as if i could travel over
Snapshot: My Tabloid Hell
Never had a threesome
with a Page 3 stunna and
her mate in a blizzard of cocaine or
a red rose at breakfast
in a cut glass vase.
Never seen the sun rise
in the desert after
backpacking all day
taut with restraint
or arrived home to a
surprise shower from
fifteen close friends.
Never been dwarfed by
skyscrapers in a yellow cab
with a wise guy driver
who voted Bush or
romanced by a widow
with flagrant designs on my body.
Only lived with the
Chinese puzzle of an
untrusting heart and
wavered on the sidelines
across the doomed land.
Only made a faltering record
from short memory, desultory
emails and silence.
Only hid my face from
the moon with a well-done steak,
a birthday cake, a few cold ones.
Norton Hodges, Oakham, Rutland UK
Early Rising: Cold Snap
Being first in the winter morning park
is a privilege, what with the sparkling
white expanse of unspoiled frosted turf -
paid for by chilled fingers and nose.
The dog zigzags on the trace of temptation;
the master, straighter, pegs along behind.
Open-mouthed we express visible huffs.
Inhaling floods chill into the lungs.
This morning's hot-air balloon is high,
slow, pale, enviable - so detached,
so pure! Their early rising outdoes mine.
Their shoes are not soaking up cold dew.
They leave behind no trail of footmarks
shuffling green across the whiteness.
We're out of each other's earshot,
can't hear their huff and puff.
Sky-high - their playground's endless -
they're soaring away without trace.
9.00 a.m. 6 August 2003
Max Richards at Cooee, North Balwyn, Melbourne
Is it still Wednesday?
Check the Date. That's a relief --
Still time to snapshoot.
Loughborough UK/East Midlands 13:29:21
it in I
Halvard Johnson, NYC, USA 8:36 a.m.
MARY ELLEN MARK
Make photographs that
are more intimate
running down with their umbrellas
young and naive . . .
Exists in so many cultures:
look for in animals
like humans they tried to be
Now what's happened with
an image which they have to control.
Really. Allow you to see a world:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Barry Alpert / Silver Spring, MD USA / 9:58 AM
Is that elan
The tombs are near,
and the prisoners do not stir.
It is the silent man on the street corner
who is waiting.
For what is the man waitng?
The traffic light has registered so many times
and yet he waits.
Waits on the street corner
and the cars pass and pass.
Harriet Zinnes, NYC, USA
what are you wearing?
should i lie?
if i tell the truth
will he think i am
what is wrong with
a fifteen year old
Alfred E. Newman tee shirt?
i say, i'm wearing
baltimore, maryland usa
11.10.94 becomes 10,11,94 tab it down to cm 9
indent 1,5 cm + 1,5 cm every third line plus three spaces which build up to
12 spaces with the previous ones
skip 10 lines, main number is indented with the second 1,5 cm that is 3 cm
from the margin
-Can you see, asked my father, that is Mount X-
-Which one, papy? The one right above the hut?-
-No, follow my hand, that one, right there-
-The one above this pine-tree?-
-Are you blind?
11.10.94 becomes 10,11,94 tab it down to cm 9
indent 1.5 cm + 1.5 cm every third line plus three spaces which build up to
12 spaces with the previous ones
skip 10 lines, main number is indented with the second 1.5 cm that is 3 cm
from the margin
anny ballardini, bozen, italy, 5.43
Public Radio at 7 AM while I'm in my car:
"Today is August 6, 2003."
I was 18 months old when it happened.
Still, it is Remembrance Day.
In a Chaim Potok novel a doomed rabbi
prays at the Hiroshima shrine, recites
the Mourners' Kaddish to remember the dead
by magnifying and sanctifying
the name of God.
I have dreamed, this night past, of myself
returned to that same faith, years renounced,
living as I never did before among the frum,
in a place that cooks New Jersey and the Bronx
into a cholent, sweet with the scent of meat and fertility.
Forgiveness, though unspoken, is possible.
Reconciliation--the forgiven life--is asked and granted.
There is nothing to it.
It is another Bronx dream
only now rabbis and women in sheytls
have replaced my parents.
I go back to the Bronx when the shrink
has changed the meds and my head
is still adjusting.
There is nothing to it. And yet
driving across the Rumson bridge,
knowing what I think I know, I hear
the Hiroshima date, and the taste
of earth and ashes fills my mouth.
