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  April 2014
volume 11 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Scott Alexander
  Shawn Aveningo
  Jonathan Beale
  Jack G. Bowman
  Betsy Burke
  Matt Burns
  Shibani Chattopadhyay
  Rachel Coventry
  Tyler Dupuis
  Allison Grayhurst
  John Grochalski
  Hedy Habra
  Samantha Henderson
  Augustus Invictus
  Natalie Itzhaki
  Scott Jacobson
  Alex Johnson
  Mikel K
  Craig Kurtz
  Phillip Larrea
  N.M. Leepsa
  Anthony Magistrale
  Brendan McCormack
  Christopher Mulrooney
  Philip ONeil
  Ebi Robert
  Walter Ruhlmann
  April Salzano
  Jake Sheff
  Rishan Singh
  Julia Stein
  Allen Taylor
  Paul Tristram
  Wanda Vanhoy Smith
  Claire Walker
  Viola Weinberg
  Claire Williams
  mailing list
Viola Weinberg
April 2014



photo by mauricio alejandro ramos

    Viola Weinberg is Sacramento Poet Laureate Emerita, serving from 2000-2002. She has published 10 books of poetry and a text on child abuse. Viola’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, newspapers, magazines and online publications. She has contributed work to plays and musical compositions. For several years, she ran the Poetry Showcase for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival. In 2008, she was named the Glenna Luschei Distinguished Poet. Her new book, Tough Enough, a collaboration with the Tough Old Broads poetry group, will be published April 2019 by Cold River Press.
    Viola taught at CSU Sacramento, where she co-founded Women’s Studies. She has worked in commercial and public media, including PBS. Viola moved back into publications at Mother Jones Magazine, where she was the founding Director of the International Fund for Documentary Photography, now housed in the Leica Foundation. For years, she served in an international brain trust for the C.S. Fund on scientific and social issues.
    For the last 5 years, Viola has been fighting Stage Four cancer with hopeful results. She lives in rural Sonoma County with her husband, photographer Peter Spencer, and writes in a yurt.



The Venus of Urbino

Oh baby, you rose like a whiff of smoke from Dresden
Georgiones Sleeping Venus, so chaste, so crushable
Your eyes closed, lashes resting on cheekbones
The bumpy curves of you echoed by the distant hills
A place in the background that required a mans mind
To be whipped like a team of horses around your bends

Later, Titian loved you better, more passionately
You still reclined, but now awake, those eyes drilled
Holes into the souls of men, made for a brides chest, a war chest
Commissioned by a duke whose wife was far too young
You stretched out, arm flung up, tauntingly sexual, unfurling
the scent of a woman, with your delicious little arms and soft belly

The Duke of Urbino must have rubbed against the painting
or perhaps Titian did, desperately horny for the Duchess
I imagine you rolled you hip that way to make him groan
You thrust out and laid back and breathed in the shallows
Your little wisp of hair like a pennon for his lance, the marriage
of his blade at its hilt in your expensive little scabbard

By the 1800s, Manet had dispensed with pretention and painted
You as a prostitute with an African maid and a bouquet of flowers
forever in recline in afternoon light drifting in the dusty room hoisted
On your side looking bored, resolved and resigned as the light changed
Forever lounging, prepared to charge a man a fee
your hair, now blonde, curling on your forehead like a wave without a sea

copyright 2014 Viola Weinberg