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



Snapshots
9/03/03






I admire those who can do the spontaneous snapshot verses. This week, with sad unspontaneity, I offer this: a Saturday image:

The Old Aqueduct Trail

The winding aqueduct
on the hillside shadowed by pines
was long since made derelict,
succumbing to wild green growth
splitting the concrete.

The trail winding alongside
is sealed smoothly for joggers,
cyclists and dog-walkers
breathing hygienic pine aromas.

Just walking beside
a dry watercourse
one senses pathos,
intensified by the drought.

Elsewhere the day might
be scorching, but here
filtered by the old pines
patterned more dark than light.

Strollers, as if sharing
much, smile real smiles.
Dogs meet dogs decorously,
or sighting a slow rabbit
lollop after it
like players, not hunters.

Here is a place to ponder
one's neglect of a friend
now in hospital,
immobilised
in pain and uncertainty.

The long drought broke;
today water stands
in lengthy stretches or moves
slowly forwards as if
seeking the long-lost reservoir.

7.00am Wednesday September 3, 2003
Max Richards, North Balwyn, Melbourne

***


hair spikes the space
around the body
action at skin
scarred lands
each story breathed through pores

no more
of a metaphor
than world ghost
over lip's blue ripples
head clouds
always an experiment

steel wings cross buildings
concrete's rocky strand
what we see in the river
sirens don't care
snagging on outlines
of a season

tongues round stones
clatter songs
waste bitten vessels
though we are not
without
light
or time
but always losing
in hurry the glow
graphs instance

Jill Jones, Sydney, 4.05pm

***


THE PICTURE

sometimes
he got the picture
the whole picture
but often
when he did
it was
out of focus
or sort of smudged
or had a
terrible frame
but often
bits of of it
were missing
been slashed
or rotted away
but the bits he got
he treasured
taking on trust
that those bits
were in fact
part of the picture
and not just
scraps blowing by
or flakes fallen
from somehwere
somewhere else.

patrick mcmanus 8am
raynes park -uk

***


Snapshot: Demographic

Radio One
We thought we were the
electric six, the kings of
leon but after the
thrills comes the darkness.

Radio Two
I remember my threads in all
their jagger, the dylan loons,
the chisel-toed carnaby-red
mccartney sharpshooters.

Radio Three
Upstairs I've still got all the
Brahms from my childhood but
I threw away my Miriam Makebas,
my Ewan MacColls long ago.

Radio Four
These days, rather than an acid Paxman,
I prefer a short story, a play,
a news update, a weather report.
Soon I'll be ready for Classic FM.

Norton Hodges, Oakham, Rutland UK 8:40 a.m. 03.09.03

***


"if i sleep, clowns will eat me."

monday night it was hard
to sleep and i was thinking about
all the nights before
school would start when
summer closed shut
slammed like the last book
of required reading and the order
from the sears and roebuck store
had finally arrived and was arranged
carefully in the proper drawers
new things
not unfamiliar
how many years have i gone into this
ritual forest each september
and now
years long past childhood
my friend wears the shirt that proclaims
these night terrors about clowns that leads me to believe
she is brave and ready
for the realities of dealing with the innocence
of other people’s children not knowing where
to line up for the bell and administrators
who show up with their summer homework
undone. clowns will eat me even if i stay awake
for lunch

Deborah L. Humphreys
Newark, NJ
Wednesday 7:12
almost ready for the staff inservice day at the Newark Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education and 7,011 children ready for the New Year

***


Backfabrik

The speakers set their slides in carousels
in the ochre tiled hall
while the t-shirted volunteers
try to connect images from a laptop
to the tripoded screen

Someone finds a key
and the toilet is opened,
separate stalled rooms for the sexes,
and a shared metal cistern
shaped like a trough
filled by pressing foot pedals

attendants straggle down the chipped stone spiral staircase
darting past the rain
which pours through the ceiling grill
between the stairwell and the hall
now marked with a notice to please keep quiet

Bolted pipes run above the podium and single microphone
above black and white photos from the bakery days
of East Berlin.
The speakers sit down behind their folded paper names on the table
and the conference starts, with apologies
for the images flickering on the screen

Ivy Garlitz, 10:00 AM

***


First day of classes:

All night waking up,
thinking how often I've done
this. Yet still can't stop.