Kenneth Wolman, USA Irondequoit Bay
scan of bay shot with storm
in the locked distance sailboats
risking at rim tall crescents
upright pieces of daymoon
breeze girdling all rocks
in green pelage almost breathing
this is no dream to fly from
Gerald Schwartz West Irondequoit, New York,
United States 12:17 pm
on the radio
crushed to death
under his scores'
if that pile
that I've written
will one day
perhaps to wear
a crash helmet
17-39 raynes park -uk
SNAPSHOT 15 august
Árni Ibsen, hafnarfjördur, iceland, 6:30 p.m.
Aruna sends round three mats, old patterned fabric
sewn into a rectangle and plumped with rags,
for the baby to lie on. Radhika is attending
nursery now. Doors up and down the street
are open; Hanesh waves back from the shade of his front room.
Bhavesh has email, and stays up past his bed-time.
The next morning he pokes his head round the door:
"you didn't answer me". It was past my bed-time too.
Asylum seekers make good water-cooler
conversation: their aggressive dirt and religion,
how they provoke racism in decent folk
by abusing toleration. All of us are tolerant
and so abused. Our taxes buy their liquor,
cure their diseases, send their kids to uni.
We have to struggle; they glide by in rags,
imperiously needy. One day soon
I'm going to start quoting Auden, "Refugee
Blues", the whole thing start to finish,
riding out the "yeah buts" and the scorn.
I'll shout if I have to. Someone bloody should.
Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 22:45pm
Zig-Zag Journeys in the Sunny South
a gray cat on the edge
of a bird bath drinking
in the desert dawn
there's doves above
Palo Verde branches
and thorns the sky.
wipes warm and clean
my worn out seams
died and gone
to heaven or hell.
when I slide into my blue car, a
gaping hole bleeding wires where
Sachdev's flute used to sing.
Driving to work, at the first light
day laborers swarm a corner, their
brown hands, brown bags, Circle K
coffee. The light turning yellow, I punch the accelerator
belly up to the salsa bar
Frank Parker, Tucson, AZ 08.06.03
Cat comes in with blue paint on the back of his neck.
Very pleased with himself.
He has only been gone half an hour.
Day spent at seaside.
Icecreams and Bass beer.
Lovely cooling breeze.
All the seagulls have come to Bath
For the Three Tenors Concert tomorrow night
In front of Royal Crescent.
I have my free ticket..
Will be drinking in Charles Dickens old pub
The Marlborough Tavern before.
Openair swimming pool on top of the New Spa
For seagulls delight.
Not open yet, two years late.
Cat heads out catflap.
Too hot for me to try to sleep.
Been watching Luchino Visconti bio
On TV last two nights.
My researched family background
Drains me of writing the poems I used to.
Visconti sketched his personal myth.
I have none now.
Must give up poetry.
The tilde is cracked on Google.
And the tenth datacenter has opened
Pity my website is doing so badly.
No help for it.
The glory days are over.
Another cup of coffee!
Wasnt Dylan's last album dreadful.
Primitive is the key to poetry and music.
I think that's enough.
Douglas Clark. Bath. UK. Midnight.
crystal frost on grass
vibrating ache in fingers
dead tomato vines
Chris Jones (somewhere near Sydney)
When the universe looks into the eye, its gaze
is black water, no, not even
water, but blackness itself
for even the smallest and murkiest pond
has its waterlilies with their pink clitoral buds
opening into creamy petals and the thick dust
of yellow pollen, the roots of the lilies
in their hair-like profusions knotting
the thick clay of the depths to themselves
as those pale and naked fingers begin
to break open what contains them
and proliferate across the waters
until on every surface, flat green palms
float like gentle hands above
the flash of the fugitive fish,
who leave only the traces
of gold scale and silver fin
as they appear and disappear
from view. The eye
of the universe is so devoid
of fugitive light, so devoid
of variations in its shades
of darkness, there is no ground to stand
upon and no air to breathe, and all
that can meet the abyss without
is the abyss within, an absence
so forceful in its presence,
it seems more present than any presence,
and how does the I look back, or what eye
is left to return that gaze
and make upon the waters,
a floating island, a lily hand,
a beckoning of life and fire?
8/06/03 2:10pm Farmington New Mexico, 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon (email@example.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.