Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 31

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.

Back at Logue Library, Chestnut Hill College, on August 3, 2017. Hot steamy day. Empty parking lot. Summer!

Let’s visit the squash plant in residence – it has grown a little; you might be able to see it is a vine now rather than just the first bit of a plant. New blossoms on it, not yet to the blooming stage. I still have hopes of baby squash. This plant’s existence is something magic or miraculous or proof of the tenacity of life, or all of the above plus some more. It put a smile on my face to see it again.

And, let me show you the crepe myrtles. Even more color and bloom than last week, do you think? And I like the pink “rain” on the sidewalk.

On my way in I photographed this month’s library hours. This is how I keep up with what time to arrive here! Look, you can see that school is starting at the end of this month.

I took a tour through the periodicals section before I settled down. I thought about working here today, but it is partially underground, and I decided I’d rather see the sky and sun. In winter, though, this section could be very cozy here, and I am sure it will be quiet; I think this part of the library gets less traffic.

I browsed around. Some journals were in magazine or pamphlet form.

Most were bound in volumes. This journal caught my eye. What could be in it?

Turned out, all kinds of things.

I wish I could check this volume out. I need to inquire, but I don’t think these volumes circulate. Can I make time for some reading? Give myself a library vacation, come over here, and READ? Hmmm…I need to consider this idea.

All right. Up to my desk on the 3rd floor.

I worked on last week’s poems first; I had done several that I knew would need some going over and I wanted to be fresh-minded when thinking about them. Then, I worked on new poems.

At lunchtime I took a little walk and solved a small mystery. On each floor, on the “other side” of the building (meaning the non-stacks section where all the classrooms, offices, bathrooms, auditorium, etc., are) I’ve noticed these doors.

But it wasn’t until I went to the periodicals section and passed into the “other side” down there that I got the idea. Here’s what did it:

I don’t know why the lamp is in there, but I can read the other signs. These were telephone booths, built into the building. Now they seem to use them for closets or – places to stash things that need a quick stashing. Just think – it is a library, after all, and quiet…if you needed to make a phone call, well, you would keep your conversation non-disturbing inside one of these booths.

I feel pretty sure today’s students would have no idea what to think of these tiny rooms – but I like to imagine all the conversations these walls have heard.

OK. Time for poems.

I focused on this bush in my front yard, glimpsed as I was waiting to back into the street, on the way to the library.

Fortune-telling holly bush
tarot card in the front yard
loaded and some extra
with red berries the motif
Hard winter and get ready
the interpretation

This one is from cooking penne pasta the other day.

A watched pot
certainly it boils.
Apply heat
the pot hums
the water shakes awake
a couple of tiny tornadoes form
next thing you know
the water is leaping up trying to get out.
Look, I’m showing you.
It is boiling.

One of my neighbors.

Fat sleek groundhog runs
inside his skin one size large
with quick dignity
his complete nose-to-tail self
a ripple across the grass

And some little vines (handwriting snippets; this is their new name. I have decided.)

he is a very handsome man but jealous
every hair split right down the middle
five hundred years of therapy couldn’t help him

I tried everything and nothing worked.
I was accused of negligence but I got off with a reprimand.
Your hair will grow back.

empty plates on the table
something burning in the oven
my stomach is starting to get suspicious

You want excitement?
Let’s get down to the kitchen
and set the dishtowels on fire.

a cymbal in each hand
There will be a lot of ruined music
and terrified little eardrums that don’t understand

a stack of books on money laundering
a briefcase full of money
looks like we’re no longer powerless frauds

Thanks for reading. Until next time!


13 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 31

  1. How great is it that you started with a squash vine and end with poetic vines? Great selection again. Your prolific writing is very impressive. The vines are fantastic. I love those little telephone booths. I rather wish I had one in my house.

  2. Thank you. The theme certainly is vines…as for the booths, I have seen them often in older buildings; you have to know what they are for to spot them as they usually are closets or something else nowadays. I remember using a very classy wood paneled one in the Curtis Bldg in Philadelphia when I first worked in the neighborhood around 1986 or 87; I don’t know why I was using it as my office was very near, but it had a seat and was quiet and soundproof. I could see building one for a home. Just lovely.

  3. “Every hair split right down the middle”–well that is just perfect.
    And the phone booths, and the showers of blossoms, and the squash update…in short, a great way to begin my day. Thanks! (K)

  4. Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. Logue Library has quite a personality and it’s a benefit of the marathon, maybe even an objective, to discover more about the place each time and as the seasons evolve.

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