On January 10, I went to Brendlinger Library at Montco. It was a cold and gusty day. Here is a place along the journey you have never seen – I’m waiting at the light at Rte 309 at Greenwood Avenue. I’m going to turn right and travel north, but I’m looking out my window to the south. The Philadelphia city limits are about a 1/2 mile away in this direction. From this location you can sometimes see the buildings in Center City, about 12 miles away.
Today, though, I focused on driving, and upon arriving at the school, I decided to park in a different lot, continuing my adventurous ways – today I was out by the Health and Science Building.
I came into College Hall from the back entrance.
I passed the cafeteria on the way in. The students are still out on vacation so the building is quiet.
Before I settled down, I scattered a few little ink paintings done on white scratch board around the top floor of the library.
All right. I had a plan for work today. I even wrote it down. I even followed it, pretty well. Surprised myself. I looked over the print proof of my last poetry book from 2018 and I think I can say it’s finished and ready to be published (you will be hearing about it, just wait a little…)
I worked on some poems from notes I’d made during the last week. I am concentrating on writing down my impressions as I go along – if I hear or see something that strikes me, well, I’m trying to keep a record rather than relying on my memory.
I did another Blitz poem, if you remember the form from last week. I’ve decided that I’ve tried it twice, and it is not a favorite. Too long, I think, for how I like to work. However, I’ve made the resolution to try different forms this year, remember, and so I’ve added to my repertoire by trying out the Blitz, if nothing else.
I also worked on another short story. One day I will figure out what to do with them or how to do with them and then I’ll share.
Then of course, Little Vines. For them, I left the library and went for lunch – I worked on them at the grocery store café.
Here are some results of today’s work.
This poem is a shadorma. I go to the gym almost every day. I observed this scene as I was walking around the indoor track before going to a class.
At the gym
paunchy man punching
at the bag swinging mildly
from the ceiling hook.
Last weekend it was raining and we stopped to buy new wipers for the car. For your info, my husband put them on himself. Lots of people didn’t. I waited out in the car and this is what I saw.
downpour in January and
everyone all at once
needs new windshield wipers and
says the store
will put them on for
free. Parking lot full
of cars with split cracked
dead on arrival wipers
so far gone they can’t wheeze out
one more sweep of the glass
the cars they are all needing new wipers bad
to do it. Here you come again
out into the wind-blown rain
hoodie soaked under
a flapping yellow poncho
cold hands fumbling with yet another set
of brand-new wipers and
this time you follow a solid woman in
pink rainboots that
look silly on her and
show up the grim drab
thoroughly miserable day
as she leads you to a
white SUV so bloated
you will have to lie on the hood
to reach which
pink boot lady does not like
but tolerates because
otherwise she’d have to do it.
Snap snap and done
you run back inside
the warm rubber-smelling store
cursing the idea of customer service
on a rainy
the very well-kept teeth
the dentist waived his fee this visit
just when I thought
you could be counted on
paying some attention
to the cacti
so late in the afternoon
Finding a friendly face
in the silence of this street
such a remote possibility
to put it more succinctly
in contrast to limp spinach
this guy sitting next to me is eye candy
hold that thought
it’s not real it’s just not real
just stick to that story and you’ll be ok
now that we know you better
a single man living in Apartment 4B
the rules are suspended
we rented space
in a storage warehouse
now we need to fill it up with thoughts
and where else would I be but
drinking beer at the dining room table
in a snowstorm
I got my hair cut
I couldn’t live like that
in that miserable dank tower
pink and red
so where did you appear from
bouquet of zinnias?
in the middle
somehow we manage
but it’s all kind of a blur
cut out the boo hoo
you’re not such a loser as all that
now just sign right here
oh you sneaked out the real you
you left this other you behind
it sure looked like you, everyone said
oh how clear
my pale blue eyes
how deep their surveillance of you
in this room full of people
I’m counting on you
a loner with a bouffant hairdo and bad breath?
one look in this direction
a mere twelve seconds
results: we fell in love we got married we had three kids
persuades the rest of the car
I washed my hair five times on the tenth of January
I don’t want to talk about any other day in my life
Nothing else has ever lived up to that experience
I feel a sense of relief at the asteroid strike
it’s not a permanent solution
but it gets me out of babysitting
in the original score
you meet me at the loading dock
we dance and then we unload a truck
more than a bit of fabric and wire
the umbrella was a friend
we were together for fifteen years
Thank you for reading!