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



Snapshots
7/09/03






Our back-garden winter moss
has been tossed about
by birds gathering lining
for new nests.

Clear, still morning:
a tourist balloon passes
slowly over
advertising milk.

Pouring bubbly
for the lunch guest:
effervescence -
unlike our talk.

The floodlights for
night footy-practice
make the sports-field
glow like a pool table.

At Durrenmatt's The Visit:
monochrome cast
to set off the star,
back from Broadway.

In the foyer:
the star's memoir,
cover photo pretty
and vulnerable,

tonight's poster:
the aged star,
commanding,
ugly and strong.

Clear night sky
with Southern Cross;
Punt Road temperature
going down.

***

Shelf Life

Bookshops make me
fart, as if book-lust
stirs some gut pressure:

here may be the one
long-searched-for
book to save me.

Fearing others' nostrils,
I move to another
section for fresh air.

I atone by re-shelving
all the poets in strict
alphabetical order.

One day I'll nudge in
between Raworth
and Rimbaud.

Max Richards, North Balwyn, Melbourne, 6pm

***


last night / thanks to douglas / i learn this morning from poetryetc
mandalas of light unruly unfolded in front of my mental eye
accompanying me to where I cannot remember
into the darkness the quiet lack of them


today i am here with cecco d'ascoli - astrologer mathematician poet -
who was /not only/ burned at the stake- stood against dante
i have no idea if he prefers coffee or chocolate
henry if it rains will soon arrive
poetic lines and words
forging my soul

anny ballardini
bozen, italy, 10.58am, 7/09/03

***


Snapshot: After

I wake and the pain's gone.
Yesterday, my cheek like
knives in spiders' webs,
teeth thrumming down to
the ground of my being.
Now this truce in which I praise
mute sleep and Nurofen Plus (tm).

What set it off? Well,
Sunday I attended the 80th
birthday party of my new
partner's father. I'm 54 for
Christ's sake! Too old to be
working up to it for days then
falling straight after into
the torture hole! Too old to
be wanting to hide in the
toilet until it's over!

Common sense says that
it's all in the mind - we blow
up the thing until it's a threat
even if it's pretty lamblike.
But since when did this particular
soft machine crank itself with
common sense??

Oh well, I live to spend
another day in the valley of
shopaholism; poor little
gewgaws we are, at the mercy
of the throb and thrum, still
aloft, just, where others
were swatted like flies.

Norton Hodges
Oakham, Rutland UK 10:20 a.m.

***


I read Kathleen Raine's Guardian obituary
in the newsgroup
Yesterday I read it in the Times
To me she always had the vision
Although lacking in execution.
She was one of the few people
who liked my own poems
With Peter Levi
Whenever she got some Cat Poems
she would tell me stories of her own
beasts.
Her Autobiographies were so dreadfully
snobby
And full of Cambridge.
But the Guardian says that old she
realised her error.
The great panjamdrum of Temenos.
She is forgiven everything for her cats
And the love of the North.

Douglas Clark
Bath, UK, 11.50am

***


1. the dream of last week

each day as the lagoon runs
a rooster crows and mother and son
sit by the water, wash and play
I'm the stranger on the shore
that lonesome melody
like a muzak that flows
on some sweet gritty tide
annoying and tender
the throat can't make its assumptions
the trite may be true
against the white ghost of the swarm

2. tonight's tiredness

back into the safe of winter
closed and useless
the liquor of warmth
was a blanket
we shed in the taxi
scatter of aircraft fuel a reminder
you fly into paradise
but someone's always the loser
plane dumps you like cargo
but this isn't worship
curled against each other
waiting for spring's breadth

Jill Jones
Marrickville, Sydney, Australia, 10.10pm

***


THE WOMAN I LEFT YOU FOR

Give anything enough time.
I school I learned Time is finite,
that the orbit degrades, the sun
crashes into us or we will fall
into the sun. Irrelevant,
the chicken-egg conundrum:
the outcome is the same.

I left you, so I thought, because sarcasm
broke the dawn like a face-down on a murky field,
pointing dueling pistols at each other.
I left you because there was nothing
but accuracy of aim, wounds I thought
would never heal and have not yet.
Our marriage at the end was like
a field hospital at Gettysburg:
limbs and blood, screams of the dying.

I locked limbs elsewhere: unbroken,
alive, worth the price I'd pay
and did.
The orbit was high, touched stars.
No regrets, not even musings on Fate,
simply accept that this was Somehow Different.

Not so. I marry you again in sarcasm,
the snot-mouth vows of dawn, words
placed in another mouth, words
that mercy and time have taught me
to acknowledge but not to hear.
It is always the same orbit,
gravity always will degrade it.

You years ago chose anger, and I chose misery.
She chooses misery, I choose deafness,
and contemplate the universal orbit,
the fall inevitable toward earth.

Kenneth Wolman
USA, 8.45am

***


Drought

In this one we see the farmer you saw on TV talking
through dry, parched, cracked lips about the unfairness of
it all, of how the upstream counties and states *always* have
first dibs on the river's water whenever the river has water.

Behind him and the interviewer is a plate-glass window beyond
which we see a city street corner, traffic whizzing past, pedestrians
pausing to preen and reach for their cell phones when they see their
images on the monitors above the window on national TV, and

he looks oddly out of place, sitting there in his boots and denims,
jabbing one finger at his ear whenever the earpiece feels like it's
about to slip loose. He shares his fears that the government's
about to reduce the price supports that keep him "afloat."

He grins and makes little airborne quotation marks with two fingers
of each hand. Outside, on the sidewalk, pedestrians lean this way
and that, trying to let themselves be seen beyond his denim jacket's
shoulders. When his moment is over, he thanks his interviewer

and expresses the hope that we'll all understand his problems
and needs, and that we'll all do our best to save the family farm.

Halvard Johnson
USA, 9.47am

***


Dijkstra's illuminations are still beyond me.
The lanterns pass, one proof succeeds another
over forty years a commination
each mutilation of sense remarked upon
as sense goes on uncommon
audacious in its purity.

The basic things astonish and delight.
I am found out in my ignorance. It is late
for me to be starting off on Codd and Date;
to be learning that an algebra is - quote -
"a set of operations closed
over a domain". At school they taught
Algebra, not what an algebra was.

Dominic Fox
Leicester UK 23:53pm

***


Snapshot 11:

[a lesson in dramaturgy perhaps]

a friend calls me with a
denouement problem halting
her progress she describes
the scenario and starts
thinking aloud and for a while
i'm lost in the process
as well as the progress until
something clicks and we start
dreaming together discussing
resemblances recognizables the
sea the land the fascination
the seashore holds waves breaking
or gently lapping simply childhood
motherhood fatherhood opposites
differences sadness birth loss
post-natal depresssion and the
male's mental substitution for it
interplay and textures love and
society lorca and plato plus the
the significance of a familiar
folk-tale where a seal gives
birth to a human child the in-
compatibility of the two doomed
to separation and in time
having gone with the tide
the ebb and the flow
it all falls into place so
separation becomes natural

Árni Ibsen
Hafnarfjördur, Iceland
Around midnight

***


her cat
svelte sleek
black cat
as it ages
seems to be
turning into
a tea bag
a large fat
tea bag
that has
been used
too often
faded to
spotty sable
and definitely
leaking.

patrick mcmanus
raynes park ,uk 9am

***





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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