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



Snapshots
Chris Murray






hot & dry, the spiced
wasabes

to jaw & song
for a lunch-quick

green tea
& the series of

oh, okay: the serious
face to face, while

finger to finger
the salt yes

rolls around between
(there) oh yes

are the close
meetings

of late summer
cloud

& could, here to
decide who will

stay & not?--or
the beloved last

students I tarry
over smiling

farewells, farewells,
their polished letters

given on pages of no sound
so little life-texture,

shimmying no less
the slits of necessary

import & next week's new
well, hellos.

Chris Murray, Dallas, Texas, U.S. 11:08 p.m.

***


memory

you dog

you train

my head tilt & stray whistle

quaint
damp eye
companion
you who miss touch

firm touch, say,
a rail

you, today's memory: unkempt
sloppy love,
care & dry whys
what's left is the only
eyebrow

coat of dust
yelp & roll
along this suburban sprawl

I'll never who--

someone could
water
an entire lawn

while I stride
past a faint

train's O whistle of who-
cares & oil rigging
in-out lore

your barking O
distance

Chris Murray: Dallas, TX 10:50 p.m. 27 Aug 03



***


Today's List of Lists: Seven Things Reflexive With All My EM
Dashes Sparkling Just Below This
ABCsURfACE

Things are cooling off around here without heat--you

only need to hand out the sheaf of answer forms

one time

give all

quizzes it's quicker that way less work--

if your mailbox is near

its limit--Christine! You need

to call me now [who are you?]--nowadays

most prefer medium-well--WE ARE SO HAPPY

THAT OUR HOUSE IS GOING

TO GO THROUGH!--SEE THROUGH

THIS TURQUOISE DEAR

LOOK THEY HAVE FILLED

THE CAVITIES WITH GOLD AND POLISHED

THE ROUNDED JAG

OF IT SO SMOOTH OH THANK YOU thank you

THANK YOU I LOVE IT

--The cashier in the Minimart said so today.
--Overheard while walking past 2 science profs on campus yesterday.
--Message yesterday from Office of Information Technology.
--Phone message today from unidentified bill collector.
--Waiter, steakhouse, last night.
--Friends buying a first house, yesterday.
--Gift last night of turquoise bracelet from daughter just back from Arizona visit.

chris murray hmbl.thx.2hcic Dallas TX 12:00, 04 Sept. 03

***


Air a weather of gulf sins here, lugging the stuffed day around--
humid brown reruns of summer heat, diffuse squint-light.

Jump-south, ocean, & this air winding up its trillion
bald & stitch fast balls: surely, a hurricane is curving

unnatural crimson attitude to run home along the heavens,
their invisible corkscrews above this land-lock howl--

well, sure: they would call it Bible belt. At dinner, an oracle
of a man at the bar, who knows exactly how to sip Tuaca like my sly

granny, warns a comely woman: "Get your laundry
done today, girl--tomorrow's for downpour,"

and suddenly I've no trouble believing
everything in the world is always extreme

& can be found here. On the way out, a fiver for a trumpet player on the corner
working out a modern revolution of improv for all this:

covenant of eight--oh yes--
steamy but cheerful
& way too blue bars.

Chris Murray 12:00 9/10/03 Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

***


are you that one
of gravity's most
timothy aria,

recording your one cricket self tonight as if I lived near
a field of green gone full amber
sleeves lightweight some other fabric not reminders
of wool necessity, how apple limbs will
droop to ground, autumn--

are you that one,
tiny hop-quadraprints,
delicate crooked
& comb-toothed legs,
walking off unreadable
longer nights as if new

to the drumming gulf-sky rains--

are you that one, toeing a course
along vacated garden mounds
impressionists' carrot,
potato, jicama beyond the warm
patio stone--

clear-wide-eyed, oh you!--

is it you?--
dressing up for a night
of out-right body cry, sing:

or somehow is all that still very north--

granted: daily moving closer,
simple, cold--

we could not know
what code to make then kissed
instead for the lank of winter self

where you wedge or rest in the year's
lone hollow, cedar linger
& shavings,
scatterings on the loose
floorboard, penultimate
you in the shiny

anchor round of balance, wood stove,
its fourth magnificent, round weight of silver foot--
are you that one?

chris murray, Dallas TX, 18 Sept. 2003, 1:47 a.m.

