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



Snapshots
2/25/04






The Other

Neither of us
got a wink
of sleep
last night

because
the other
was snoring.

7.30am
Max Richards, North Balwyn, Melbourne

***


the ceiling falls
a mistake in timing
the roof dances were blunders
seams opened in clouds

each petal of water
is preparing a table
under percussive eaves

we're always getting ready
the blue cloth saved us
that and change

Jill Jones, 6.30pm, 25 Feb, Marrickville

***


SHOPPING

shopping
when he a bit
bad tempered
bit exhausted
finally arrived home
decidedly tetchy
with his bags of groceries
he sort of wondered
if they were all there
then had the good idea
of checking the receipt
which detailed said
THN CT R/S ORNG
CP FTRD CRSPY CH
CP THN SLCD SMKD
CP WSHD WHT POTS
CP LTE PASTA
CP FRDE RCH RS
CP W/THN CKD HAM
and a
CP VIN DE PYS D'
he suddenly felt
a bit disorientated
and hastily sat down
and opened the
CP VIN DE PYS D'
and relaxed slightly.

pmcmanus 8-30am
RNS PRK NGLND n375

***


what did you come out to see
a reed shaken by the wind (Matthew 11: 7)

i have read this
line until it feels
like poetry, sounds
like sunday, tastes warm
like childhood which is no longer
safe but indeed
dangerous and i return
wandering
back to the sandy edge
of grace
carrying all these words
on sheets of past
impressions in yet another season
of wood and resistance

spirit calls, wind pushes
the source is the same
one that gives us wonders
some feet, others roots
the lucky ones both

the work is the work
we always have
waiting
where we stand
toes, tendrils of roots
digging in, a hold on
silken soil, once rock
a pile of stones
a banked fire

a little offering
of protection, swaying dry grass
camouflage, the succulence
of waxy leaves, the music
of pipers, ashes

a blessing, a mitzah
over time, mountains explode
geographies shift, we just try to live
the air of beauty about us
trace elements of wood, dispersed light
everywhere anyone can look up
sun's brilliant visitations
at the borders of day

Deborah
Newark, NJ 7:55 am
Ash Wednesday
for the Vigil and a sharing of soup and bread
tonight at the Elizabeth Detention Center

***


RICHARD MISRACH

Right before
I
came over
here
a kind of epiphany.
Relatively few museum exhibitions
described as the archive of American landscape representation,

medium "A" as well,
installation art.
So did museum curators'
remarkable relationship--
all sorts of other sources.
Cancer Alley.
He was working in black & white;

Barry Alpert / Silver Spring, MD US / 2-25-04 (9:53 AM)

In fact, the photographer/subject of my text refused to allow me to "take" his literal image in the form of a snapshot after his lecture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

***


Birthday Letter 1: Metropark

Epitome of middle-aged beauty
rotating down the platform before me
red hair streams over her coat recall Botticelli but she turns face of Elizabeth I
porcelain makeup O Jesus Christ can I pick them
and the eye job her make-up case
brushes colors screwdriver and sterling silver pliers
removes an imperfect eye bright blue
polishes it lose that last trace of a cataract
reinserts it why am I still looking at this
is everything else on her what I cannot see
also an artifice are her hidden joys propelled
by a wind-up clock is she really a Woodbridge cop?

she examines the other eye in her mirror
satisfied leaves it where it is thank God
applies coats of eyeliner needs a palette knife
coats of mascara purple is the color
of my true loves eyes in the morning when we rise
fantasy trashed watch her eat a Twix bar instead
think that if the train had been on time
I would have missed all this

Kenneth Wolman

***


TAKE PROMISES TO MARKET, come back
perforated with sales-talk, high-velocity
expectorations. This is all

about oil, or more precisely lubricant:
in olive groves, in greasy gloves,
how triggers slip, how things go off

half-cocked. Be careful out there,
sheathed in patchy righteousness, poor
irony of bloody ironies.

Dominic Fox

***


who gave me those ears
were friends who knew
what i didnt
always hear

as my brother
let me play
all that jazz

& then someone
put Miles on
so eventually I
was Kind of Blue

or the first time
i both saw the cover
& really heard
Abraxas in
Fort McMurray

& the sound poet
who convinced me
of the power &
skill of the Beach Boys

who then opened
the door to
Shostakovich 's Quartets

or the angelic
sounds of Al Green

such friends
to whom
i returned
the gift some
times, as with

Alison Krauss
& Jessica Williams

listen

Douglas Barbour
Edmonton 09:15 Wednesday February 25 2004

***


Doug: I'd trade fours

with you anytime

knowing as we both do

a tune's profundity

can as much discourse

on endless lonely, joyous spaces--

stars found and rising there--

as on nearness of people

about themselves.

Yes, send some separate

spheres with separate terms.



This music, not using

terms of either one,

sounds us something

there in common

as if there were.

Cheers, Jerry Schwartz

***


Heard that sound-bite again

the one filled with intolerance, amendments, banishings--

and the throes of culture wars

running through the highways

this man we think of as simple

is a divider times megatons

embracing our limitations

that geography canceling

coming back again to the black well

asking for re-election

half in HIS cups moving clueless

among the trees and the crucifixions

West Irondequoit, New York, "United" States
12:56 PM, 2/25/04 -Jerry Schwartz

***


A REMINDER

North-east wind gnaws my fingers to ivory
sinks incisors into the sutures of my skull
sucks greedily on the marrow of my cheekbones;

and I could easily have got the bus.
But no, I'm walking, so as not to miss
my favourite tree, here, now, on the corner.

Early prunus -- is it cerasifera? -- but for sure
it's a sudden starburst, a milky way
against iceblue sky; and me standing here

never mind the cold, no longer hunched
against the wind, but gazing up, up
-- as I used to as a child, not living in towns

knowing the arc of the sky, the rise of spring
constellations, the swing of seasons --
till I feel the earth spin on its axis.

Joanna Boulter
Darlington, UK.
6pm, 25 February 2004

***


school daze?
his ski patrol sweatshirt
covers his cast...
the only one who laughs
is the teacher
in each class

Deborah Russell
Baltimore, Maryland USA

***


SNAPSHOT 44

a brand new grey jeep parked outside
engine running lights on
the driver checking his watch
while speaking on his mobile
(my phone remains silent
i'm not expecting visitors)
the driver turns off the engine
steps out into the street
wearing a moss-green overcoat
solemn faced carrying documents
he walks down the street
his left leg considerably
shorter than the right leg
his gait both sinister and comic
further down several grey jeeps
are parked each emitting a man
wearing a light moss-green overcoat
solemn faced carrying documents
one leg shorter than the other
all those moss-green coated
solemn men quietly file limping
into a house further down the street

árni ibsen
high noon
ash-wednesday
february 25 2004
hafnarfjördur
iceland

***




***


clouds pour
in columns of shadow
across the failing sun

a trail
of falling smoke
in golden light

white ice the foaling
of the smouldering sky

Liz Kirby
Wincle Minn, Sutton Common and Wildboarclough
viewed from Gunn Hill
5.40pm

***


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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