Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 42

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

This week the Marathon took place on October 16 and 17. I’m quite busy right now with art classes and projects I am working on at home for various art events, so this split time fits my schedule. On October 16, I worked on Little Vines at home.

On October 17, I spent time at the grocery store café. It was the morning after a stormy afternoon and night. The sky was washed clean.

As I approached the store

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you see no one sitting outside. It’s chilly and very windy today.

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I went inside and got set up at a table in the café area.

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At lunchtime, I went home after buying my lunch to eat at home.

Well, let’s get right to the writing.



People speak in poetry sometimes. Or at least I hear it that way. This poem came from an overheard conversation, quite lengthy, concerning job searches.

2.
I applied for this job and that job
I have an interview next Tuesday
so I would be working first shift
oh I don’t know if I would want to
I might be too tired
and they want you to do a little of everything
and it’s an hour and then it more
and then you’re talking two or three hours
commuting a day and I just don’t know
I just don’t know
and you’re going to drive all the way down there
every day? I just don’t know.

I have a paint brochure with tiny samples of hundreds of paint colors. Sometimes I take a look at a page for a color inspiration and sometimes it’s the color name that attracts me. Today, because of the chilly weather and yesterday’s storm, I felt like a blue page. I saw the color name “ombre blue” but read it as “sombre blue” and converted it to American style “somber blue”.

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The color name gave me a vivid picture and feeling, not related to anything at all in my life. I don’t feel somber, blue, or that my surroundings are in an apocalyptic down-spiral. I do admit to having the little white house in mind (the one I’ve done so many artworks of, in different mediums, and I’ve explained I have no idea why this very ordinary house fascinates me):

Anyway, take this poem as pure imagination. I enjoyed painting the picture in my mind. It’s a shadorma chain.

3.
somber blue
paint on a matte sky
reflection
in windows
blind-eyed cloudy and dim.
Small pale houses crouch

shoulders hunch
gray wind licks up leaves
Narrow street
cram-packed tight
forced friends uneasy neighbors
In bone-tired front yards

brittle stalks
dead flowers in pots
forgotten
discarded
cracked ripples in a birdbath
a broken mirror

Let’s cheer up some. This shadorma is a slice of life portrait of one of the workers at the store this morning.

6.
if you sing
I will not enjoy
how you sound
but I’ll love
your sheer outright go happy
head-back arms-raised style

Little Vines.

b.
I can’t push that doorbell one more time
and that woman who is she
to stand behind the door refusing to answer?

d.
a five-gallon smile
is all I have to offer
to stop the argument

h.
it’s late
it’s ringing on me
bad memories sloshing in the glass

i.
I’m just doing my job
painfully and slowly emphasis on pain and slow
working here is like sitting on a tack all day

l.
I saw red
the glowing wires of my temper
a wave of heat in the room

m.
it’s just a string
on a sunhat
flown off my head in the wind
like a loose kite

o.
a ribbon-trimmed button band
on the cardigan sweater you made for me
for some reason that detail made me cry

p.
answer this question so I’ll know:
did you borrow a bucket of dirt
and throw it on my reputation
or did you dig it up yourself

q.
I fell overboard
a beach on a tiny island
took me in

r.
out of a dozen
juggle three
seven minutes ready or not
put them on the plate and serve them

t.
one hundred choices for saying good-bye:
I decide on
spice-infused crisp-crunch
not too sticky.

v.
you bunch of pirates
keeping up with the times
3D printed plastic peg legs and digital robotic hands

w.
a heart to heart talk soaked in syrup
veers piquant when words turn vinegary
the dish gets more interesting

x.
acrobatic vines twist in trees
under a waxing gibbous moon
dragonflies hover in an ill-tempered cloud

y.
tell me everything is fine
tell me
that it is all right to begin again

aa.
wild-eyed and exhausted
wrapped in tattered fuzz
like a dilapidated chicken

bb.
living moment to moment
low on supplemental molecules
the rectangle destabilized
shedding turquoise flakes in its last whirls

 

Thank you for reading!

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Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 41

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

 

 

This week’s Marathon took place on October 9 and 10, both days at home. On the 9th, I worked on Little Vines, and on the 10th, I wrote whatever came into my head – I was thinking about a short story I recently read, about the group dynamics of my clay studio class, about my kitchen floor and how it is wearing out, about boring speeches and lectures, about how my left foot is feeling a little sore these last few days of running.

Well, now you have my secret – there is not a thing I can do about these thoughts except write them out, right?

