Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 14

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.

This week’s session, Friday, April 7, was a bits and pieces kinds of day – the Installment Plan had to be broken into installments. Here is why…For one thing, I’ve been down and out with a terrible cold this whole week. I still feel very foggy inside my poor sniffly head. A shorter writing session seemed necessary.

It’s also been a busy week – various appointments and activities, including having painters at our house for the past two days. We are having a couple of rooms done. You know how it is, with moving things, sanding machine noises, people walking around, and so on.

Well, I’ve been quite confused. And I didn’t feel up to making a trip to the Chestnut Hill College Library, as much as I missed doing it. I decided to work for a couple of hours at our grocery story café, come home (so the painters could go to lunch), and then finish up later in my office at home.

OK. I got settled in the café around 9 AM. A bit of later start than I thought, since I ran into a friend and had a nice conversation. Here’s a look at my surroundings:


I didn’t bring my computer but instead planned to write on paper. It just seemed to suit my mood. Maybe I needed the feel of pen in my hand to anchor me?


I also want to mention my trusty companion, the thesaurus. I like everything about this book. It’s useful, of course, but if you like words, it’s more than that. It’s full of stories and ideas. It’s fascinating, the total version of how we make associations and connections, right there in print.

I wrote for a couple of hours and then went home. Once there, after lunch, I went over last week’s poems. So you can see – two installments. Today’s Marathon really lived up to the name.

First example. As background, I’ve been on a mission to improve my handwriting (look here if you want to know more). One thing I’ve been doing is to write down bits of dialogue and so on from TV shows as I watch them. It’s made for a lot of pages of disconnected but intriguing phrases.


So I looked over some of these pages today, picked out some bits, added more, and did a few poems. I like this method – I’ll try it again.

Let’s begin. Good morning
Good night. Breakfast is on the table.
Finish your dinner.
We’re on a tight schedule. Tiptoe out of the house.
Bad day for both of us.
I try to accommodate your routines
I told you the truth. My own face frowning
hundreds of years from now
I’m not giving up hope of an afterlife.
Putting a few more things away
climbing a few more rungs. It’s complicated.

And here is a haiku.

Her vinegar face
her too-tart May I help you?
sell me no roses

Thank you for reading. More next week!


8 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 14

  1. Thank you first of all for what you said about my penmanship (after 50+ years of illegibility I am hoping for the opposite) as I am continuing with my workbook lessons and practice. And as for vinegar, it does have layers to it, doesn’t it, in what you can think about it.

  2. Thank you. You know, I like vinegar myself, it makes a nice drink, a little apple cider vinegar in a cold glass of water, and think about pickles. But on its own, it is strong and nose-twisting…I guess no one would choose to come back as a bottle of vinegar in their next life?

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