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



Snapshots
9/10/03






With upraised breast and in the attitude of a man drawing in breath:
thus he stood there, the sublime man, and silent.

Hung with ugly truths, the booty of his hunt, and rich in torn clothes;
many thorns, too, hung on him-- but I saw no rose.

A trap of thorns beckons his touch. I hear him cry out; please don't
make me live a lie!

He writes: this is a taste I do not expect others to share; while arguing
for his taste, in dispute against those who do not share.

Taste: that is at the same time weight and scales and weighter; and woe
to all living creatures that want to live without dispute over weight
and scales and weighter!

But I am just a poet. We know too little and are bad learners: so we
have to lie.

For on this stage we are excellent players. Does he yet understand he is
playing the role of the sublime man on the stage of Zarathustra?

Perhaps I am malicious and evil?

My needling brings flak onto another whipping boy. Conveniently
forgetting that he did first attack his whipping boy, who was responding
to myself who was the one who mentioned that which he attacked his
whipping boy for as decadent, he claims to not understand the objections
his revenge brings! The dishonest coward! Not even worthy of the role of the sublime man!

Jagged barbs of decapitated rose stems without fragrance and bloom and unknown hope. How ugly can a sublime man get?

Chris Jones

***


fresher full
in forms of outburst
sky sits on brown

(the airless syntax is in here)

breath and fall
out on/to fill/form
tick the poetry box

make jokes easy
on metre
or the merit

mists of dis/location
that loveliness
is not hidden

help me I'm falling
towards the mountains
and everything blue

Jill Jones 4.15pm Wed 10 September

***


SNAPSHOTS?

snapshots
snapshots?emails!
check snapshots!
kinky freaky hardcore!
half off viagra!
coroqtine trostovere!
is that really you?
hilsen fra line
burn fat 24hours a day!
teen pussy!
painting without numbers
re: what does it mean
grow your penis 4 inches!
ninth symphony
add new manhood growth!
this is hot!
paul murphy paints
re: snapshot reminder
nicole enjoys some....
real girls want action!
ekphrasis!
why the silence?
virginia dark as air
re: what does it mean
svp reminder
increase two cup sizes!
re: belinda on frost's burning....
snapshot!
hgh is 1oo%Herbal!
winner best natural t*ts
re: what does it mean
snapshot
re:hi
mail delivery failed
returning message to sender
snapshot.

patrickmcmanus 8am
raynes park -london

***


Time to wear a sweater
use the manual override

close the curtain
fill the kettle again

time to curl into
that place near the radiator

that stops you thinking
of the dark and who's out there

lost, unbuttoned, last bus gone.

Norton Hodges, Oakham, Rutland UK 8:40 a.m. 10.09.03

***


Madrid & Wingello

Suddenly, I see myself
intensely chatting to Ivan
via email, and think -
I am talking with my hands.

Jennifer Compton

***


Snapshot 9/10/03

Today's is just of me,
unshaven, not yet
fully dressed, fingers
on the keys, traffic already
whirring past, having
just begun my sixty-seventh
spin around our star, our
sun, and of my wife, who with
me starts today the first day of
our fifteenth married year.

Halvard Johnson, NYC, 6:44 am, 9/10/2003

***


light coming down
through all blue
light banked about
oblique light
reaching us here
at the bottom
this dawn breaks
near white
which is its own

Gerald Schwartz, 6:50 AM, 10 September
West Irondequoit, NY, USA

***


Shurazhell

by god
this is going to be
a poem
even if
i have to
use a hammer!

one look around
this room tells me
i am overworked
and shurazhell
underpaid
i need a hotline
to Merri-Maid

what the freak-n-hell
did i do with my notes?
they were here, right here -
a minute ago,
next to the incoming

holy crap
i'm screwed

Deborah Russell, Baltimore, 9/10/2003

***


continual exchange:

how imagination
's eye
now turns toward
ocean's pull
& power

now reaches
to the stars

an almost daily
discipline
two voices
becoming one

& wandering
through each
call & response

again this
morning's
language
minion

Douglas Barbour, Edmonton, Canada, 08:30

***


Oliver on a tricycle, then a scooter -
afternoons at nursery include a vehicular
interlude, where everyone races round the yard
on two-plus-n wheels. No pretending.
This is a real toy car, with a real hooter.