To add to the theme of everyday life, I took photos from my morning, before I started to write. I get up very early and by 10:00 I had been running, grocery shopped, gone to the library, and done some cleaning. Take a look.

First, the beaver pond at the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust. I ran here this morning.

Next, I stopped at the grocery on the way home. I do this almost every day. This shopping center is the place where I do most of my errands.

 

You may remember a poem I wrote about a commuter train a couple of weeks ago. Here it is in action, across the street from the shopping center:

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I went home, changed my clothes and headed for the library. They had some books on hold for me. When I got there, the “pony” was out front.

Our county operates a consortium of about 30 libraries – the libraries are local, township library or library systems, but they share a catalog, among other things, and you can go online and order books from any of the libraries – the pony will bring it to your home library. I never pick books from the shelves (though I can go into any county library and do so) but instead I order from the catalog – we also have a service that emails us new books by library so I also see the new titles each week.

Shout out to Montgomery County PA for having this resource for us. Thank you. And here is the pony.

All right. Now it’s time for some words.



This shadorma was inspired by a short story I just read, but it’s taken a bit of an angle that is my own.

9.
Table as
battlefield. All meals
flavored by
sharp words with
sour undercurrents baked in.
Curdled whispers stew.

In my own life, I like to cook and my kitchen is for me a good place to be. I get along with all my plates and pots and pans and they seem content with our cooperative endeavors. I have many good memories of my grandmother’s kitchen and getting it clean for the night. I have carried that feeling forward into my own life. This poem is for all those plates over all those years.

10.
Plates rattle in the sink
splash in the hot water
fling soapsuds. Slap
at the snapping dishtowels
Submit to be dried and stacked
and settled down for the night
on their shelf in the cabinet.
The light left on over the sink
a glow seeping between the doors
to keep the bad dreams away
Good night, plates
– and we leave the kitchen
with quiet steps –
shhh

My feet are a weak point in my exercise regimen, but together we get there. Here is a shadorma.

5.
Hobble foot
slowing me down some
ouch each step
but each step
still happening, right? I don’t
ouch think of stopping.

Little Vines.

a.
Opposite this conversation
stands a friendship.
Choose.

b.
a door off to the side opens
insisting on my silent exit.
It feels unfair.

c.
the boss at her desk
a rival
eyeing her from across the office full of cubicles

d.
Stay afloat little raft
I’ve been so lonely
but now I sight land. Stay afloat.

e.
in the folder full of papers ending the lawsuit
and to be signed: I see
everyone who blamed me and everyone I blamed
all together one last time

f.
I want nothing to do with you
If not you then somebody else
Anybody. I just enjoy the state of being indignant and offended.

h.
Curse the concealments
that no one else is willing to help me with
I’ll have to keep the secrets my own way, then

i.
I still remember the green and blue shades
in the painting
I threw into the ocean

j.
reading my future
in the fine print
of a coffee-maker warranty

n.
rebellious and wayward
my worst instincts
the ones I like best

o.
I needed ten more ideas
I dialed up my brain
but they didn’t do takeout, they said

p.
The dishwasher full of dirty dishes
brayed twice stopped in its tracks. No go.
Plainly it’s a mule in disguise.

r.
Please come home to the homewrecker
No questions asked
said the billboard on the highway

s.
so much fine print
fluttering around
the coarse mesh of my naiveté allowed it to swim through

t.
none of this would have happened
if you had been right about me leaving the apartment
before I lost my temper

u.
why does this remind me of
the green wool coat
that got us into so much trouble?

w.
show-stopping twirls on the dance floor
compliments
of a silver tulle dress

y.
a big wedding
under the bright lights
of the parking lot

z.
summertime and my sister’s in town
I was just starting to show her around
when some snails chased us down the street

 

Thank you for reading!

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 40

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

Another split week Marathon. The schedule is working out well, really, to do things this way right now, with my other commitments and activities that are going on. It allows my brain some transition time to change into words gear instead of images gear. I’m still working at home right now – especially today, since Cara Mia McGill, my faithful car, is in the shop for her annual inspection.

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I started off on October 2 with Little Vines.

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On October 3, I worked on poems from a list I scribbled out early this morning as I stood in my kitchen. I’m not sure why but it suddenly struck me that I wanted to write about this room where I contentedly spend so much of my time.

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Meanwhile, autumn continues to come along. I will show you a few photos from my yard to give you the latest information! It’s a chilly rainy day, unlike yesterday, when it was 95 degrees and muggy. I think that was the last hurrah for summer weather.

