You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since winter, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.
This year, in addition to scheduling the regular long versions, I have decided to do one segment of a Marathon each week. Two to three hours set aside for poetry, outside my regular life. It’s called the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon.
For more background information, look here. And if you want to read previous posts in this series, search this blog under the term Installment Plan Poetry Marathon 2017.
Today, February 16, 2017, I’m back at Logue Library at Chestnut Hill College. I got there at ten minutes after eight AM – the doors had barely opened. I checked in and went up to the third floor stacks. Here’s a look back down the stairs:
I turned to my left:
walked along the windows:
turned right, and ended up at what I have begun to think of as MY desk.
As usual, the floor was quiet – it’s not a big space, and I was the only one there. Just what I like.
I needed some time to settle down before getting to work. I am noticing the effects of extended living with a disrupted schedule these days. I like a routine and I do better with more space around me, physical and mental, than what’s available right now. I’ve had a busy week with various doctor appointments, including one in which, after months of observation, I learned I now have an official diagnosis of glaucoma in my right eye. I felt a bit frazzled as I arrived for this session.
I decided to walk around the floor a little. Threading my way up and down the aisles, it struck me just how many books are part of a series. I took a few pictures.
I think that if you are a book, there is a nice camaraderie to being one in a line of like-minded volumes.
All right. I sat down at my desk. First, I went over the poems I did on 2/2 – I didn’t look them over in the last session, since I was working on snippets.
Then I wandered around the floor a little more. I saw this step stool – I have always liked this design – you can push it with your foot, but when you step on to it, it pushes the stool down so that it can’t move. This simple perfect solution always delights me.
And here is an earlier version, serving the same purpose, getting books from a too-high shelf, but with a different construction. I noticed this set of steps had a great deal of wear, obviously having been on the job for a long time.
And here are a couple of poems from today’s session. Remember, I am showing you the poem as it first appeared on the page. Maybe on another reading I’ll refine things.
This first one was written because we need some work done at home.
The bedroom wall needs repairing.
Plaster cracked. Unsightly
and an affront
to the order I must have
that I can’t live without
that I put so much
into capturing and caging.
Things go wild
around here. Please
call the painters
And this one, a tanka, was written because of the sunlight glinting on the drainpipe of the building next door.
Tracing a bright streak
the aluminum drainpipe
races down the length
of the four-story building
skidding to a tipped-up halt.