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. (That was the idea – it’s grown now to take over the whole day. That’s fine with me.)
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 December 7, back at Montco’s Brendlinger Library, and a lovely sunny day.
The now-traditional Butler Avenue photo:
I zipped up the path to College Hall
and found a seat on the second floor. I thought I’d start the day off in quiet and maybe after lunch move down to the first floor, if I needed something livelier. Or, I’d return here. There is always a choice!
I felt very unsettled at the outset of the session. I find this time of year disturbing. I’m a person who loves routine. I don’t like the holidays’ heightened emotions; everything seems frantic, hurried, and competitive. Old memories are revived and I don’t associate much good with this time of year. I was not sure today, when I sat down to write, that I had any thoughts worth sharing. Or that I could sit still long enough to do it.
Then I remembered. For my birthday, my friends John N and David gave me a finger labyrinth, prompted by how much I like the real-world one at Chestnut Hill College.
The idea is to “walk” around it with your finger. I stopped everything I was fussing around with on my desk, got the labyrinth out of my purse, and did a couple of circuits. While I “walked”, I tried to slow down my thoughts and think of being outside on a clear cold day like today. It helped. Remember, the way in is the way out, I thought. You cannot get lost.
OK. I decided to mix up my work today. Write a poem, edit one from last week, and continue to alternate, so on and so on. Little Vines at the end. And that is how it went. In the end, my mind loosened up. I got along fine. Thank you, labyrinth, Montco library, and sunshine outside the window.
Here are a couple of poems from today.
The telephone rings
I picture a black desk set
worthy of real talk
not this metallic wafer
type and flashy chat and peek
This one is written in a series of haiku syllable forms but each one does not stand alone, really, and I didn’t mean them to, I just liked the discipline. Is there a name for this, I don’t know? Anyway – knee socks.
Pull up your knee socks
the admonishment you’ve heard
since the second grade
when socks first pulled on
tight to the knee right then left
fell to the ankles
both at the same time
no waiting. As if they knew
how to aggravate
teachers and parents
fixed on symmetry. You cared
not one little bit
not a bit. You cared
if your legs ran fast. You cared
if you kicked the ball
it flew over heads
miles away to the outfield
knee socks wherever.
A short little poem about work.
the wrong room
a day late
wore ballet flats to a snowstorm
left her reading glasses at home
parked the car in a tow-away zone
could not remember the company’s name
was hired on the spot.
it’s been a long time coming
it was icing on a cake
that was already plenty sweet
skip that one, give me the next one
I can’t afford this kind of melodrama
Just choose a pork chop.
Purse-snatcher, armed gunman, a really poor liar
we sure have some world-class slim pickings here
It’s killing the flirt in me
I dropped the whole bottle of pills
in the punch bowl
our problem, plus a few others, is solved
he was short, square, and bald
sprawled out flat on his back
the whole conversation took only a few minutes
The back door was unlocked
I took one look and screamed my lungs out
Nothing short of decapitation will make me forget that sight
the trained chemist nosing around
ditched the shadow and took a taxi
bagged up debris behind the gas station
Thank you for reading! Until next time.