Rattlesnake was in full force at The Book Collector last night, Wednesday. Kathy Kieth and her incredible ensemble did not disappoint the rowdy crowd that brimmed at the mid-town used book store. Traditionally known for hosting the POEMS-FOR-ALL Series on Second Saturday, Richard Hansen stood comfortably behind the counter, wondering what may-hem would strike as the audience members appeared so much louder than the featured readers, Song Kowbell, and Todd Cirillo.
The battle of sexes was apparent to all of the attendees, including those that dot-dotted out on the street. Cunt! say it! retorted Kowbell. Even Rhony Bhopla, the editor of an erotic journal kept her mouth sealed, as the rest bellowed the intriguing word. (The hesitation was probably because the word is such an enigma. Which part are we really referring to?) Bhopla was invited to read from her broadside Tulip Stem, of which she chose an apt piece called "himsa" undoubtedly revering M.K. Gandhi and addressing the current tumultuous state of war (in this case it was the battle between men and women.) Kieth's comment: It was an exotic oasis in the midst of all those rowdies!
Cirillo's rattlechap, Everybody Knows the Dice are Loaded, streams with anticipation of love and war between the sexes, and at times within oneself. His endearing breaths between each poem were also cut short with mockery from the rowdy croud. Women decidedly competed, stating which poem was about her. The love-hate continued. If love is hilarious, Cirillo captured the endearing emotion:
One Way Fare
the public bus.
The Priorities of Poets
We had planned
a real poets' night out;
"I'm not going
to make it tonight."
What else could be a priority? I thought, a night with a beautiful woman, or letting go of another pebble in a sea of want? The answer came readily to all of us; I had no shame, as his voice tainted my decent perspective of poets and their idealistic altruism.
It was just right.
Available at the Book Collector, 1008 24th Street Sacramento, CA.
Published by Rattlesnake Press:
Lick Your Wounds and Want Again, Song Kowbell. $5
Everybody Knows the Dice are Loaded, Todd Cirillo. $5
Tulip Stem, broadside, Rhony Bhopla. Free!
Viper Editions, (poetry by youngsters). Free!