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.
On Tuesday, April 11, I was back at my desk on the 3rd floor of Logue Library, Chestnut Hill College, and glad to be there, having missed it last week. I’m here earlier in the week than usual because the school goes on Easter vacation on Thursday. I feel much better, my cold well on the way to finishing itself up, and we have a truly lovely day, weather-wise.
Makes me feel more like writing. So, I got things arranged at my desk. No coat hanging off the chair today.
Then I took a walk around the floor. The idea of photographing the books, looking for details and some different perspectives, came to mind, so I carried my camera along. Every book has elements in common – they are made to a pattern well-tested, aren’t they – but each one has its own cover, colors, size…and copies of the same book have their own wear and quirks, due to the separate lives they have led. It’s interesting to think of each book as having a life, isn’t it?
Then I got down to work. First writing, then looking over last week’s poems – the usual pattern. Today I’d rate my work about average – nothing done that I thought: work of genius! On the other hand, I’ve learned that nothing makes much sense directly after you write it. You have to let it sit a while. That’s my word of wisdom for today. So, let’s see what I make of things when I get back to these poems next week.
All right, here are a couple of selections from today.
I have always really liked dandelions and there are a lot of them around this time of year.
Walking along the side of the road
where the dandelions
thrive in the mixed-size gravel
splotches of yellow that set themselves
inches from the asphalt
I’d step in the road so as not to
crush any one of them
if it weren’t so full of traffic
As it is I hop among the green islands
my feet pinching a spiky leaf here and there
but never the blossoms they surround
I reach the intersection
where the sidewalk begins
but I’m still walking
the yellow and green
And here is one more:
life is a fast cruise
with some hard rules
down a river
that’s always got a bend
putting the next tie-up spot
out of sight
no matter where you start from
every report you get
there is no smooth ride
the word comes through a radio
full of static. Like we
heard all of this before.
Until next week…