You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since January, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.
This year 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 June 29 I returned to Logue Library, Chestnut Hill College.
Another beautiful summer day. I documented some of my trip over to the library today. Don’t worry, I took pictures in the car only when stopped…First, I leave home.
Next, I get on the road. It’s 15 minute or so trip to the college. Lots of traffic in the morning – I am on the road a little before 9 AM.
I have a couple more turns – Bell’s Mill Road, Germantown Avenue. But I had green lights – no photos. I turn into the college itself:
I drive to the back of the campus and park, then walking up the road, up the stairs, and to the library.
After talking to the librarian a bit, I went to the third floor to my desk.
This is Week 26 of this current Marathon. I do not know when it will end. Maybe never. By now I have this habit of concentrating on poetry for one day a week well-established.
I am very lucky in my ability to fall quickly and easily into a focused state of thinking – I believe my years of doing art have sharpened it, but I have always been able to do it, even as a child. This ability has really been a lot of help in all kinds of situations. When I need to, I can block out everything but my subject and I am not easily distracted. So, the Marathon idea works for me – I know it’s not for everyone.
I jot down thoughts or impressions throughout the week to save up for the writing day. It’s never much, but enough to point me back to the place in my mind where I filed the whole set of associations or thoughts about that topic. I think of it as making entries in a “suspense account”, a term from my banking days, meaning a temporary place to park money in transit from one place to another.
The ideas wait in my mind until I’m ready to address them. I pull them out to work on them when it is time. And of course, once the engines start up, well, the journey resumes, taking me who knows where?
There you have it. Why the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon idea works for me!
One more photo. A tennis camp is underway at the college this week. The kids were there when I arrived and were just finishing up when I left around 4 PM. I admire their fortitude – the day was very hot. I kept an eye on them from a window in the 3rd floor stairwell.
Today is Week 26. Half a year has gone by. Lots of poems. I have enough work done since the last book I did (Weeks 1-13) to do another. Be warned!
Here are today’s selections.
I wrote several poems about my days working for a local bank in the city. I am speaking of three decades ago now. Seems like yesterday to me; those memories are vivid. Here is a summer scene, repeated again and again, although the menu choice might have varied:
and hot dogs
from the food truck
on the corner
a car honks at me to hurry
across the street
though I have the light
already I am sweating
in my dress and jacket
meant for my air-conditioned office
instead of straight-down
lunchtime summer sun.
I eat my hot dog
leaning against a brick planter
full of sagging petunias
next to the bus shelter
stealing its shade.
Marked as I am
by my office clothes
tourists ask me
almost every day
for directions to a good lunch spot.
Here is a poem written from my handwriting practice. I’m thinking wedding here, but – you fill in the function.
You’ll need help
the paperwork can be confusing
so many different hairstyles to choose from
and our catering staff
is thoroughly professional
when it comes to waffles
if not on a more extensive menu.
We can also provide a sketch artist
or hidden cameras
Alterations free with your purchase
We’ll do whatever it takes
We accept personal checks.
Here are a few handwriting snippets:
Why am I even here?
I’m here for the coffee
and the nightmare visions that come with it
do you know how much trouble I’m in
owing three years of back taxes
I tell you what, you panic or you focus
yelling at the neighbors
you know what it’s like
no drama just routine
It is your fault
the future is in the tea leaves
and you just threw them out
I thought you had been suffocated
there was a story a while back
I guess you can’t take gossip that seriously
OK, that is it for today. Until next week!