The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.
I arrived at Brendlinger Library, Montco, on December 13. The weather was gray and the sky full of heavy clouds.
The forecast was for a little snow and some rain (although nothing happened, as it turned out). The school had prepared the walks with a brine.
On the way in I dropped off a couple of cat tiles. Look. A couple of tiles I left here on the concrete bridge abutment are still here. I put one cat tile with them
and left another on a bench in the middle of campus. By the way, when I left the school, they were gone…
I haven’t been here for some weeks. The Marathon has been on the road. I settled into my table with a real sense of relief, almost. It was nice to be back again.
Here is an update on my ongoing projects.
- I have just accumulated enough Little Vines to create a new print book (I am now up to Vine # 2006. The addiction continues.) That book is very close to completion – just needing title pages and so on. I’ve been putting the body of it together as I go along.
- I plan to put all poems written July -December 2018 into another print book, and I’ve been setting it up as I go along as well. It needs title pages, indexing, etc., however – plus the addition of whatever poems I come up with between now and year end.
- I have finished my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 and will post it in 2019. A new Large Artist Sketchbook is in progress but right now, I’m still making the art – these books go as they go, no destination, no firm arrival times.
- The Minuscule book is finished, in print, and on Amazon.
So today, I have some choices of work. Little Vines, of course. Devoting some time to thinking and planning for next year’s Marathon themes and activities. New poems. And some work on the two print books I mentioned above. Choices.
Here are some results.
Earlier this year my mother died and my father moved to an assisted living community. Now their house and its contents are being sold. My sister has done all the hard work to accomplish this, for which I am very grateful. I have viewed it through photos. It is with a mixture of emotions I revisit many memories and objects. In looking at the photos of items arrayed for sale, I was struck by the similarity they have to another tradition I remember (and when I got married, I participated in): wedding gifts arrayed for display. In my younger days that’s what you did – set out the gifts for visitors to see. I wrote this shadorma chain about this juxtaposition.
cover the table
full of glass
china silver. We are young.
Plates unchipped. We hope.
glass china silver
We are dead.
Plates missing from the set. Years
on years. Now we know.
As a child up through to about age 20 I was a competitive swimmer. Like many others, my parents invested in a stopwatch in the 1960’s when I started swimming. I mention the mechanical kind, with hands and numbers around the circle. It was heavy in your hand and worn on a lanyard. My mother usually ran the watch on my events to get my splits. I had no idea it was still around until my sister told me she had found it. Now she is going to send it to me and I will have it again in my life, however, not to time swim races – though she tells me it still runs fine.
The last lines refer to the way I was taught to finish a race, pre-touchpad swimming: put your head down, do not look for the wall, and drive in hard with some splash if you can – the human timers leaning over to record your touch might hit the watch just that little bit sooner and give you the benefit of an earlier finish.
and I we swam years
stroke for stroke
sweep hand and arm pull head down
a hard splash finish
Now, a poem written with the aid of one of my phrase cards. Nothing to do at all with anything, just imagination.
A thousand and one ingredients to go
and you exaggerate but not so much, really, and
in disbelief tempered with pride
you view yet another truckload of those berries
pulling up to the door. Thank goodness
none of them prefer to fight
but instead they slip without a protest
into the silence of a baked cake’s interior
agreeably pureed and not seeming to mind
as you say
the change from street to chewed up asphalt to upcycled
petroleum product in a brand-new application
(I forgive the strained and unappetizing simile because
I know your mind is preoccupied with
finding a space on the refrigerator shelf for such a many of
beautiful berry super berry multi berry layer cakes
oh yes of which there seems to be a plethora.
Have you considered –
No. I see not. I did think you looked nervous).
Well, it’s time to count on those who can be counted on:
family friends neighbors people on your bus to work
the librarian the dental hygienist cleaning your teeth
guys pouring concrete people lined up to buy movie tickets
You know perfectly well there is not a person on earth
who does not need or want a
beautiful berry super berry multi berry layer cake
and as you say
what a blessing it turned out to be
the confluence of
a modest but meaningful inheritance from that second cousin
a bumper crop of berry available for quick sale
and your mania for cake baking.
Sit down and take a load off.
I will remove a few of these from the oven for you.
the beach covered with sand
the ocean full of wet salty water
the beach towel wiggling its terrycloth loops
the ocean pushing up wet salty waves
it was an eerie green scene that I saw
after I drowned and lay on the bottom with sand in my hair.
I said I had sore muscles
He said run them through a copy machine
you can get yourself some new and better ones that way
fingers curled around the yellow pencil
can we follow them
see what they write?
Of course I am certain she is holding a grudge
she has forty-five acres full of them in fact
she’s won ribbons at the state fair for grudge production
the doctor removed the stitches
said she’d be out to sea for a couple of days
just be patient she’ll drift back in eventually
pretend you are not a chair
in the attic
we are not used to such goings-on at the office
the poisoned spike we keep in the break room
has always worked up to now
it turns out he is one of the less than semi-good people
living in apartment 310
she is the bellicose occupant of 314
Meanwhile here in 312 we cower
a free plane ticket in my pocket
and here I was
waiting at the bus stop
We don’t have much sugar.
Traditional values in culinary activities of this sort
demand a sweeter outcome. Time to visit a neighbor.
dude, how was life
the booming voice asked
from somewhere out in the mist
one great big ten-layer chocolate cake coming up
of course not at a moment’s notice
I’ve got to translate the recipe from Norwegian
first I’ve got to learn Norwegian
the plumber is asleep in the bathtub
the carpet installer set tack strips along the driveway
the first words the postman said to me were: don’t worry your face is clean.
it’s a little unsettling.
so you are finally awake
I can tell by the power surge and exploding lights
let me call the electrician before you try to sit up
come out zombies and conquer your new world
late last night after so much planning the papers signed
the taxes paid. It’s all yours.
three months in the same room
talking business with that woman non-stop
it all seems to go back to one enchanting memory.
en garde you arthritic turtle
step up here and show me what you’ve got
though I have time to wait for only so long
Thanks as always for reading! See you next week.