The witch won't come back (in Hansel
and Grettel), will she? No, she won't.
Where did she go? She went in the oven
and was burnt all up. She was burnt
all up? Yes - to a crisp. She was turned
into smoke, and went up in the air
through the chimney. No-one comes back
after that. But how did she turn
into steam, and go up in the air?
The oven was very hot. Did it burn her?
Yes. Did she say ouch? I expect so.
That's enough Hansel and Grettel: it's time
for bed. Sweet dreams. Goodnight.

(Four months old, and already my daughter
thinks I'm a preposterous galoot.)

Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 21:39pm

***


Quick Wednesday Act

fumbling for
striving in a streamline
d-v-/jing or the baroque vision of orchestrated music
underground or red-velvet opera fauteuils
(Still Life with Madame Cezanne dans un Fauteuil Rouge)
zigzagging in and out of a methodical attempt of being

more
to be done
for a tapered outline

not tired
the forced pressured feed is lubricating cognitive systems
synapses opening and closing with their medusa-like info sent in combination
with the collection of what towns emit
with a specular eye it gets through to
provide
more

information
(action of the directive starting from the EU for small series Dutch vehicles)?
 &nbps;&nbps;  - but the shamanic force needed to bring tribes to their catharsis
is opposed to the one to one relationship requested by a poetic act

collaboration or detached loneliness in defense of her strength
new possible essay waiting for the Time
when it struck an inverted imminent turn
to a Subliminal Kid:
Spooky

anny ballardini
11.26pm - Wednesday - September 10, 2003

***


Strangers on a Train

There was a very appealing
woman in her 40's who rode
the Hoboken train with me each morning.
She'd get on in Middletown,
get off at Newark, presumably
heading to lower Manhattan.
She wore blue-tinted glasses
and had long blond hair.
I did not know her name.
Our only conversations were
"Excuse me" and "Of course"
when she tried to sit down
across from me now and then,
sometimes rub my knee perhaps by accident.

Then she disappeared.
When I went back to work on Monday
after that horrid Tuesday morning,
she was not on the 6:51.
Never again.
I did not know her,
I do not miss her,
But at this moment
I grieve her.

There was a dour-looking man,
tall and heavy-set, who always wore
the same distressed leather shoes
and carried a ratty briefcase.
I disliked him because he looked
like my girlfriend's ex-husband.

Then he disappeared.
When I went back to work on Monday
after that horrid Tuesday morning,
he was not on the 6:51.

Three weeks after that morning
when I stared up like a turkey
at the rain of Hell, I missed my train
and took a later one.
There he was on the platform,
the ex-husband lookalike,
chainsmoking and seeming unpleasant.
And I was filled with utter joy.

Kenneth Wolman

***


Air a weather of gulf sins here, lugging the stuffed day around--
humid brown reruns of summer heat, diffuse squint-light.

Jump-south, ocean, & this air winding up its trillion
bald & stitch fast balls: surely, a hurricane is curving

unnatural crimson attitude to run home along the heavens,
their invisible corkscrews above this land-lock howl--

well, sure: they would call it Bible belt. At dinner, an oracle
of a man at the bar, who knows exactly how to sip Tuaca like my sly

granny, warns a comely woman: "Get your laundry
done today, girl--tomorrow's for downpour,"

and suddenly I've no trouble believing
everything in the world is always extreme

& can be found here. On the way out, a fiver for a trumpet player on the corner
working out a modern revolution of improv for all this:

covenant of eight--oh yes--
steamy but cheerful
& way too blue bars.

