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



Snapshots
Robin Hamilton






Is it still Wednesday?
Check the Date. That's a relief --
Still time to snapshoot.

Robin Hamilton
Loughborough UK/East Midlands 13:29:21

***


(For the memory of Veronica Forrest-Thomson)

the best cannot manage any proportion:

"sufficient unto thy death is the day thereof ... "

In slumberland, the ghosts glide driftily ....
so long the agony, so long the grief:
*such* an enormous sorrow.

... yet another Wednesday,
yet another grief

(lente lente curite noctes equae ...)

wounds dripping from a page torn from a diary --

how long the irony? the grief?

Repetition!
Finality!
Off the edge of the page, Madonna Bones?

Sometime, nevertime, everywhen old grief --

too sad, too bad, too
long the algebra:
it's that
cold locus where we once played games.

Nevertime as such a time, as that time when -- once again, old chug

But

... there was a griefy time I'd have liked to end this in prose, but the harsh lust for rhythm cuts in, inexorable.

too sweet. too pure. too clear.

I must drift into prose sometime again still, but it's difficult - that long morning on the mountainside ...

That long Wednesday which we once called home.

Hey,
look,
don't worry --
I'm alive,
I'm living

still.

Like you,
my love,
poems
to nowhere,
no one,

{let's write in the margin
-- not ever seriously, or ever to die for,

&

don't ever trust this,
or ever trust me again:

Every which_one, every where/when.

4U my dear
est one }


RH

Dateline/Placetime:

Here.
There.
Neverwhen. (now)

... for Veronica, who was born the same year as me.

Robin Hamilton, Loughborough, UK

***


Awake at ten, unusual, and
words in my head. Fragments.

Marion saying, "Why do they all hate him, Robin?
Is it because he's so handsome? Or successful?"
(A propos of our current lariat, Andrew Motion.)

Well, there's a quick answer to that, but one
I didn't say to Marion, she being his daughter's
godmother.

It occurred to me last night, and this seems somehow
connected, that people not brought up on the Street
baffle me -- Glasgow Washington Florence Birmingham --

Different codes, but the same body-language. Give me
thirty seconds and I can tune in, as when
I diced with a Washington crips gang -- they took me for
a CIA nark, at first -- silly, really, to be wearing
a camera there and when. But no problem.

My Street
was Denniston in the sixties, gives you
a sense of perspective. There are some rougher --
I doubt I'd like to tangle with the New York maff --
but not many.

But cowboy saviours --
That's James Baxter, the term seems to fit.

I understand him, I understand dave,
The Street's the Street. What I realise
I don't understand are all those nice well-bred
polite English people who never walked the Street.

I like them, I even sort-of admire them, but
they're not me.

(For Cassie and Jen)

Robin Hamilton, Loughborough, UK

***


DICTIONARY GEEKS
I wake-up and realise it's still Wednesday, if only just
barely.

In my head, "cohorts".

Translate:

The grunts are pissed with their Top Sergeant.

Anglice, the squaddies are pissed-off with their line-manager:

warrant-officer ...

corporal ...

Slang, like Good Wine, doesn't travel.

... add to this the notorious flattening-of-tone in email
communication.

Words may die, like the slaughtered dodo, and in my sad
moments i regret the
death of a word more than the death of a species.

In due time, after the Singularity, they'll resurrect the dear
dead dodo
from the ashes of its dna.

But a hundred years on, who'll know that a rude boy is not
Rastafarrian but
more broadly Jamiacan slang?

Sad that, but.

The Toy Boy.
Robin Hamilton
Loughborough UK
20.32

***


AND ATTERCOP SAT SMILING ALL THE WHILE ...

For some reason I remembered attercop ...

1. A spider.

c1000 Sax. Leechd. I. 92 Wi' attorcoppan bite.

2. fig. Applied to a venomous malignant person.

3. Misapplied to: A spider's web.

Oh, well, tomorrow's from Basin Street to Broadway at the Town Hall.

And yesterday I picked-up a CD of Blind Willie McTell at the cornershop.

So now I know why the laid lady laid upon Dylan's big brass bed.

I wish I could work-out how to sell this stuff ...

Somewhere, there *has* to be a rich & hungry grad student who'd sell
his
eye-teeth for a line on how the final version of Bembo's speech in book
four
of The Courtier draws on Pico's commentary on Benivienni's Canzone, not
Ficino ...

My Italian is so useless ...

Maybe I should advertise on ebay: For Sale -- germinal phids, offers
invited.

Or maybe not.

Tomorrow I decorate the hall.

It's always tomorrow, isn't it?

If it's not yesterday, so far away.

Robin Hamilton
9.20am
Loughborough

***


ANOTHER WEDNESDAY

"And that one which is death to hide does not lie with you
useless..."

Did I ever tell you I was taught by Ernst Honigman at Glasgow in the
sixties?

Briefly, tangentially, he was on his way up and out to a chair at
Newcastle.

Later, he shafted me over a grad application to Newcastle which turned
on Donne's Spanish authors and he zapped me as I didn't read Spanish.

... which was more than mildly lunatic as Donne was reading his Spanish
Authors in Latin, which i knew but Ernst apparently didn't.

Like an old lag who complains because he was fitted-up for the one
burglary
he *didn't* do, that annoyed the hell out of me.

Ernst was a real tight-assed bastard, but he said one thing that always
stuck in my mind, vis a oddly enough vis the sonnet you reference --

"A disagreement over the punctuation of a Milton sonnet is quite enough to
justify terminating a friendship."

I was maybe eighteen at the time, and it struck me as more than somewhat
mad. Little did I know ...

I do so wish you'd get off Milton-L. Jeezus that list has to be the
pits,
American noyau hierarchy. If you want a scholarly one, try Ficino,
the haunt of recidivist Neolatinists. There simply aren't enough
Neolatinists
in the universe to create a hierarchy. Or if you can stand the heat,
SHAKSPER -- deeply take-no-hostages.

Ho hum my watch tells me it's 7.20, but whether at night or in the
morning
... Whatever, it's black outside.

Robin Hamilton Loughborough 19.35

***


"any feedback you choose to leave after it arrives will be returned the very same day"

                          Daddy, what's your ebay name? Password?
                              What max bid should I put in?
                          Daddy, bite your credit-card.

Robin Hamilton
Loughborough. 1.57 pm.

i. m. Sarah M. (Mulcahy) Schwartz,
born this day --17 December 1897

***


LOOKING AT THIS SCAR REMINDS ME ...

(after Edwin Morgan's Arnheim)

Having no memory, I collect
postcards / and such
to remind me of holidays.

I'm looking at one now:

From hell, the souvenirs are stones.

Robin Hamilton
L'bro // 53 minutes into Wednesday

***


Somewhere in Raynes Park
      a boot stamps down.
           Ouch!

Save me save me save
     from that rainy zimmer frame.
           Tomorrow Patrick will solve global warming.

Robin Hamilton Loughborough. 5.12 pm.

***


A THOT

When i was very, very young, i preferred Lowell to Berryman.

     Then, one day, i was sitting on the top of a Glasgow bus,
                 reading Berryman ...

(the Faber Selected)

     ... and the rhythms chopped across every bump
                 the bus made over the old tram-lines.

Now THAT'S rhythm, as Fats Waller said.

     I really admired Berryman (as well as his art):
            he put-off suicide for as long as possible.

Comes down to it, life is simply a process of postponed-dying.

ROBIN HAMILTON L'bro
3.54 pm.
This Wednesday.

***



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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