Douglas Barbour, Edmonton, Canada, 08:20

***


SNAPSHOT

Koiné of a restricted milieu?
I am back-channeling,
you First Man!

Anny Ballardini (found by Barry Alpert)

***


SNAPSHOT

"Egosearch" has
now achieved immortality in a dictionary.

Barry Alpert (found by Anny Ballardini)

Barry Alpert / Silver Spring, MD USA / 9-3 (2:42 PM)

***


I sense something speak (a ray)

I sense something on my cheek
that I do not know

Eucharist and I do not
know

I show up on a
star

There are the blue rays of
wild iris

And reflection and games of
nearby trees

There are no places but places places
appear and play

And a path has no
effect

South of here is the first
world

west Irondequoit, neuvo york 2:46 pm Gerald Schwartz

***


Share prices up; all expectations exceeded.
Sparkling rose is our dividend.
New SMS release not without glitches -
I get commended for "nifty troubleshooting"!

My tarot reading for today is doomy,
which signifies renewal - at some cost.
I used to have deaths-to-self once every weekend
at least. But it didn't change me very much.

Something is up, afoot; don't need the tarot
to tell me I've been dreamy, welling over
with sap of adolescence. It's the wedding:
I knew that boy when both of us were boys,

that girl when I was a boy and she a girl.
Don't laugh, you old sods. This is news to me -
that all you get for your time is iterations,
exams to resit, glasses to refill.

Dominic Fox, Leicester 03/09/03 22:29pm

***


The Dance

It has taken me years to come
to my personal Center of Indifference.
My ex-wife points her accusing finger,
I feel like I am in the middle
of Bruegel's "Triumph of Death,"
embraced by the bony arms of
a shared past from which all flesh has fallen.
Yet now I can throw my arms around it,
the bony-raggy figure, dance with it,
take away its power with a shrug, a slough.
When my younger son comes to the car,
about to be transported south to begin
a life of his own, away from us,
my ex and I look at each other in a moment
of shared Something, perhaps merely
the knowledge of history, the memory
of fallen flesh: the marriage's, hers, mine.

Kenneth Wolman

***


Today's List of Lists: Seven Things Reflexive With All My EM
Dashes Sparkling Just Below This
ABCsURfACE

Things are cooling off around here without heat--you

only need to hand out the sheaf of answer forms

one time

give all

quizzes it's quicker that way less work--

if your mailbox is near

its limit--Christine! You need

to call me now [who are you?]--nowadays

most prefer medium-well--WE ARE SO HAPPY

THAT OUR HOUSE IS GOING

TO GO THROUGH!--SEE THROUGH

THIS TURQUOISE DEAR

LOOK THEY HAVE FILLED

THE CAVITIES WITH GOLD AND POLISHED

THE ROUNDED JAG

OF IT SO SMOOTH OH THANK YOU thank you

THANK YOU I LOVE IT

--The cashier in the Minimart said so today.
--Overheard while walking past 2 science profs on campus yesterday.
--Message yesterday from Office of Information Technology.
--Phone message today from unidentified bill collector.
--Waiter, steakhouse, last night.
--Friends buying a first house, yesterday.
--Gift last night of turquoise bracelet from daughter just back from Arizona visit.

chris murray hmbl.thx.2hcic Dallas TX 12:00, 04 Sept. 03

***


SNAPSHOT 19

first low-pressure
of the autumn
pelting rain
from all sides
wind upsetting
garden gnomes
tearing leaves
still green from
their branches
unprepared
the place
familiar now
weâre back
in our natural
habitat the
occasional ray
of sunshine
stabbing through
the concentrate
of clouds as
the disgruntled
gnomes pull
each other back
on their feet
and offer trauma
counseling to the
disheveled leaves

Árni Ibsen
stekkjarkinn 19, hafnarfjördur, iceland
midnight, september 3, 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


These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.


image