The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.
On July 11 I was back at Montco on a pleasant morning.
Take a look at the patterns on these trees I passed on the way into the campus:
Construction is still going on in the science building.
I was a little early. I waited in the lobby until the library opened. How about this blur photo, looking out? I think it fits the dreamy early feeling of the day.
In case you were wondering, the small tiles are still on the shelves. They are patient.
I set up on the main floor and thought over my plans for the writing day. I decided to work at the library for the morning and then go home at lunchtime. The weather is predicted to change to thundershowers and heavy rain this afternoon and I figured I’d change locations before that happened.
There’s a package all wrapped up and ready to go, I thought. Now for getting to work.
I worked on poems in the morning, topics drawn from various odds and ends of things happening in the last week or so. I also had some photos that I wanted to write about. Some years ago I did a whole book (one year’s worth) of poems based on three random photos taken on a single day (it’s called Picture Making). I’ve been thinking about trying another photography-based run of poetry but so far, it’s a vague idea. But it did get me to look over recent pictures and that led to a couple of poems. Hmmm…
All right, here is today’s work.
This poem describes a rental house near the park where I often exercise. I’d made some deductions as to who was living there from appearances and one day I went by and had my thoughts confirmed – a group of young guys is the current set of occupants.
Four cars fan out on the dirt
angle off the drive where grass used to be
the garage door open a volleyball net set up
in a rough-mowed rectangle four guys
I’d say twenty-five or so years old and
two of them strowing around buckets
sort of flinging them by the handles
haphazard either side of the net
The other two tossing out squishy rubber balls
medium size like what the little kids have
They team up in twos start winging balls
some going over the net some into
if they are aiming at the buckets none going in none
the idea more seems to be deflect them with your chest
then throw yourself into the grass lie there laughing
Two of the guys with beer cans in hand
two not and I wouldn’t know how to evaluate
the beer/no beer effect on play
no matter how long I thought about it
The stone house in the background
shabby with the sun on it showing up
the weeds around the porch and the scorch mark
on the door. The guy with the long hair
and a beer kicks a ball over the net
hits a non-beer bald guy in the head
they the both of them they fall on the ground
they lie there laughing
A couple of poems inspired by the jewelry class I am taking.
lies flat on the steel
on chasing tool. I hit hard
not straight. Oh my thumb.
the pliers twist wire
neat coils ending in a loop
like a seahorse tail
One photo poem. I have been collecting photos of these suns as I see them. This one is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
underfoot. Your rays
set and fractured long ago
by this earthbound sky
Another photo poem. Taken at 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I saw you I caught
the day was hot and angry
the pace was too fast
My only chance
to be one of the two of us
It’s right now. Please say yes.
who is this person
doing all the things other people do
but so much more convincingly?
like the minister said at the wedding
take two people just semi-broken in
marriage will polish them right up you bet
see she’s got another mind
tucked right behind the front one
then there’s her secret backup stashed behind the refrigerator
a million new brain cells
sleeping in small transparent units
worker bee pupae
almost anywhere in this city you can find
a woman in a black dress and pink pearls
living a complicated story
skip the squabbles
grab the tweezers
I’ll settle things now. Give me your nose.
a fault line
the geologist in me can’t believe it
but the wife in me does
my skimpy damp bathing suit
in the hot sun
well I wondered
how can I cope with this disagreeable woman
when her every word is a snarl of white soft string?
in the dryer the collar of the pink shirt
wrapped itself a little tighter
around the pair of gray socks
the topaz ring
years of outdoing each other
together now on the bottom of the bay
with not even one chapter finished
are you an enzyme on the loose
a lucky hunch stranded
a maze with transparent walls?
Who are you?
I may have underestimated that girl
she took apart the jet engine
with nothing but a wrench and her own sophisticated brain
fifteen years of experience
putting dinner on the table
I’d like to forget about every bit of it.
take some kind of coincidence
attribute it to fate or religion
or just say it’s all part of the big pink happy
all of you stop shouting
those big shards of glass
are just lonely wandering silica ghosts
this is the most recent picture of him –
him and his six heads needing haircuts.
I should have gotten rid of it
but he’s got such nice smiles, I just couldn’t.
Thank you for reading!