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



Snapshots
Mark Weiss






Panic among the window-makers.

Here by the lake
in the duff beneath pine trees
light so bright at the crest of each small ripple
it becomes absence of knowledge. I can hear
the sway of branches
and the creak of an oarlock in the tethered boat
these lines in a notebook nonetheless
the loudest sound.

It's a story of lost and found and lost
and found again.

Here, where given time all things
become indigo.

The burden of not believing
that things will remain the same.

The mistress of bubbles.

In the timescale of childhood
it had always been there.

Mark Weiss, San Diego, and, in memory, a lake in New Hampshire, 3.35pm, 7/03/03

***


The internal stream presents itself. What matters is at what point to
intervene. I'm reading on the john. A fly buzzes around me, and I think
to swat it with the paper, and then imagine a pink smear of fly jam on the
page, absently rubbing it with my finger and just as absently
tasting. And the thought, through attachment to a memory that serves for
matrix, transforms to

"absent the mind,
Renfrew eats flies."

Can one eat one's fly
and have it?

Mark Weiss
USA, 2.42pm, 7/23/03

***


It's a sense of decorum causes us
to divide the vegetables
*
Left to right right to left
she rubs her nose.
*
Away from home and other bteeth
wsill eat my tomatoes.
*
Almost the white of the oleander
just a hint
of green but nonetheless
becomes invisible
when it folds its wings.

Something here, I guess
it guesses, would eat
a butterfly.
*
A scant rain, discrete drops, a hammer-blow
to a hummingbird. * The second generation of flowers on my night-blooming cereus
wait for dark, a flower a night,
and between its ridges tiny snails
suck for nutriment.

Mark Weiss
San Diego, USA, 7/30/03

***


THE REVENGE OF ARTIFICE AGAINST ITS MAKERS

Hummingbird sits on a sharp spear
of yucca, surveys the garden
for intruders. It has
sugar, and sugar
is power.

Here in America in exchange for universal hatred we get
cheap goods made by slaves. What? you wanted
something for nothing?

And if I were a bird I would fly--

As perfect as the rock would let them,
given their skill.

The rules by which one liquid penetrates another. From which upsprings--

Do you mind? I'm fisting a chicken.

Is it bestiality if the bird is dead?

Mark Weiss

***


THE LURE

1

She wears
her heart
on her left
breast, pink
as her nipple,
as her organdy dress,
and pierced by an arrow
that could be the hook
for whatever fish. Try
not to look
at it, she says, try
not to touch it.

2

Later she tells me that she wears her heart
to keep her students focused
on what she has to teach them.

Mark Weiss, USA

***


Today an ocean wind peels back the overcast, so that the wall of smoke
stands off to the east, at the fire's landward edge.
Beneath it
abandoned villages, some consumed, the survivors report,
in moments, the fire
so hot it melted cars. Houses scattered amidst firs and pines,
long meadows of yellow grasses peppered with cattle,
wildflowers,
low-flying birds,
buzzards and hawks above, gone now. One village is crowded with men and
equipment:
they've made a stand, and helicopters drop buckets of water. The fire
shoots shards of flame
across roads around and above the heads of the men.

Maybe there will be some acres of green
amidst the charcoal, maybe not, and maybe the sun will
rise tomorrow.

Mark Weiss
San Diego

***


The soil burned black. In places
an overlay of ash where a tree had been,
stretched in the direction of the wind,
as if the wind
had left its shadow in passing.
In other places
where there had been no wind
and a slow burn
a small circle, a dome
the color of bones,
perhaps an inch above the blackened soil,
the footprint of the missing tree
marked for the moment
(until the next wind)
by what the fire left.

Mark Weiss

***


Hanging on
her every
word and
hearing not
a one, he thinks
that none
of her characteristics
are secondary.

Mark

***


Sculling clubs upon Yarra.

All-girl crews in blue-and-white jerseys the cox in red and on a bike path
a coach with a bullhorn "square your shoulders, girls."

All manner of birds not known—this one
the size of a small pigeon
white underside black back and a black
bib the rest pied feeds on the bank the beck
of bug and worm, the look of a bug and worm eater.
I make it fly so as to see
that its wings are striped white. Elegant
small black legs black eyes. Right next to me it grabs a worm
and swallows. A magpie
lark. Hark
hark.

Knees to chest the breast
flattened, vulva
presented. "And stroke!"

Make a muddy track
by the river.

Presuppose that it's dusk
and cloudy
on the cusp of Spring,
the city all around us.

Black swans with red beaks, a horizontal band of white
at the tip.
They feed on grasses.

Mark Weiss

***


"The oldest pub in town," the tv says.
And the smiling barmaid:
"It was the wild west," she says, "Wyatt Earp"
she says "drank here, there was a brothel
upstairs." Pleasure
for some, for others
not. She smiles, her teeth
are perfect, her eyes
glisten. How'd
you have liked it,
I think, that work
upstairs.

Mark Weiss, somewhere in the USA
***



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 www.wildhoneypress.com under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (http://www.saltpublishing.com), was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (cemery@saltpublishing.com), while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon (ajcroggon@bigpond.com). Poetryetc is now archived at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/poetryetc.html. 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.


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