***


Delay not mini Godot,
Let us go now, you're an eye
pouring Deleuze I'm the blue excelsior
unpacking wheelbarrow girls
wantering in neologisms

O Peter
Gabriel: "Red Rain"!
"red rain red rain is coming
down" this or that blue bird bread crumb way out of here

"pouring down" the midnight your
pronoun is showing blue mascara
coming urban inside pouring
faces together
playing dos gardenias para ti
Sartes, too, putty on favored grammar OMyAnyOne

Some say it is an army of Norsemen some mini hoplite
shine for your lonesome
Today Show Hostess
Cupcake rewind O Muy Red Rain
for more Simone:
pouring my not
mother was like that: her bluest falls
pouring out of Havasu rock--
to each of their wantering tongues this,
my overlove

Chris Murray, 25 Sept. 2003, Dallas TX, 2:30 a.m.
***


my luck riffs toward Z,
today's cicada
trees a-sway--
how a child resides
first in lingual Greek tyche
between eye, ear, a thick

mouthed here meeting
a so cream coffee man
leaning slow words
& Bach conjugations Z oh
nutmeg sprinklings & I
have met the worst word (romance)

so *mort* it's torch welded to a smooth pat
across cicada backsides & who needs that
ochre-pebble-bedded mouthfuls or
walkways for today insofar as (I love all
subtle Z-endings: transnational
transitionals)

I do not sleep-
in Z brimming harpy dreams
ridiculous or other-
wise presence but take all
the happies I can: enough to cite
cicadas

or confess
across any
blueberry
scone & double seam checkered
red/white tablecloth corner
draping surface light

as seeming ore gone to V
figuring adrift once again
how I love
when luck fits
Twin Earth cafe days: for you, a few sweet
twin gravities, love

Chris Murray, Dallas, TX, USA

***


thirteen ways of listening to a cricket

i.
all day
drizzle flecked

ii.
on air sweating
copper lawn

iii.
sirens across asphalt
ground

iv.
in a veil
of Texas

v.
crude & yellow
leaf turning air

vi.
through the salt alphabet
of infant

vii.
tears
naming a first noon

viii.
or day breaking
its noun porthole

ix.
of two
ampersand rigs

x.
in almond reverb
light

xi.
& neighbor's
asparagus fern spreading

xii.
oak breeze ting-ting
wind

xiii.
chime, your bare lips
slowed to a word

chris murray 10:41 p.m. 8 Oct. 03 Dallas, TX, USA

***


to her she is
"I'm likin' this
*Dirty Vegas* CD--
O ya kno--"
just sayin':

"Nice kinda Pink
Floyddy Brother
Cerulean zish +
more beat o hey!
street but yeah, plush--
unholy moss
to try out

gentling a new velvet
between notes
like patting chestnut
horses & few words
or (all six) walls--

an' ah
don't have to be
anywhere less'n
I want to
good mood it.

In a nice low flo
red dress.

Alot."

& me I'm O walking in button
downs

on asphalt crumbs
& ear
just
so after two
curbs,

random beginnings of hubcap shoutout
potholes
no doubt Victorian

is a spray in a deodorizing manufactury
mall
somewhere past the cease-
less vanilla traffic
on Cooper
Street's welcome

to Omigod Arlington
Texas US
Chris Murray
Dallas, TX
1137 p.m.


***


not that kind of low
pressure system

the jade buddha man
played a cheap skate-

board video game
til 5 ayem

when the temp dropped 10
60/50

in half an hour no
tornado though

she says looking so
bored her Red Stripe

shaves 2 inches
tipped close to gloss

lip & hummed outkast
songs sinking all

this to her background
deep girl heaven

Chris Murray 10:08 p.m. Dallas, Texas

***


waking to loss, not knowing
what of, how--the next
oak leaf loss?--

weaving its way through linens
& a freezing still-
gone word loss--

not cold temperature, no:
that timed, short motion--
life until,

hearing the piped catch
of fuel-engine-strut
outside I

can see exactly how
this idea globe has
no idea

of clear loss, how loss will suck
dry every corner:
lost beings--

Modersohn-Beckers, umbra
cradles I have thought
more of (less

loss--sun more lumin to float,
substanceless uber-
shadows to

scarve the still-working-face) my
friends, flat loss, reading,
even as

sun smacks the balm of day's luck,
that unheard shake of it--
loss aloud

Chris Murray Dallas, TX 26 Nov 03 11:47 p. m.

***


that one?--cruel
as hangnails, or these dry browning curls
of pine-needles on the walkway--
do I love your wavy

love,
in winter we are smoking
to look around the grind
of a backhoe always climbing
for more mud

a backbone a man-made mountain a noon

hello to rebuild
after some (ever-accidental) fire
wipes out a power plant:
it happened to me, you say, here.

