Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 1

A new year and a new Marathon begins.

I arrived at Montgomery County Community College Brendlinger Library on January 3, a very cold (10 degrees F) morning.

Butler Pike and Spring Garden Avenue, Ambler – some traditions continue.

The campus is covered in a light blanket of snow, and we are going to get some more tomorrow – you can see the lines of ice-melt solution already sprayed on the walks and parking lots.

This blurry photo represents me running into the library…it is just that cold.

And here I am standing still. Just for contrast.

I have a new name for this year’s Marathons: after changing my mind several times, I have decided on Day Trip Poetry Marathon. Easy to see why. I make a trip into poetry writing for a day each week. It’s a little step away from regular routines, just like a day trip in ordinary life.

All right. We all know what the routine is here at a Marathon session, no matter what it’s called. I sat down at a table, I pulled out my papers and thought about my plan. The library is very quiet because school is not in session – this week and next, I will have the place almost to myself.

Edit last week’s poems. Write new ones – including working on a small Artist Sketchbook that I’ve filled up with images, now needing words. (And that reminds me to get to work on posting the large sketchbook I finished up in the last few weeks.)

OK, that’s plenty to do, isn’t it? Let’s see some results.

This poem is clearly influenced by the weather…


Oh we chat
waiting in line for our bagel breakfast
in the warm shop
with snug seats and clean tables and a fireplace
gas of course but still
it puts out a good strong stream of
winter-fighting heat
it flickers in a cozy way
so that we feel just great
waiting for our bagel breakfast
while the high snow clouds gather in the sky
and water mains break all over town

This poem is a shadorma (I am trying some of these and I love the form) for the small sketchbook.

moon tied to the sky
by a string
frayed-edge raw
the knot slipping. It will fall.
Quick put up your arms.

And this poem just appeared. Oh dear.


In this charming noir fairy tale
she’s a real clothes-horse
blonde in a mink coat
flitting around like a firefly
with an expensive purse full of the usual odds and ends
my colleague and

my enemy.
All business today
the firefly
shot me dead in my office.
Sometimes things get too real.

Now, some Little Vines.

suppose I told you
I fractured his tibia
because I was not interested in the fibula

your aunt
what a liar she was
designed just for that purpose

wait for instructions or don’t, I sure don’t care
just find out where that lunkhead went
before he breaks someone

it’s an emergency and things are in such a jumble
first a cardiac arrest
then my phone went dead

my boss was a great big wet slime
after wheezing out especially noxious gases
a specialist had to be called in

Crystal ball
I’m afraid it’s not good news
Hey man, look out for the bus.

employed as a personal shopper
I de-escalate figure flaws and fashion folly
for people with a lot of ready cash

fine, keep your secrets
you make your own choices
but even the chickens are suspicious

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

9 thoughts on “Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 1

    • Yes, I hadn’t meant for it to have a connection to the really big one we have right now – it was just the first page in the book, but…once again, events come together…

  1. I love your choice of marathon title. Perfect! Another productive session with great results. I love the noir piece but my favourite is the shadorma (a word I have not written in many long years, not since I was teaching creative writing) with its wonderful imagery.

    I am hoping your pipe breaks from your first poem are not some sort of oracle. These very cold days of winter make me rather paranoid about damage. Just over a year ago, we had a massively destructive flood at work when water pipes in the roof froze and ruptured. We are all very worried about it happening again. I also have a pipe towards the exterior of our garage that spouts a leak when it gets intensely cold (as the previous owners did not cap it off properly) and fixing it while I get increasingly soaked in cold temperatures is not fun.

    • Thank you, I like the name too, and it came to me all in a flash. The best kind of idea. I hope your pipes stay whole; this weather is so hard on plumbing. And leaking almost-freezing water is a bad feeling, fixing it while you feel like crying in anger and annoyance, that would be me.

  2. A great collection Claudia. In the first poem I like how you channel the cozy feeling we get when taking refuge from winter..the ending was great…funny (and not)

    • Thank you. We are getting some harsh weather these last couple of weeks and well, things happen, but I always think about being inside and warm and feel cozy and grateful. Unfortunately there have been a lot of water problems, the pipes don’t like this weather a bit. As long as my water stays…!!!

    • Thank you. I was glad to be in the library and glad I went yesterday as today we have a big snowstorm. Chicken, I think they are funny no matter what they are doing…

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