Here are some selections from this week’s work.

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My refrigerator inspired this poem.

4.

Standing next to the doors
back against the wall
humming
the rectangle box of a man in a neat black suit
middle manager
(rates a small office
not a cubicle
two client chairs
no conference table)
waiting for an elevator
in a center city office building

Another kitchen scene.

9.
Red mug
quarter-moon of milk
at the bottom
disappeared behind the clouds
of warm soapy water
and set in the bottom of the sink to soak.

Another kitchen scene.

5.

Water glasses
crowd up to the shelf edge
squint down at me
cross at being disturbed
like a short-sighted person
peering from behind wavy lenses
brought out of a particularly good
attention-absorbing detective novel
by an unwelcome knock on the door

Little Vines.

a.
a mist of dust
raised by a broom shedding straws
the room is dirtier than when I started

d.
Whose legs are those
You can’t expect me to believe
he’s doing a handstand in the trash can
Call the police.

e.
thinking a lot
no talking –
good plan.

f.
memories
the way your brain feels its way
through years and years of calendar pages

h.
file folders
the force
that holds the world together

i.
I’m one of dozens
shaky on my legs
leaving the Tilt-a-Whirl political candidate forum

j.
Look we’ve got a lot to talk about
I’d like to wrap things up as lunch, I mean, at lunch
said the spider to the fly

k.
I wake up better off.
I’m worse off by lunchtime.
I give up, panicked, by dinner.

o.
the last person in the world
it feels unfair
there is no one to eavesdrop on anymore

q.
OK go ahead and say it
tell me not to worry tell me to stop fussing
But I really do think the bus is going to hit us

r.
very expensive clothes
in dicey circumstances
the hand-sewn shoes vote to walk right out of there

s.
I keep going right on down this street
truly and thoroughly heartless
fondly recalling a lifetime of high-profile perfidy

v.
considering my many many many business successes
you’d think
I’d have paid more in taxes than your grandma on Social Security

w.
a trampoline of a week
in which
I did one flip too many

aa.
you fell asleep soon after our marriage
I covered you with a blanket
for the next twenty years
I sat up all night every night enjoying my own insomnia

 

 

Thank you for reading!

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 39

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

Marathon split continues with this week’s work – I struggled to fit it in with preparing for teaching my new art class, actually doing to the class, getting through an eye doctor appointment and then another one for minor eye surgery. Well, that’s life and I adapt.

I worked at home both days, September 24 and September 27. On the 24th, I worked on Little Vines. On the 27th, I finished up some poems I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks (let’s see if I feel the same way about them when I do my edit session next week, but I’m crossing my fingers. Some poems overstay their welcome, I think) and then did a few new ones. Some were inspired by this card of cut-out phrases and others came straight out of the air.

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Here are a few photos from around the house, because every Marathon post needs some photos of the creative environment, right?

All right. Here are some poems from this week’s work.



A week or so ago I was watching a store employee spraying the flowers for sale in front of the store.

2.
green looping hose
tensed up tight with
unspent water
heavy in the hand

rows of chrysanthemums
thirsty sun-wilted sullen
in their pots
their leaves gone limp

hand squeezing the nozzle

stream of water that leaps out
backlit cool white-silver arch
up and over and grounding itself
in splatters and on flowers and

smell of warm concrete and cold water
rivulets
that rise on the sidewalk and
flow off the curb

 

This poem is for my husband, who loves coffee. Loves coffee. Loves coffee.

6.
me I’m that person
that person who drinks the day thick and black
in gallons
under the light from a dropped-ceiling sky
beneath a sun rolled out in strips of fluttering electrons
that shower my bent head and keyboard tapping fingers
in an all-day assembly line of thoughts
organized with dividers
color-coded in tabs
washed down in coffee
thick and black
gallons a day

 

I can’t let this poison ivy thing go. A haiku.