I know
under the anorexic sun, a pool of basic lettering

sunlit twig crisp warm as cheek skin: our words
& a little well
of breast
warming for everyone: women know

how he drives wild
his own irony: true, women smoke over him
more, so many more cigarettes
compose him in memory

& even he finds women
so sidewalk-lucky after him

now that infernal backhoe toddles
over another round mound it wants
to be a train chugging up
a wonder of women--

are you reactionary?--

as if whatever rude glue
he spent is not already full
of a crush some pink melon the labial curious
tender

chris murray 04 Dec 03 12:55 a.m. Dallas, Texas U.S.

***


sip lemon honey tea

doctor nodding: flu

so boring: flu

tea sip lemon sip honey

tea honey sip lemon sip

honey lemon tea

(so boring!)

lemon tea honey

sip sip sip

so boring oh

so flu

the doctor says tea is good

oh

the memory-granny adds wrap

a fire-warm

brick in flour-sack kitchen towels

stow in foot of bed wrap

your feet to form oh

kisses around

your tea & honey

& lemon then add

the rest

well

get well

sip

Christine Murray Dec. 17, 2003

***


Armsreach frayed
paperbacks
Olson Maximus
Dickinson Open
Me Carefully
make hard
pillows

undreaming the mouth
& buttercreme dream
of TV 800 number quilt
& strip mall
lending some I
to say

a
New plucking leap
Year nothing Kandinsky would warm
over nor love too iceberg
massive nor tame
orchid small to
violet rain

cloudy or
candy

mandolin
instead this fine of its
playing weathered
little ribbon of commonplace very

cold sipping
spumante.

chris murray Dallas, TX, to PoetryEtc folks:
Wishing All a Very Fine New Year, 2004
5:30 p.m. 31 Dec. 03



***


Here it's eighty degrees to mystify January

there the Maestro winds himself up inside

to go full bore

as if the last clock-spring has come undone,
or a corkscrew pressed too far,
or a slinky toy gone out of control down stairs

the whirrrr
& Alla Marcia, body sweating
the brown hair, dampening by camera
Ritenuto, controlled to going
full forte in Vivaldi's Summer

the Al Fine bee crescendo

& the back up violinists bowing up
bowing down
scribbling to swarm into
one body, Presto

What the the announcer has to say: air
outside of Lincoln Center is 10 degrees. Period. Inside glistening plurals,
violin hive

pitch of Molto spell

Ad Libitum, no weather
in this
wordlessness

Chris Murray Dallas, Texas: Wed-Thurs, 15 Jan 04, 12:41 a.m.

***


A gentleman of the measured 3 p.m.
watery sun
apace

my thought on papers I'm
inside the dove

gray concrete
shadows I concentrate

squinting at construction

work ahead just as
we brush
between

on the one hand a thick painted tan
brick computer hall
of grated windows

On the other
the tic-tac-toe linoleum military
college
folded neatly inside

the square stucco
administration

building's
sparkling door of loud flags
He bends
past clipped
hedges a decisive
holly-type

walking
moon haired

leans
to say
in soft plaid
cheer
Can you tell

if we go this way
will they

let us
through

or is everything
fenced off ahead, too?

Chris Murray, 22 Jan 04 Dallas, TX 1:00 a.m.

***


electronic curving:
eyelash of letterings
so wistful

morphing to balloon yet
another "Signed

X" and "Date": all the clerks
are reading the same amazing
romance novel behind the divide

or watching the outside
sparrow
flock turn to a familiar

mood a filmy crossing one row
of six absolute--why

does no letter beyond
math
in this spectacular alphabet
form a square?--
(seriously: anyone know?)

windows of
the world have long been united in cinder
block square frames
like here

not unlike
the manila business
of an afternoon's
sun come filing in
pale

renewal clerks
at the motor vehicle
department who might give
the state's precocious
stamps & red pens
away forever

wear pointy badges
in gray desserts of bored
or hollow metal
sounds over
curled hair
& being

idle in the late winter gloss
& scrape of plastic desk inserts
for the in or the out wire
baskets & the grimed desk
trays posing like stage crew with 17
inch monitors

chris murray, Arlington, TX, 10:30ish, 10 March 04

***


dyeing black cherry
her roots "to look magazine
luscious again"
the child also speckling
the mirror
& remarking

as her growing anima
clouds fur
partially the big blue hole above
physics & no

& behind blank pane
gray--
"mama i am just...

so bored"-- as history groomed in textbooks beyond here

& mirror wise
o i think her one
head not padded nearly
enough as patting thin
towels
though she will be groomed

so I say
dear ever so "bored"
to be so

no is
but a cracked
kiosk the handbill letterings
amelt in rain
& hand
of want

careful to offer one eye
to the peeling
balcony rusting
its lean panther
almost completely off

plumb the one note late
April air
conditioning another Texas
purr

chris murray DFW TX 22 April 04

***




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.

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