Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 1

The Marathon journey is in its fourth year. Just Enjoy Yourself is the current incarnation. Let’s do it!

We begin the shakedown cruise for Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 today, January 3,  on this dark mild January morning.

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I’ve decided (unless I change my mind) to have a “theme” for each week, something the Marathon can coalesce around. Today’s theme, quite modest, is – get out of the house and go to Montco. Which I have done.

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The campus is quiet. Look at Cara Mia McGill all by herself out there in the parking lot!

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The atmosphere in the library is relaxed. When I came in just after 8 AM the coffee shop guy was chatting with the desk assistant and two guys in green workmen hoodies were laughing as they went down the stairs, the radios on their belts talking away unheard.

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I dive into the peace of this place. The sight of so many books calms me. I do not like holidays, because I love routine. I don’t like it, I love it, crave it. Now I am returning to it. Good times coming.

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All right. I continue to refine my ideas on this year’s pattern. I have tentatively decided to work on Little Vines on their own day (besides the regular Marathon day), but for this week, they are still with the Marathon. I am also working on a short story (called Mrs. Sari and it is based on a dream. Yes, I know, but I have to get my ideas somewhere). I didn’t mean to but I worked on that story a bit today.

And I have two print books in process that are coming from 2019 poetry. I combed over the second one today (the first one, I am waiting for a printed proof).

In the end, I mostly felt like doing something new right now. New poems. I pulled out my pile of materials, notes, etc. that I carry around for when I’m ready to do some digging for gold nuggets and got to writing.

Happy New Year 2020. Just enjoy yourself!


When I came in all was quiet…

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When I left a few hours later, the lawn was filled with this crowd:

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Shadorma chain. I love to read books set in haunted houses.

took shelter
in a rotting house
that belongs
to don’t know
and I can’t believe my eyes
here’s a secret room

behind the
bookcase so of course
I enter
just avoid
falling through the floor I am
living out a dream

all right and
here’s more luck just look
that creepy
old portrait
its eyes follow me (Scream of
sheer terror pleasure)

Let’s look forward to summer and warmth. Because it is rainy and damp in my part of the world today.

the rind saved
to make into pickles
the rest of the watermelon
now a picnic memory
the tide come in
the level of the water
blotting out the beach
Sunburned and the plaid blanket
just a little wet. Wring it out
the four of diamonds
left behind on the sand
floating out to sea. Let it go
let’s climb up the dune
Amore, this was a beautiful day.

I jotted down a note at the gym the other day. The walking track overlooks the pool. This is a shadorma.

Like an ant
destination fixed
the old man
stooped and pale
water-walks the heated pool
swim trunks bagging out

On the radio this morning on the way to the college. From the car radio to my typing fingers, less than twenty minutes.

The radio sang
My happiness is gone
I wondered
but the radio could not get past
My happiness is gone
repeat it
My happiness is gone
enjoy the misery of that special feeling
My happiness is gone
I didn’t.
I tuned in another station.

Little Vines.

not a day went by that I did not think of you
not a gloomy dank morning
not a moldy rain-soaked afternoon

I think a radish
given a soul
would have turned out something like you

the vampire:
he’s that quarrelsome new tenant
smoking a huge cigar in the cellar

the snowball effect of a high level of note-taking ability
on a notebook of math facts
and…you avalanche through the test questions. A+!

then make a choice before it is too late you said
but I could not make a decision.
I really am still trying. How long will you wait?

I can see even now
your eyes gazing into a half-full beer
too late at night

Walk-in client, you’ll know in a minute
what I have known for years:
never let this hair stylist touch your hair ever again

I’m the easy way out and you know it.
It’s the valuable vanity of complacency I offer
Guilt free. Today only. Take some.

a little wear and tear here and there on my friendships
the countless times I did or didn’t do this or that thing
Well, as long as there’s always a new face to cozy up to
what do I care?

the prophecy came true
but in another city
and in someone else’s life

I took away your bitterness
into the receptacle
of my heart that loves you so
and made you smile again

a pink and sugary cake
compliments overheard at the table
the cook smiles in the kitchen

I’ll know in a minute
if we allowed enough time
for the glue to hold. Don’t try to stand on it yet.

you were never
an encumbrance
Two more of you sure would be, though

I have been someone erased
written over
yet I still speak from behind the words of others

a big hurt today
tomorrow the therapist
will take it out on me
Oh you thought I meant MY big hurt?

shhh shhh
the baby has finally fallen asleep
I don’t care how odoriferous she is

my chattel goods
without them
I have no biography

At 2 PM the entire class of English 202
just now embarking on a very ambitious program
of daydreams

a distortion in a photo
a random word inserted on a page
my face in a tiny cracked mirror
I see things. I see things.

an out-of-tune piano
your fingers stumble across its keyboard
in the dark

mind-reading –
that door to a dark place –
I’m not in that line of business anymore.

how I chop onions:
I give them a pummeling all right
then I shred them with my claws.
I get a nice texture that way.

Thank you for reading!

15 thoughts on “Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020 Week 1

  1. Happy New Year, Claudia!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to read and appreciate all of your postings. You post a lot and some postings are long. My 90 years old mother has moved into the neighboring apartment (fortunately it became free and we could take it). Her health is not so good and she requires some attention and time. There are other issues taking my time away as well, so I don’t have as much time at the moment as I used to have two or three years ago. I hope things are going to change again in the future. So if I do not “like” so many of your postings again the reason is not that I don’t like them but simply that I don’t have enough time at the moment to even read or look at all of them.


  2. I’m glad to hear from you and that you are all right, just that things are busy. You are right, I write a lot, it makes me happy, and I indulge myself, but I don’t feel bad if others read what they can of it, life has ebbs and flows for all of us and I am grateful for any time someone gives me from their own busy days! I miss your posts and hope that someday to read your words again, and in the meantime, I hope for good health and a steady even life as much as possible in 2020. Thank you for your note, it means a lot to me. Claudia

  3. The onion poem appeals to me. I cook with onions a few times every week and I have to chop them very fine to sneak them past a child who thinks he doesn’t eat onions but who has been eating onions regularly his entire life. I am, by nature, a very “rustic” chopper so, if I could use my claws to shred them, that would be a boon.

    The radish poem made me chuckle.

    I like the radio station poem a lot. Music, for me, has a way of provoking memories and eliciting an emotional response so I do find myself selecting music that fits my mood or that will prompt the mood I am seeking to transition into. I, therefore, like that metaphor of tuning into a different mood.

    Like you, I love a good ghost story and tales of haunted places. Did I ever tell you that I have spent the night in a supposedly haunted prison and in an abandoned village? I, therefore, loved all of the narrative possibilities in that first poem. I mean, who can resist opening a secret door?

  4. Onions. I love them. I cannot imagine so many dishes without them! And the radio station poem – that song was so mournful, I started to think then of how many songs are about love problems…is there no other subject to sing about! And haunted houses. Oh I would love to camp out in a haunted village. Or prison. I would shiver all night but I would still love it.

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