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



Snapshots
8/20/03






My Wife's Dream

After my funeral
she went exhausted to bed.

Waking next morning
she found me alongside her.

I stirred and yawned.

'Darling, how are you?'
she asked me.

'Oh, OK,' I said,
with my usual

imperturbability,
'just a bit stiff.'

Max Richards at 'Cooee', North Balwyn, Melbourne, 7am

***


Reduced we are
___ when more come back to town after the brief absence of a holiday
eyes through the walls, dogs bark, cars and cars each one with its
personal driven touch ___
in space,
deeper down we are confined, stuck in-between the ribs,
/We Want/ they all scream out /That and that and even more We Want/
plants become a surplus, trees a useless decoration stealing parking lots,
but now that
it is night they can finally intermittently
speak through the hiccups of traffic
and we look ahead worried for their lives.

anny ballardini, Bozen, Italy, 9.01

***


Clouds reveal me against traffic
the ash state dissolves my mouth
pelican rises over daily speed blink
the air stops inside.

We count in dead sentences
and tick the box
we drift and our crossbows fail
waiting for the ministry to arrive.

Jill Jones
10.55am, Surry Hills, Sydney

***


NICK RAY'S "MACAO" [uncredited]

Now we're even
I hear. Once is. Too often
charm never misses.
Kill someone! You'd probably call it "small change".

Ride lieutenant on a triple six
around the harbor in a sanpan.
You too,
shot. It turned out to be me.

Mind,
a warden dolled up in a negligee
carried me up here,
as we walk
out a few details.

Barry Alpert / Silver Spring, MD USA / (12:56 AM)

***


LARKIN

all this talk
learned chat
furious discussion
soul searching
impassioned stands
such wise words
about Larkin
Larkin more Larkin
and Larkin
I sneaked out
past my
very dusty copy
long unopened copy
of 'High Windows'
out into the
fresh air
sunny garden
with some
great sf
and fantasy
a tad guiltily.

patrick mcmanus
8am raynes park uk

***


Post-Holiday

Back yesterday, the lawn grown tall
and the starched kitchen chapel-like;
time to sort the postal debris, be glad
for no long white sinister envelopes.

I miss the sea: one photo, no pebbles
this time, just the long beach in my
head, the landless moments in silver
waves lapping, barefoot, letting go.

Norton Hodges, Oakham, Rutland UK, 10:30 a.m.

***


SKETCH

After that, I saw no
more of his lifting walk.
The path turned
back to perspective,
narrow and wide ends
far apart, emptied.

The thin trees still
in our pentagram courtyard.
The evening wind kept
all the darkness there.

Leslie Shinn
Philadelphia
9:45 a.m.

***


Mosquitos

This isn't a poem
it could be
I guess

I'm trying to find the website where
you swat mosquitos

anybody???

Hello...tap, tap, tap...hello???

Is the mic on?

deborah russell, Baltimore, USA

***


lightening behind eyelids
heavy with broken dreams

all night waking from what?

what the phone call said
who felt it most

& the gray sky
too close to mood

as we hold each other
in the slow dawn

Douglas Barbour, Edmonton, Cananda, 08:30

***


Reduced we are
___ when more come back to town after the brief absence of a holiday
eyes through the walls, dogs bark, cars and cars each one with its
personal
driven
touch ___
in space,
deeper down we are confined, stuck in-between the ribs,
/We Want/ they all scream out /That and that and even more We Want/
plants become a surplus, trees a useless decoration stealing parking lots,
but now that
it is night they can finally
intermittently
speak through the hiccups of traffic
and we look ahead worried for their lives.

anny ballardini, Bozen, Italy, 9.01

***


Worcester, canal-side:
new flagstones where the insalubrious
lavatories once stood.

Canals have plugs! We know this, because
someone inadvertently removed one
and a long stretch of waterway drained on the spot.

There were the shopping-trollies,
traffic cones;
the accumulations of silt;
here and there perhaps a few discarded wedding-rings.

No clean-up was attempted.
After four months
the authorities replaced the bung
and refilled the trough.

Dominic Fox, Worcester UK 20:54pm

***


(after reading Jill's wednesday shot, this was my day in the USA)

like traffic on these urban streets where
double parking is deemed protection
against being blocked in
i weave in and around
such obstacles, stubborn against
lines someone else painted as
reasonable, drawing compliance
or the ire of meeting at crosshairs

i weave the sound of knots
and oughts and nots, one right
after the other running through my brain
not turning back or pulling loose those skeins
of tangled thoughts
not even noontime angelus has tolled

but i have stopped at the obligatory pause
to let someone else pass through this hell
some call a neighborhood. and it is

i suppose. this intersection has become a crossroads
and a drama good for retelling later in creole, portuguese
spanish and whatever twisting of phrase passes for explaining
to the insurance company how metal spun out
like a toddler's top and came to rest on my front bumper
(already jagged like a ripped nail from a hit and run at stop and shop)
thinking "oh well, two for the price of one."

Deborah L. Humphreys
at home on Grafton Street
Newark, NJ
Wednesday, 7:55 pm

***


THE BOULDER DANCER
(for John Berryman)

Elbow my damned way past obnoxious pedestrians,
Minneapolis Friday--to work, to class
I will cut. This is my day off, unscheduled time.
No sin then: forgiven though uncommitted.
Too responsible. Never a deed like this
on a day I'd teach Thucydides
or the Letters of St. Paul.

So cold here. And the warm apartment remembered,
she quiet, still smarting. Oh Kate, shut the hell up, cut the silent whining: you knew what I was,
what I am, I am Popeye, I yam what I yam,
cannot stop being: Hazelden, AA, nobody,
not even me, prince of my ego, could stop.

This stops, quietus made with a bare boulder.
Fear of heights, of everything, but not today, not now:
my valediction Lenny Bruce, "Father Flotsky's Triumph,"
this wave--not at passers-by but at God Hisself, gwine to face Him
get (Mr. Bones-to-be) Da Judgmen' fo' drunks, fo' cattin' 'round,
& now dis: but let go, cry "Yatta-yatta, Father, yatta-yatta!"

Kenneth Wolman, USA

***


hot & dry, the spiced
wasabes

to jaw & song
for a lunch-quick

green tea
& the series of

oh, okay: the serious
face to face, while

finger to finger
the salt yes

rolls around between
(there) oh yes

are the close
meetings

of late summer
cloud

& could, here to
decide who will

stay & not?--or
the beloved last

students I tarry
over smiling

farewells, farewells,
their polished letters

given on pages of no sound
so little life-texture,

shimmying no less
the slits of necessary

import & next week's new
well, hellos.

Chris Murray, Dallas, Texas, U.S. 11:08 p.m.

***


SNAPSHOT 17

autumn slowly slips into

the green on the leaves

slowly slipped into

our heads is yet

another political lie

a foetus six weeks old

slowly slips out

in a trickle of blood


Árni Ibsen
hafnarfjördur,iceland.
after 10 p.m. august 20, 2003.

***


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


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