You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since January, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.
This year I have decided to do one segment of a Marathon each week. Two to three hours set aside for poetry, outside my regular life. (That was the idea – it’s grown now to take over the whole day. That’s fine with me.)
It’s called the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon.
For more background information, look here. And if you want to read previous posts in this series, search this blog under the term Installment Plan Poetry Marathon 2017.
On November 16 I was back at Montco, Brendlinger Library.
I tried to take my now-traditional photo of Butler Avenue in Ambler, but the light was green…oops. Don’t worry, I did not hit anything. Not even close.
So here is one from Morris Road and Penllyn-Blue Bell Pike. As a tourist note, turn right here and you’ll end up at the condo complex my in-laws lived in for many years. We’re only about 5 minutes from Montco at this intersection.
It was a beautiful fall day. I noticed this wasps’ nest, now that the leaves are thinning.
Most of the trees were shocked by the hard freeze we had a few days ago and their leaves have crinkled and browned – their colors gone.
Into College Hall and the library.
I stopped at the desk to return some videos and had a talk with the librarian about 1940’s films – we are both fans.
At my desk I set things up. The sunlight pours in the clerestory windows high above my head at this time of day. The warmth of the rays felt good on my face.
Getting up this morning I was not much in the mood for writing, but having arrived, I found that the routine of coming to the library had soothed me. I appreciated the welcoming environment of the school very much today. I decided to write first and edit last week’s work later.
I wanted to divide my time between poems from notes I had made, poems to accompany my artist sketchbook, and of course I must do some Little Vines. I worked my way methodically through this assignment, giving myself one hour for each. OK, maybe it took a little longer. I did also stop to look around the library for a book to take home.
Here are some examples from today.
Paper made by wasps
to live in not to write on
Bears their signatures.
A poem about a topic I’ve been thinking about lately. How some experiences stay with you. And stay.
The lid of the cardboard box
you pushed down again and again
never closing all the way. You have
force-packed the carton too full
of what’s in it
it just won’t stop
the expanding lungs of it
still breathing out and in
all the kinds of things
you’d hoped to forget. The lid
an uncertain barrier at best
You sit on it. Not enough.
The breaths are even and steady
scraping against the underside of
A couple of pages from my artist sketch book. I still have a few pages to go. Next week.
The artist sketchbook.
There is no crowded
though every spare inch is set in motion
breathing in and out
driving down the street
There is no crowded
where you and I
On the sidewalk
humid summer night
hot and still in this city
just for this moment
at the bottom of the ten steep steps to my house
light in windows across the front
I see the lamp behind the half-closed blinds.
A breath of air
before I go back inside
to air-conditioned rooms
I like to smell the summer
asphalt and a hint of garbage
car exhaust and street-tree foliage
I am at peace.
And some Little Vines.
he couldn’t find a needle in a pincushion
an anonymous tip and still no luck
Keep your chin up, pal
a mop of frizzy hair and a harmless smile
capable of an impressive amount of mayhem
pretzels would untwist themselves for her
assuming that this man suspects nothing
the doctor has prescribed those big red pills
that should wrap things up ASAP
All I have to do is spread the word
about who’s behind this little comedy
then touché, my friend, you disappear
stop screaming you are attracting attention
jump inside the clothes dryer
I guess undercover work really doesn’t suit you
I’m a minimalist
I don’t know and I don’t share
I just enjoy the quiet
I wanted to see the world
a systematic eyes-peeled surveillance
three-continent tour kind of way
the girl wearing fishnet hose
where does she think she’s going in that get-up I don’t know
but she fried my heart like an egg in a skillet
Thank you for reading! Until next time.