The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.
I’m going to deviate from the usual account of today’s Marathon day, with this one being the last one of the Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018. Usually I describe the day’s activities and finish up with examples of work. Today, I’m looking forward. I’m going to set out my plans for 2019’s writing activities instead.
I’ve decided to make some changes, do some branching out. I’ve come up with specific activities I want to focus on in 2019. How that’s going to work out, I just don’t know, but at least I’ll start off with a plan. I’ve done two years’ worth of weekly Poetry Marathons plus another couple of years of quarterly intensive sessions. Things evolve. In a good way. All this practice has made me more interested in writing than ever and has developed my skills. As I said, in a good way!
I plan to continue my weekly allocation of one whole day devoted to writing and to go to locations outside my house for this assignment. I look forward to each week’s writing day and I want to keep it up.
I’m not a person who works and reworks, in writing or in my art; it’s not my nature. I don’t enjoy intricacies or tangles. I’m straightforward with my process: I work, I finish, and I move on. The past two years of poetry writing have taught me through practice who I am and how I want to be writing.
Along these lines, I want to:
• …expand what I am working on in these sessions – not just poetry but also branch into writing (very) short stories. I’ve done some of the latter with my Minuscule project and I really enjoyed it. I think I could write stories that are a little bit longer and less constricted (Minuscules were 2 lines only). I’d like the challenge of trying something new – but sticking with the way I like to work, staying short, quick in the execution, and straight to the point.
• …focus on several forms of poetry familiar to me and to try some other ones similar to them. I really enjoy haiku, shadorma, and tanka. I like the discipline of fitting my vague thoughts into a prescribed structure that is short and to the point. I would like to try other formats along these lines, though – no rhymes and nothing complicated or with repetitions.
• …do more poems derived from working from the cut-out-phrase cards I make. There is something freeing about following where those random phrases lead me, and I end up in places I’d never have thought of on my own. I enjoy the story-telling aspects of my writing this process seems to bring out in me.
• …continue Little Vines. Ahhh, those Little Vines, they are so much fun to do. I need to say nothing more.
Finally, I will tell you that 2018 has been a difficult year for me. Death, unemployment, facing unpleasant truths, saying good-byes, letting go of long-held dreams or ambitions, adjusting to changes – these have all been part of this year. There were many weeks I did not want to write and yet once I settled down to the page, I was able to make a space for myself.
All of this has left me feeling unburdened for 2019. I’d like to express that freedom in whatever I write this year. I’m tired of angry and sad and pushing away the gray clouds inside my head brought on by a lot of reflection and digging into history and the past. I’ve done enough introspection this year, settled enough of those memories and questions, and it is truly enough.
Instead, I hope this year can be focused on taking inspiration from what goes on around me, outside me, and to observe the world with clear sight to record what I see and what it evokes in me. I hope to write with some humor and tolerance. Take a lighter touch.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating a Pollyanna bright pink outlook, either, no fake cheery, and no turning every story or poem into something uplifting. But you know, by nature, I’m an optimist and I think everyday life is fascinating. Right there, here’s plenty to write about and a way to go about it.
As my husband put it, stop turning over rocks. Use them to step across the river, instead.
So I’ve decided that I’m going to call next year’s sessions Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019. And that is simply what I am going to do, in the end – just write.
Well, we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for reading my work and for supporting me in so many ways. Happy 2019 to all of you.
All right. I did do some poetry work today! I went to the grocery store café for a session. Montco’s library is closed for the holiday vacation, that’s why.
A shadorma chain. I saw a trash truck outside and imagined the rest of the scene.
Green trash truck
lumbers down the slope
commands the stop. Truck judders.
Rocks. Halts. The driver
in the cab
high above the street
soundless behind the windshield
cup in his left hand
I saw a worker managing a loaded cart and I imagined a possible outcome. Shadorma.
Pull a cart
brown wrapped rectangles
piled this high
you move slow. Kids run past you
stop short. Ouch your foot.
So many vampires
lying on the beach
in the pitch dark
the taxi driver in a deep sleep
the rice that has not yet boiled over
the unopened flowers on the eve of the wedding
How close we came to
not one not two but twenty-two
one drunken weekend forty years ago
the shop smelled cold and green
the flowers stood stiff and icy
from what unfriendly garden could they have come?
you say good-bye on the eve of the estate sale
to kitschy trinkets that you know are thinking
trust me I’m not going to disappear this easily
on the street corner
in the fog
the work of a skilled florist
upside down in a trash can
green and frozen stiff
in the ice
a dropped mitten
I keep having these dreams
where now you know they’re going to chase you
up to the brink of the edge of the rim of the sheer vertical drop
into the laundry tub full of suds
oh dear the trap door won’t hold any longer
my mother shouted
I’ll try to call you with better news next time
Run I shouted but you
were already possessed and
proud of it
radishes in the salad, no
cash in the laundry room, no
two newly-dead people in the living room, no
I know nothing of any of it.
some of us were hiding
a long way from home
on stage in full makeup
the elephant of impermeability crossed
the river of complaints
in a jiffy
Swim to the shore I shouted
and look where that got me
A junkyard and
So cold, the young man said
The best day of my life.
Thanks as always for reading! See you next week for the first session of the Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019.