against
all the dust of the ages,
the candlelight leading
her blind turquoise heart
to the kind knife
of healing and
the healing of
the kindest knife.

Steve Shain on bass