All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.

Chris Jones

crystal frost on grass
vibrating ache in fingers
dead tomato vines

Chris Jones (somewhere near Sydney)


With upraised breast and in the attitude of a man drawing in breath:
thus he stood there, the sublime man, and silent.

Hung with ugly truths, the booty of his hunt, and rich in torn clothes;
many thorns, too, hung on him-- but I saw no rose.

A trap of thorns beckons his touch. I hear him cry out; please don't
make me live a lie!

He writes: this is a taste I do not expect others to share; while arguing
for his taste, in dispute against those who do not share.

Taste: that is at the same time weight and scales and weighter; and woe
to all living creatures that want to live without dispute over weight
and scales and weighter!

But I am just a poet. We know too little and are bad learners: so we
have to lie.

For on this stage we are excellent players. Does he yet understand he is
playing the role of the sublime man on the stage of Zarathustra?

Perhaps I am malicious and evil?

My needling brings flak onto another whipping boy. Conveniently
forgetting that he did first attack his whipping boy, who was responding
to myself who was the one who mentioned that which he attacked his
whipping boy for as decadent, he claims to not understand the objections
his revenge brings! The dishonest coward! Not even worthy of the role of the sublime man!

Jagged barbs of decapitated rose stems without fragrance and bloom and unknown hope. How ugly can a sublime man get?

Chris Jones


It would be fifty degrees Celsius standing here on the black soil at two
in the afternoon. I walk a few metres to the lighter clay spread out
some two hundred metres or more with round hard silica stones polished
by a glacier in the last ice age. The sun unshielded by the thinning
ozone layer turns my white skin crimson red. I get in the Land Rover and
drive a few kilometres south to the black basalt dyke with broken lumps
of heavy rock in the middle of the paddock. To the west as far as my eye
can see is a thin line of dirty green on the horizon. To the east blue
mountains once an active volcanic range. Back at the homestead the air
is still. My skin is simmering crimson hot. A black snake wriggles
quickly across the hot ground and into the fish pond garden hunting
green frogs. I pour myself a rum and coke and sit quietly sipping
in the shade of a garden bush. Late spring and the ants are busy
collecting food anticipating a flood to break the drought. I smoke a joint and
pour myself another rum and coke, waiting for nightfall. The first signs
of heatstroke begin.

Chris Jones


Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (, was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (, while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon ( Poetryetc is now archived at and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon

These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.