Chris Murray 12:00 9/10/03 Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

***


Watching out for Cygnets
(Spring: November 2001)

August mornings, walking to where
I've long taught reading
(and lately also writing),
from the footbridge I would see
the stretch of waterway below —
the moat that keeps the campus drained,
sanctuary for standard
ducks and geese — adorned
this year with a nesting swan,
its heap of reedy stalks
well above the waterline,
but close, so close to the edge
where walkers might cause damage.
Was it safe?
One afternoon, walking
from my office, I detoured round
and down and stood peering down.
How many eggs might there be?
The swan arched glossy-black neck,
hissed. Sorry, I said, and retreated.
Days passed; no sign of a second swan.
Don't they mate for life? Don't partners
take turns on the nest?
One morning: yes,
gliding nearby, a second swan, cruising
watchfully. Were they safe?
Thanks to the weir downstream,
flooding was not to be feared,
but foxes were famously rife,
interlopers ravening
at night on eggs or hatchlings
whenever their guardians
kept insufficient watch.

September, warmer weather;
one Monday morning my glance down
meets no swan — an empty nest.
Was it weekend vandals?
I detour down: among the stal
ks are eggshell fragments. Next day black
water-birds peck over the ruined site.
Well, I'm told, other years swans have
bred with great success, lines of cygnets
have paddled back and forth.

Wednesday at two, first
student to arrive is Melissa.
She's from Long Island (last week
it was the terror of hijacked planes,
towers falling, thousands lost,
horror and pity; her finding out
her folks were safe, but still in shock):
'I saw swans with babies! So cute! —
six with their parents —
I took lots of photos.'
Promise me one, I say.

An hour before, arriving late, I'd seen
from the bridge the former nest,
and in the open-air theatre
the 'multi-faith' meeting mourning
New York's tragedy, affirming
the unity of faiths in grieving,
and in opposing terror.
How do you oppose a flood of hate
loosed against half the world?
With a show of solidarity,
you watch over the vulnerable:
this now means us all.
Lacking
a faith, lacking faith, about to teach
ways of reading metaphor,
I held aloof, steered clear:
from my distance, only saw
contrasts of plumage, guessed at
the many faces of their God,
readings and misreadings of His Word.

My own students number Turkish-
Australian, Lebanese-Australian,
you-name-it-Australian. Behind
Melissa's Long Island is Bombay.
While the terror lasts
(fears endlessly renewable),
they speak at times of Scripture
that has required assent,
not metaphorical but the Truth;
at times, of hard looks and worse
given and returned. We don't all
look alike, speak alike. We speak
of tolerance, acceptance of
difference. Others, to serve their God,
speak of Crusade or Jihad.

My fellow-citizens are still phoning
Sydney's thriving 'shock-jocks'
on talk-back radio complaining
of 'rag-heads' (in turbans), the rednecks!
calling refugee boat-people
'cashed-up queue-jumpers';
denying them sanctuary.

How (asks a Shakespeare sonnet)
with this rage shall beauty
hold a plea, whose action
is no stronger than a flower?
Melissa's poem sags with the burden
of speaking for her nation,
the forced eloquence of anger.

Ruefully accepting the strengthening
of police and other force,
all I can do is practise arts of peace,
seeking out the ways of metaphor,
watching out for cygnets.

I tap this out now at dawn,
as radio-music switches on;
through the house the solo cello Swan
of old Saint-Saens
glides, its once assuaging
beauty now forlorn.

p.s. Melissa returned to Long Island with an envelope addressed to me, but the snaps still haven't come. Meantime, Afghanistan...Iraq...and a bombed nightclub in Bali where many victims were Australian. All beyond my pen.

Max Richards, Melbourne

***


SNAPSHOT 20

alexis korner
sat in his corner
singing the blues to me
a very thorough re-
treat to the 1960s
thank god for
recordings
and now there's
that chicago beau
paul butterfield
blowing
his hurtful
harmonica to
smithereens and
it's been a peculiar
kind of day
not to put too fine
a point on it
very varied very
fuzzy there's a word
in my native tongue
keeps butting
my head now
it's „trafš which
can mean either
„bandageš or
„fringeš or even
„fuzzy edgeš and
my grandfather
used it in one of
his best poems
and i wish i could
find a word that
fathomous in
english because
i need it now
blow your fuzzy
harmonica paul
sing alexis with
that rasped voice
it's been that
kind of day simply

Ńrni Ibsen
stekkjarkinn 19, hafnarfjŲrdur, iceland
midnight, september 10, 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.


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