must be going
he was sure
he was certain
that there was
more than just
crocodiles lift prehistoric snouts
from slack waters and announce their grins
behind them a black space where astronauts
frictionlessly tumble over and over
in the desolate light of stars
their petals spilt so long ago that no scent remains
forgotten objects stir in an empty drawer
dust evolves into new life forms
the dizzy planet darkens again
Alison Croggon, Williamstown, 5.26pm
as grey light
from my head
so slow now
into the cold
where words tear
against sound catchers
into long voice
against open gates
into home light
gone and open
Marrickville, Wed 16 June, 9.21pm
Turning 67 at the Celtic Festival
[Portarlington, 13 June 2004]
Having helped perform "poems
of love, exile" the joy, sadness,
anger and resilience of the Celt:
part one: The Scots' (with some Gaelic translated),
he's about to take his love to bed.
In the bathroom of their festival accommodation
he's wearing nothing but his performer's wristband.
She, though wearing her supporters' wristband,
glances in less than admiration.
The shower, as vacation showers
often are, is rousing, but: "sleep
well". He dreams prolonged
consensual harmony and wakes
to pain in the small of his back.
In the dawn he descends to the port:
on the pier's furthest tip
a stick figure shakes his rod
over midwinter's ebb-tide.
A dozen sea-anglers squat
in longsuffering hope,
killing more time than fish.
Mr Mussel's metal punt signals
Fresh Farmed Mussels Daily.
Some local wag has changed Mr
Mussel to Mrs Mussel.
"Happy birthday to me
and a few good returns."
Today "part two: The Irish", who taught him:
"the best music in the world
is the music of what happens."
Also there's the music
of those almost at home
In Nova Scotia, New Caledonia,
new everywhere, they "in dreams
behold the Hebrides".
Nostalgia, fresh farmed all weekend,
even for those three generations removed.
Or two, like him Donegal, the Shetlands.
At a centenary session for Bloomsday
they end up singing "Dublin¹s fair city"
and "cockles and mussels alive alive-o".
At the Pier Café (Spanish cuisine)
the mussels make an entrée
out of this world.
evening, Wednesday June 16, 2004
North Balwyn, Melbourne
Not snot-green, today,
and sixty miles away
though if I close my eyes
I can reel
a straight line
to link this
of strolls and ice-cream cones
and white-haired revellers
with Martello towers,
Is that where buck-naked
But never travelled,
Beaumaris, 16 June 2004
About one per cent have genes for a psychosis,
But it has to be triggered off by the environment.
Which means stress.
Douglas Clark, Bath, Somerset, England ....
The Problem Is
with poetry editors is
they will scrap
a perfectly good metaphor
and try to make
that's not the problem
the problem is
than the original
and for a few
which one of you
should take credit
Baltimore, MD USA
9:54 am o6/16/o4
GRIN WITHOUT A CAT
[via Chris. Marker's "Le Fond de l'Air est Rouge"]reached maturity and the only thing at
issue . . .
No, we didn't believe it.
Wrong notes in music will save me /
images begin to tremble.
The radicals get a
Others may represent a serious threat
under a tragic obligation to choose.
Tell me what you might be filming.
A bit of miscasting here, actually.
Crisis: your public image was based on
appropriation of the means
to a specific localized need.
[Think that ambiguity is generating a lot of anxiety.]
Barry Alpert / Silver Spring MD US / 6-16-04 (10:24AM)
I just couldn't resist the closing outtake, which I hope I've indicated is outside both the sonnet and the acrostic. For a Marker film with a cat, see "Bestiare", from which I quarried the following, posted months ago to the Snapshot Project:
CHRIS. MARKER CATS
He plays piano,
listens to piano,
sees himself shot ("digital video").
Stretches to circuitry.
jest and mirror
symbol expire shall
Wednesday 09:25 Wednesday June 14 / 04
THE CANONICAL BLOOMSDAY MADE FOR TV
The Cialis must have worked:
Blazes Boylan, priest manque, is into
the 11th Station of the Cross, the nailing
of Molly Bloom.
