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



Snapshots
07/03/03






gosh isn't
wednesday?
but no snapshots
in my inbox
what have those
australians
been doing?
have they
forgotten
or didn't
they have
wednesday
down there?
or are they
all in love?
will have to
make do
with the
spam.

patrick mcmanus
raynes park uk 8am

***


The canal swallows the viewer's horror
and offers it back to the next
generation: 'Here is your inheritance.

Clean the sludge off with your gossip
about the Hebrew teacher, the party's edicts -
every empty warehouse condemns

the flag your father raised, the market you
descend to. Wear your trinkets
when you visit: I'll reflect them
faithfully, the way a believer should.'

David Howard, Max Gate, Purakanui

***


Snapshot: Split Personality

Death is the postman,
shaved head and shorts,
shirt-sleeved and slight.

Death is the paper boy,
gangly and blond,
whose burden is light.

Death is Tim,
working all day,
and his manicured wife.

Death is old Jim,
sweeping the lawn,
he's cut like a knife.

Death is the kids,
who screech round and round
on mountain bike tyres.

Death is you,
weeding the beds,
making a fire.

Death is the painter,
rattling his cans,
all brilliant white.

Death is me,
survivor of day,
not always of night.

Norton Hodges, Oakham, Rutland UK, 11.01

***


Being doused with warm
baby-puke feels good at first
then it goes clammy.

Shirt and shoes are soiled -
I type in my dressing-gown.
The computer purrs.
Now she wants a feed.
Her round belly is empty -
funny how it goes.

Dominic Foz, Leicester, UK, 10.47pm

***


Landscape

Rain it is
and gorges
sometimes cascades
and of course
marshes, rivers, streams.
And lakes?
Yes, lakes.

There are mountains, too,
and plateaux,
valleys.

The crevices are careless,
and the trees are simply there.

Look ahead now
and see the cows
asleep on the grass.
Yes, asleep,
even as the farmer cuts the hay
and roses grow near the house.

Always watchful for the birds
who fly near the mushrooms.
The farmer is hesitant;
his wife is weary.

Harriet Zinnes, NYC, USA, 4.28pm

***


Kitchen sounds on fire

Look in
Oven in flames
Fat on fire
Lost my steak
Not much fat
Too lazy to clean pan last weekend
Takes ten minutes to burn out
Black smoke everywhere
Lost my steak
Eat salad
Scrub grillmesh and pan
Wipe soot off oven
Eat banana
Cat sticks close as smoke dissolves
Better luck with pork tomorrow.

Douglas Clark, Bath, UK, 10.15pm

***


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

***


THIS FILM CONTAINS LANGUAGE

The presenter with the lopsided smile
twinkles: 'our hero may look like a loser
but he charms the knickers off the girl,

and that's just in the first quarter-hour...
enjoy.' Before the titles comes
a warning voice-over:

'this movie contains violence,
nudity, and adult themes'.
I'll watch, in that case.

But the violence is ultra,
the nudity antiseptic,
the themes desultory.

The next movie promises
'strong sex scenes, drugs, language'.
I'll watch, in that case.

The drugs cause havoc,
a dreadful warning,
nothing ecstatic.

The language Polish
subtitled in English
pains only the squeamish.

The sex? strangely un-erotic,
or is it me, grown
sadly sclerotic?

Max Richards, North Balwyn, Australia, midnight

***


SNAPSHOT 10

a white emptiness
framed
by a rectangle of dirt
on the wall
where grandfather's photo
used to hang
an intense silence
framed
by my awareness
of this house
where grandfather's footsteps
could be heard

Árni Ibsen, Hafnarfjördur, Iceland.10:30 p.m.

***


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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