8.
All but taunting me
the poison ivy twining
I cut through its stem

Little Vines.

c.
nightfall
out there in the parking lot
the amber lights shine sallow
at pinched-faced shoppers

d.
a black and white checkerboard
that old story
you hop across it with the ease of long practice

e.
Non-ferrous copper moon
in the September sky
and yet magnetic.

f.
I sliced through the water
a series of ripples in the lake the only sign of me
dangerous and hungry dressed in a set of silver scales

g.
the sky clouded up
full of rain waiting to fall
on a blue jay feather angled in the grass

l.
I’m young and naïve
spring glow yellow-green
but I still know how to put out a nice little chill

m.
her hair a hypnotic sculpture
curled in five separate spirals
puts paid to the idea of her remaining incognito

n.
somewhere there are some
very expensive clothes
wondering where I am right now

o.
guttering sun
lamplit planet going dark
ashes in the carbon blackness

q.
her agenda for apologies
looks like
a guilt layer cake

r.
I exaggerated I made it all up
but come on it’s just one lie
Just a truth monoquake

s.
Neon city. Pink streaks at night.
Limousine. Classy night club.
The rain hits the sidewalk all the same.
u.
not a chance I’ll be outside
not in this thunderstorm
not when clouds like those jerk on the lightning cord

v.
a necklace of big ivory beads
each one the size of a pickled pearl onion
nestled around her stringy wealthy neck

z.
go ahead and say it:
a perfect fall crock pot recipe
is high speed access to potential mate’s affection center

aa.
intellectual snob professor
ambitious in a sharkskin suit
cruising the conference with his fin just showing

bb.
one large onion finely chopped
sautéed luminescent
in the moment before I toss it into the sauce

cc.
dawn muggy gray
we begin another day
simmer in the city

ee.
slip the skin off a tomato
it shivers
in a veiny naked kind of way

Here is a visual Little Vine. It looks like a plain door. But listen…do you hear the cricket who has been chirping outside it for several days now?

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Thank you for reading!

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 38

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

PO9-18-19 #47

Hydrangea outside my back door.

Another split session of the Marathon this week.

It’s been very busy in my world. I had an eye doctor appointment (eyes are continuing to maintain a good situation). I was offered a chance to step in for a vacancy and teach an art class and went to the interview (yes, good news, the class starts next week). I attended the first session of a clay class that I am taking (met a lot of nice people and made two mugs). Some of these events were planned and some emerged. Life rockets along sometimes. The Marathon fit itself in quite neatly with a little work.

PO9-18-19 #83

On September 18 I worked on Little Vines in the morning at home. How about some sights around my back yard? I’ll scatter them throughout the rest of the post. Oh, wait, I already started, didn’t I, with the picture from my garden, just above. This next one is the sky looking down on my house this morning.

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On September 20, Friday, I went to the grocery store cafe…

and wrote the rest of the poems. I worked on a blitz form, something I haven’t done in some time, and also began work on a palindrome poem. I was in a format mood, I guess. They will need more work. Pieces need to fit together tightly and that takes time.

I also did some poems based on what I saw going on around me. I recommend this kind of environment for non-stop human interest, not to mention the lovely array of colors, shapes, and noises that go on here.

PO9-18-19 #38

insect tunnels and leaf and dirt and stones and mulch: a catalog of this one little spot outside my door.



OK, let’s get to the writing.

PO9-18-19 #110



Here’s a guy who was sitting near me.

2.

you don’t think I can get myself out of this
the guy cradles his phone against his ear
eyes dart around gaze settling tabletop
you don’t think
breaks off the sentence
well how about Saturday or Sunday
pauses
spells out his name
listens
sips his coffee
gazing at the table’s scarred surface
not seeing it

There is a commuter rail line across the street from the store and I enjoy the sounds and the picture the trains make. I’ve been wanting to depict this scene for some time and maybe now I’m getting closer to a good representation.

5.
across the street the train
that runs on the track behind the buildings
first the horn pushes around to the front
then in the open gap
free and loud and a blare blare blare
the engine appears then the train speeds on
the embankment
takes the horn along behind the next
sure the noise rattles the windows on the back side
but out here at the street
nothing but a chastened honk
first sound last sound
the difference between a vigorous sneeze
and a polite blowing your nose
the train travels on
horn
fast fading to
a stretched-out thin memory

 

Little Vines.

a.
raspberries
get a good night’s rest
tomorrow the pickers come

b.
folklore experts and
some excellent ransacking sessions
we dig into the Legend of the Dryer and the Missing Sock

e.
They are tearful and incapable of telling a straight story
all we can do is comb through the fictions.
What some people will concoct to collect on the life insurance

f.
all day at one hundred miles an hour
during this time they crossed paths only once
these two working parents

g.
a dozen top-quality imported
stupid and angry
flu virus particles
choose you as their new home

i.
a lawnmower
in an ugly mood
due to seasonal allergies to grass

j.
In case of an overload emergency
the juice will pop the filaments in the light bulb
If this wiring were a person it would be having a stroke

l.
Well look at you
runaway light bulb
Career burnout, you say?