Magical Blazes: it is also Transubstantiation,
for Molly's insides by now are turned
from flesh to grated cheese.
People didn't realize DiCaprio
could play such a scumbucket
or that J. Lo could convince anyone
she's an Irish earth mother--
Yet it's all about illusion:
or call it Faith.
If Charlize Theron can be made
to look like she stepped
out of a bath of used french fry oil,
then the blind will have their sight,
the dead be raised,
and the location caterers
will divide two fishes, five loaves,
and feed the whole crew.
Edward Asner, Poldy's editor,
stands at his desk, shouts
"Tell him to kiss my royal Irish arse!"
and you don't even wonder
what a nice Jewish boy is doing
in a place like this--
for the power of faith
probably could make us think
that Ray Charles might have starred
in the life of Dale Earnhardt.
Poldy and Stephen hook up, travel
about in the Dublin dark.
The ghosts of Zero Mostel and
Milo O'Shea haunt James Gandolfini,
doing his best to carry the burden
of Poldy Bloom, yet failing.
Faith may move mountains
but New Jersey, like Eboli,
is the place where Christ stopped.
the sun is out
but it's out there
and I'm in here
bills piled high
on the glass table
the rose unfurls
day after day
it opens itself
pale petals gold
heart to the sun
to the worm
Like phantom ladders made of water,
heat rises from the street. _Sun devils_,
your mom calls it, and her gaze goes back-
wards to Tennessee and the swelter, mud cakes
patted dry with her sister, toes dangling
in a ditch. But here's
a dry heat, a fraudulent desert
that sends mutant trees shooting towards
a sky only seen in 50's postcards. Fading,
mellowed. To feel nostalgia for a place
you still live in means you've got
one foot out the door, means now may be
the last chance to burn your back to snakeskin
ribbons. Or the last season the wisteria
ripens fat cocoon pods you and your mother
pick to dry, snugging up against the future,
that bedeviling future you divine like water.
16 June 2004
Exercise on the outskirts
I went for a walk in the rain today
for the first time in years.
Buttoned my coat,
raised my umbrella,
past the construction site and into the dripping forest,
along the firebreak full of dead leaves for winter,
behind the undogged, unpeopled, wet-chickened yards,
around the empty playground,
through the gap in the worthless fence,
near the overgrown exotic bushes, some pioneer's garden,
by Tree Glen, not a glen, and losing trees with each new house,
and down my street of gurgling stormdrains,
following the powerlines home.
Thu Jun 17 13:14:14 WST 2004
Snapshot / instant
day battles on
with windblown rosepetals
under the door
the window panes
my joints creak
around the room
computer to bookshelf
and return / (steps
drawn on old music)
from teacher to student
this week / in the end
is the beginning /
'and turn about again'
off / the music
of trains and traffic
computers and telephones:
diminuendo / crescendo
sex life of the 'burbs
the release and tension
of all great art
Mt Hawthorn, Western Australia
(Begun yesterday, interrupted by a migraine, better today, apologies)
something left over
from the pious traditions
of an ordinary childhood
from a time of remembering
which saint's feast falls
on this date
agnes jan 21
agatha feb 5
patrick march 17
columba june 9
a gentle way altogether
to think about my girl heroes
those irish ancestors who made good
wrote loricas, held tough, held off
the demons--why not carry them
into my bureaucratic nightmares as well
but today grace comes
quietly as ever, another gemini
gone nearly a quarter century
whose souvenirs of vocabulary included
waists for blouses and binders, bras
who took the streetcars in jersey city
who lived her share, prayed hard
for anybody that everybody else forgot
calendar honors her
hold out this little snapshot
offer up for a sharing of grace
Sr. Grace Edward Hackett SC
16 June 1898 - 31 August 1981
begun 6/16/04 1 pm (on lunch break)
finished 6/17/04 2:34 pm (free until Tuesday!)
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
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