The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.
On February 7 I arrived at Montco. Rainy, but not too chilly.
I took this picture of tree branches in a puddle, slightly rippled by the breeze.
Once I got inside I set myself up on the main floor of the library.
I had a view of the tutoring center on the floor below, looking through the open stairwell. I was just wondering what that metal cabinet was for – noticing the grill, you wonder if something is in there that needs air to breathe? – when a man came along and opened it.
I was intrigued because it had two locks and he had to sign a log for whatever he took from it. Which was a disappointment – it looked like a laptop and some wires. I comforted myself by imagining it to be super-secret materials he was going to pass to a contact who would then use them to get in touch with beings from another world … and there I decided to stop and let my imagination turn itself to my own work.
Today I was in the mood for using prompts from print (love those PR sounds, prompts from print). I did a series of poems of all sorts but derived from these two sources – a crossword puzzle and these phrases taken from old library books that I had glued into my notebook.
Driven nearly insane by the delicious smell of fried food wafting up from the cafeteria below, I left early for lunch at the grocery store café (I just did not trust myself not to go on a french fry binge if I set foot in the cafeteria. Yes, it smelled that good.) There, I worked on Little Vines.
Here are some samples from today’s work.
Here is a shadorma chain inspired by a conversation I overheard a couple of weeks ago. It took me a while to understand what was going on.
Well she is
in San Francisco
now and she
has made friends
a nice couple name of Spock
and Francis cute names
right? but there
you have it. Often
they meet in
the down trip
elevator. The barking
is something to hear
says and You’re saying
what? It’s dogs
Isabel’s Sparky. Her friends.
What else would it be?
I got this one from two semi-juxtaposed clues in the crossword puzzle, here the first line of the poem. From there, well, it just rolled along on its own.
in the baby pool
in the back yard and
they are floating belly up
like ice cubes in a punch bowl
though without the pink sherbet goo
surrounding them of course
You think they’d design the darn fish
so they would at least orient themselves
in a less distressing way
the children don’t know the difference
the two girls are finding they work fine
to hit the boy over the head Stop that
I shout half-heartedly from my lounge chair
the fish don’t like it
one of the girls throws two trout over the side
on the grass
I go back to my book.
the boy has gone to play in the sandbox
caking himself with sand like a fish
dredged in bread crumbs and ready to fry
The girls look like boiled lobsters
I guess the tube of last year’s sunscreen
was too old to prevent sunburn.
Come on kids, let’s go in
and have lunch. I hose them off
resisting the idea of fish sticks
while they are changing out of their suits
I fix four plates of peanut butter sandwiches.
It’s got to stop somewhere.
I must pay tribute to those French fries I did not eat. Here is a shadorma for them.
The french fries
will ache my stomach
They add pounds
supersonic speed. They smell
great. I must have them.
on the one hand
I had a shipment of patience sent to me
on the other hand
I declined to use it
venture into this little ray of sunlight
within six minutes
you will be a grilled cheese sandwich
set herself adrift in the raucous party
wearing a dress of some shiny slippery fabric
she slithered through some interesting conversations
another ten years
will be any smarter
in the intense cold
I feel the presence
of a very lonely man
she was asleep in the armchair
her frilled collar
filled with cookie crumbs
done at a terrifying pace
fibrous and aggressive
sincerity this afternoon and lies tonight
pinpoint the moment when the changeover occurred
per person per day
the knitting needles offered
no assurances and warranties
against ugly or ill-fitting garments
soon we’ll be going home
I could not get used to the idea
I wonder if the rosebushes are still there?
behind the glass panes
the patient lay in a splenic trance
null and void
Pssst, you, yes, you
you old fussbudget
let me flambé your inhibitions
noon and still no lunch
the children took their vengeance
the doctor calling me the wrong name
as he sharpened his bone needle
I know I signed a contract but still
four days four years ago we were so in love
I’ve never forgotten
that second-rate motel with the view of the fish hatchery
it all started when we stopped for lunch
I was in a lot of pain because you did not love me
I swallowed a lot more than my pride that day
vomited it up on the side of the road
the car is leaking oil
farting out fumes in the garage
and you say this car got you a speeding ticket?
said the parakeet
with a hoarse cough
in the darkened room
irritable and hallucinating
Thank you for reading!