Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 6

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I spent the day writing poetry, a nice place to be today, doing something I love to do.

I had the idea of doing snippets in my mind, since I posted those stragglers a few days ago. And snippets need to be done at home. The library is just not that fond of a flurry of tiny paper bits all over the floor. So I planned my day around that activity. Snippets, I mean, not paper flurrying.

I started off the day by going to my local grocery store cafe (the one you are used to seeing me go to is closer to Montco than this one near my house).

The store is undergoing remodeling, it’s a busy store anyway, and there was a crush of men (yes, pretty much just men, that’s what I observed) buying flowers for the day. Let me tell you the place was just crazy. Perfect for writing Little Vines!

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My current Little Vines source material notebook. I take notes on TV shows, bits of conversation, songs, you name it. I also use the opportunity for handwriting practice (if you remember, I re-learned how to write in cursive about two years ago, but that is a story for another day).

At lunchtime I came home and set up the snippet situation. I went down to my art studio and got my materials out.

Now what I should have done to prepare was to cut out lots of words and phrases beforehand. I did not do that. Because I got too busy over the past few days. So I spent about an hour on this task and let me tell you, I am rusty at it – I felt unsure what to cut (more like what not to cut. I liked every word I saw today).

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Finally I got things going. What I do is, I lay out the snips of paper and then arrange them in groups – either by parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) – or by themes (words that pertain to the ocean, let’s say) – or by…whatever looks good together. In other words, there is no system.

My rule is, three lines (or maybe four). But no more. I have done longer collage poems, but snippets are snippets, and that’s that.

I worked the rest of the afternoon, ending up with a handful of snippets. If you try this form, let me warn you – it’s a slow process. Each session yields just a few poems. You need to go into it with patience.

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When I was finished, I debated leaving the board with the remnants as it was. If I know I am coming back every day to work, that’s what I usually do. Today, though, I feel it will be several days before I will have time again, so I swept up the words and left them ready for the next session. It’s not a bad thing to do this, either – it refreshes the combinations so that next time, I do not work with old thoughts.

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All right, I’ll show you a couple of snippets. Oh, one more thing – usually I glue the print to a painted ATC background. Ooops, I did not have any ready. So I used paint cards and I’ll cut them to size. Note to self – paint backgrounds!


And now, Little Vines. Let’s do them all today, the whole list.


one day very soon
in our pesticide-free front yard
they will get married
those two herbivores

if you’d like to make plans
Right now I am in deep and headed for grievous trouble
I’ll get there sometime tomorrow mid-morning

This Valentine’s Day reflect upon your feelings
for the man standing before you
a bouquet of cold-bitten grocery store roses in hand

a very through cynic
I had hoped I could change him
Peel that sour lemon
sprinkle him with sugar

a stolen watch
an unsealed envelope
you decide to turn a blind eye one more time

it’s just work stuff and so boring
tough to explain and the kind of thing
that makes you lose your appetite

figuratively I got carried away
literally I’m up on libel and slander charges
moral of the story: pay attention to those pesky words

the last four days
the rate of change
I never had a beard before. What next?

it is dimly possible
in a thousand years
but no way this Valentine’s Day

I see a practical woman
no intention of bringing trouble
until someone offered her a reward for it

the monsters have come back this year
now we’re up to thirty
I guess we’ll have to expand the table in the living room

a source of pride to the kitchen
the presence of a masterful cook
with a very active sense of spicy and piquant

my gardening chores squeezing me and distressing the garden
I’d rather be a tiny lizard sunning itself
let the garden decide its own style

my suggestion
mix up the paperwork
there is something about a good flummox
it takes the pressure off

I don’t give up
I just slow it down
until I can catch hold of it

that one stubborn chili pepper
if only someone had put a tracker on it
before it got loose and obliterated your stomach

no I won’t do it
unless you tell me
you’d rather do it

I signed the papers
handed over the key to the treasure box
Sorry but my non-disclosure agreement prohibits saying more

I let the robot translate.
Once I understood I said:
I’d be delighted but not until after lunch.

The death threat and
I think I’ve got good news for you
It’s nothing personal. Just business.

a memorial service
for her artificial identity
the virtual life can be so cruel

You are way out-of-bounds
you not-so-model citizen of the Pliocene
This is my cave. Now scram.

wait I hear the bus backfiring right now
leaking oil at the corner stop
quick pack up that suitcase and get out there

Our family color is pink
Our family style is aiding and abetting
No focus group needed. We know what we like.

every night
in negotiations with our dreams
we ask and answer questions

Listen up
the dentist said
It’s a simple day-long procedure

so who cares
it’s just one page missing
a silent space in the midst of cacophony

that cute little baby smiling at you
oh she’s smart all right
and a determined double crosser

of course I interrupted the doctor
she was doing it all wrong
it’s the can opener first then the chainsaw

the rainbow a fugitive
laughing in your face
while you look for gold footprints

fresh and clean
the baby one minute after her bath


Thank you for reading!

9 thoughts on “Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 6

  1. Thank you, you are welcome. Snippets are slow moving but they also promote a calmer frame of mind and there is always that unexpected phrase that grows into a tiny poem, courtesy of juxtaposition on the table, sometimes!

  2. I always marvel at just how much meaning and potential is condensed into these collections of just a few words. So many of them seem like great jumping off points for stories – though I like that they are oblique and don’t have a fleshed out story other than the one that plays in my head.

  3. A particularly good group, both figuratively and literally.
    The Collage Box Oracle indeed demands patience. But the rewards are many. She surprises me all the time.
    And I have a bookcase just like that blue one, only it’s green. I love it–those rounded ends. But I have no idea of its origin–I always thought it was hand made, but maybe not. (K)

  4. Thank you. You are right, Patience is rewarded. As for the bookcase, I bought it at a thrift shop a long time ago and it’s been painted a couple of times since then. I also was drawn in by the rounded ends.

  5. I feel the same way about oblique. I prefer to let people imagine, as I am – I like the mystery of it. Having said that, there are some that to me I know I will be going back to, not to imitate, but to follow one of those paths. Irresistible.

  6. Thank you, I a,m lucky to have this space. I am a person who loves order so I clean up all the time to keep things straight. But that’s my style, everyone is different, and the idea is – the space ought to be welcoming!

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