The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.
On March 21, I stayed at home for the Marathon session. Why? Lots of reasons. The library at Montco is closed for spring break, I’m still getting over yet another cold, and it was pouring rain. Pouring. Pouring. Did I say pouring?
I decided the signs were all there for a nice cozy day.
So I set up my materials in my office at home, fired up the space heater, and got to work.
I did some clean-up today. Spring cleaning, like the project I’ve got going on for my house and yard right now. You do not want details; let’s just say we’re overhauling the whole place, doing repairs, cleaning, and making note of future bigger-scale work that needs to be done.
You may remember I’ve been talking about writing longer things, like short stories, and I’ve spent some time at it. But you know, right now, I’ve found I just don’t like doing it that much.
What I like is writing short snapshots, impressions, whatever. Poetry works great for me. I don’t even like writing very long poems. My two-line Minuscule stories satisfy my need to tell a story – I find the compression of the story elements they require to be challenging and enjoyable, not restrictive. Dialogue makes me impatient and twitchy. I’d rather be the insect that zips in for a quick sting and gone or the bite of lemon in the sweet glazing on the cake, or a couple of sharp claps of the hands, or…I guess you see what I mean.
This is good information for me to know: and if I don’t like doing it, don’t do it, right? So today seemed like a good day to go through the stories in various stages that I have accumulated and see if there are any pieces of them that might like to go in another direction. Guess what, yes, there were – I was pleasantly surprised. I spent the morning pulling out the parts I wanted and discarding the rest. How freeing.
Some resolved themselves into future poems right away, but most are material for later episodes of putting pen to paper. A nice feeling it is to have such an inventory, like a cupboard full of food waiting to be made into dinners.
And then of course, the afternoon came, and with it, I did Little Vines.
Here is some work from today.
The heating system
thuds into a higher gear
a flow of warm air
arriving with the voice of
an approaching tornado
Sometimes I am out in the world and I wish I were at home.
I feel for my keys
I rub my fingers along their serrations
I don’t need to look at them
to trace the route through
these mountains and valleys
waiting to fit into the lock and turn it
The front door at my house
Splot the tomato in my hair and call me a tossed salad?
Just try it and see where it gets you
I’ll sauté all of you and grill your ears.
The electricity in this house is so cluttered
I’m twitching at jolts I can’t anticipate
Around me, the charged air whirls.
Then one day I was free as a bird
no regrets but not no regrets either.
The empty silver casserole dish
me looking into it
my bloated reflection staring back
now broken into fragments
I liked that world the way it was
the thunder and a few licks of rain
chased me down the street
a stray cat watching me from a doorstep
the gold mine
snapping its mouth open and shut
so what’s your guess it said
Get rich quick or not?
she is up to something
crushing the ice with her teeth
the juice staining her lips red
not one tooth in my head
ever liked this dentist
I had no idea until one day they bit him
moving day everything packed away
two jars of grape jelly
overlooked in a cabinet
she’s gone upstairs
trailing a river of lava
melting the ice in your veins
in the void
a few small screws holding things together
The sewing machine
the needle punches
the fabric writhes
the thread tangles
the freezing carbon dioxide atmosphere
the color running from the sky in the rain
I had no idea how beautiful the afterlife could be
the neon sign flickers
as if the building were breathing
I open the door and walk in
in a sway kind of mood
it’s what you see reflected in my eyes
I laughed and he followed
he fluttered and I sparked
we were young and good-looking
in no hurry at all
Thank you for reading!