Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 35

The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.

On August 30 I arrived at Brendlinger Library, Montco, bright and early. School has started! The parking lot shows the evidence of a repopulated campus.

PO 8-30 #104

Remember, I am arriving about 8 AM, so I can tell you this lot will be full by lunchtime. I have noticed the first weeks of school are more crowded than the latter ones: many classes now offer online options or short sessions and some people need to come to the campus only for introductory work, for class-sign up, and for exams. Things have changed since I graduated from college myself almost 40 years ago.

Anyway, a bright and sunny day here.

PO 8-30 #203

I noticed the chairs and tables in the quad; a library staffer told me the school was hosting picnics for the students the next few days. That’s nice. The red tent is the twin of one I passed on the way in – they are handing out student manuals. There is certainly a buzz going on right now around here – the anticipation of a new school year, a clean start, progress toward a goal – all good things.

PO 8-30 #302

I also noticed the café in the library is open again. I wondered if the same guy would be working there. Yes, there he is.

PO 8-30 #401

Today I worked on new poems, a Minuscule story/poem, and Little Vines. Here are some selections.

An old quarry, water-filled, near us, has been turned into a small lake/park.


Off the road
behind the hedges
the quarry
a drowned and
mineral-opaque secret.
A woman fishes.

Here is a photo of the small lake.


In my multi-decades of life I have seen a lot of TV commercials.

Television Commercial

I love you madly
said the manly fellow to his lawnmower
both of them standing on a green lawn
that doesn’t need cutting.
I watch in interest as a woman
dressed too nicely to be doing housework
though she carries a mop
emerges from the house
shouts: Break it up you two
advances on the pair
flails the mop
combining fencing and kendo moves.
She is inexpert but effective
leaving the manly fellow’s lip split
the mower mute but somehow unsubdued.
She turns on her heel
enters the house
slams the door. I hear the lock click.
The manly fellow and the lawnmower
head into the garage
I guess divorce and remarriage
have been discussed
decided on
the settlement made and
it only took a minute, tops.
I hate to see a home break up but
I am happy the woman
at least has her loyal friend the mop
to talk things over with
though I’m left with one question:
What is it I should be wanting to buy?

I used one of my cut-out phrase cards. This time I incorporated the phrase anywhere in the line.


Small Talk

There was a noise. There was a vibration. There was
shapeless sound. There were the words as soon as said
it was all forgotten. There were the small bites of too-sweet on trays
offered to the smiles that poisoned the It’s nice of you to say so.
There were plenty of those moments looping in this room
and all of them nothing but a noise. Small talk did not fit well could not disguise
the heartless full-time say-anything flirts lounging in the armchairs. It felt cold.
It rang false. It gathered in the corners. It walked on thin legs. It sneered.

PO 8-30 #501

Little Vines.


the three missing men
I keep thinking about what you said
they are missing only if you’re looking for them

piles of bills in every mail delivery
what a special man
that exhausted postman is

what about all the things that have happened
you think you can walk away
and let me guess you’re in a hurry

the previous chef
livid and shouting
very generous with the cayenne pepper

in the grid of cold-blooded premeditation
he was on the edge
she pushed him over

a house and sixty-five thousand termites
no I’m not overreacting
it’s just that I’ve never seen such magnificence

Her novel was all she could talk about
I knew straightaway
she would make a Grade A tax preparer

from the moment I was born
I’ve been in such a rage
jeepers I just smashed the coffee table

what if you had asked me
is everything all right sweetheart
I could have told you the truth

the band split up
big holes in the bank account
no one wanted to get back on the tour bus
but they did

the engagement’s off
I have no intention of thinking it over
I’m the bird that flew away

that pale man in the dark shirt and the dark suit
he’s been lying to us all summer
you can stand it for eleven more minutes

could you be a little more appreciative
of this treasured family icon
let the cat continue his nap

a shorthand notebook filled with seven thousand symbols
there was no reason at all to expect a happy ending
but you got one, didn’t you?

it’s just a shame
they were thinking about a divorce
what they really wanted was a rewind

I finally had to stick him in the freezer
it’s cold and it’s never been warm
that’s what he likes about it

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

11 thoughts on “Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 35

  1. My favourite in this collection is the one about the couple in the commercial. I love it because those unrealistic representations of family or domestic life always make me sneer. You hit on two of my bug bears – inappropriate attire and doing a chore that clearly doesn’t need to be done – plus I often imagine the interior lives of the people presented in those adverts. What’s really bubbling under that far too controlled facade?

  2. I love commercials just for that reason – they are such a jumping off place for a story, I can’t stop myself, and I’ve always been this way. Maybe it’s just another outlet for my desire to snoop. Anyway, it’s a world with its own social rules, TV commercials, and I think it’s fascinating.

  3. Hi Claudia .. if my previous message seems truncated it’s because it flew away before it was finished…if it didn’t make it all, I’ll redo…

  4. (q) but they don’t ask because they don’t really want to know…
    There are print ads on the subways, too, that seem to have no relation to anything. So how could you figure out what you are supposed to buy, let alone buy it? Perhaps it’s a language we are too old to understand…(K)

  5. That is mysterious. What I was saying was that I particularly enjoyed the quarry poem and it’s mineral-opaque secret. And the television commercial was fun reminding me of ads from the 50’s (or my impression of them) and more modern ads when you can wonder ‘what are they trying to sell here?’

  6. Thank you. You are right, the internet swallows things sometimes and they go…where? Anyway, thank you about the poems. This flooded quarry is a surprise find (that it is a park now, I mean, as it’s existed for a long time but behind fences). I love looking the water because you just don’t see that color or thickness of water anywhere else but a quarry. And those commercials, I admit to liking many of them, no matter how bad, because they always set off such ideas in my head and of course a lot of laughs.

  7. Q, yes, if you don’t ask you will not have to be told, and then be responsible. Not unusual in my experience. As for ads, well, I find them fascinating, for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes I do think I’m missing the point because I am obviously not the target audience and other times – I wonder if there is a point, which I enjoy thinking about what it could be…

  8. It does seem like they are pranking us at times. That’s OK, I’m not going to be swayed to buy whatever they are selling. Just enjoy the creation as it is.

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