m.
he’s our guy all right
a gray blanket of misery
turned inside out and weeping

n.
pipe down kids
Dr. Anklet says he’ll buy some raffle tickets from you
soon as he finishes turning you inside out
Sorry. Just kidding. About the tickets, I mean.

o.
it’s always the someone who opens the oven door
a toothpick poked into the cake and a busy evening
taking care of getting the end of the day safely into the station

p.
I agree it’s awful what happened but
I sure don’t miss her phone calls.
Go cry somewhere else.

q.
Early autumn
The secret’s in the weather
Ambitious and hard-working low humidity and sunshine

t.
a life of mending and amending
of not asking one too many questions
and now the episodes of memory
rising when I thought them buried?

u.
there is no doubt
negative amounts of fun in one place
prompt you to look somewhere else.

x.
behind my eyes
a memory failing
like a zipper off its track

y.
The evil night the cat died six years ago
I’m still suspicious of my circle of friends
Which one of them knew he was asleep in the washer?

And a visual Little Vine…Claudia pictures herself from a new angle.

 

Thank you for reading!

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 37

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

This week’s Poetry Marathon continued the trend of split sessions, September 11 and 12. The Marathon is evolving, it seems – what form it will take in 2020 is something I’m thinking about and I feel the Marathon itself is guiding me as well. This fall will be busy – I am taking two art classes as I shift my artwork activities into new channels – and I believe by the end of the year I will know where my writing is going.

For now, though, the Marathon continues to find something to say. Here’s how it went.

On September 11, I worked at home. It was a hot humid day, the kind we often get this time of year when summer and fall seem to be working with each other to keep the year going. I set up in my back yard. Here’s a view from the house:

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And where I sat to work.

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Some more views:

And, for your information, a look at the site where I fought the poison ivy and we each claimed victory. I started the removal of a section of enormous forsythia bushes and my husband completed it. Now the site is clear and we have sown grass seed. We left a couple of burning bushes that had been smothered and now seem grateful for light – and there are three or so forsythias we have left to renew themselves – but we will not let them get out of hand as they did.

Anyway, you can see the size of the project – the bare dirt is the area recovered in the battle. In the large view, it’s over to the right, if you look past the tree.

All right. On to work. I focused on what I saw and heard in my outdoor session. A lot goes on around my neighborhood – I live across the street from our high school and our street is active with traffic and people coming and going.

I also worked on Little Vines, and I finished them up on September 12.



Here are some samples of today’s work.

I feel as if this one needs a lot more work but I thought I’d include it, as this scene is part of every weekday for me – at 2:38 pm each afternoon.

2.
end of the day
the line rolls out
the yellow school buses snort hot diesel
into the warm afternoon
windows half-open to dim interiors
engines booming in surges of shifting up and down

the kids who shout out their pent-up
whatever it is they’ve had to hold in all day
shadows coming clear and then fading as the windows ripple by
a face in profile turned and laughing
a shoulder in a print sleeve pressed against the glass
a hand with its fingers curled over the metal rim

the line kicking up some air
a white paper fluttering out into the street

in the last bus
the skinny legs of two girls
who sit turned to the aisle
in the last row of seats
feet in flip flops facing toe-to-toe
framed in the emergency exit door

My neighbors are doing some work on their house. As I sat outside I could hear progress being made. Maybe these are two separate shadorma or maybe just one chain, I have not yet decided.

4.
Neighbors who
clatter out hammers
squeal up saws
Afternoon
in the shade of my backyard
I doze while they work.

My back yard
in the shade. I doze
to next door’s
staccato
hammer clatter rip saw squeal
kitchen rebuild job

Little Vines.

b.
they faked being in love
totally satisfied by the illusion
they were selling themselves

d.
do you consider yourself a good liar?
perhaps you might be a paper jam
in the machine of truth?

e.
I won’t forget what I owe you
but
I won’t remember to pay you
either

g.
you are three hours late tonight
I call your wedding ring as witness for the prosecution
I found it tied up in a sock
in your drawer here at home

h.
your smooth talk
filed off the rough corner
that had snagged many a brightly-colored thread of conversation

i.
between ten and eleven
he made you angry
at noon you didn’t get married.

j.
the wedding
the ring
the dizziness as I took it back off my finger

k.
the heat of the late summer morning
that faltered and went dead
when the cold currents of space set the planet adrift

l.
the eyewitness
stood at the bridge railing
awaiting his cue

m.
years before we ever heard of Apartment 2A
we’d already had more than a couple of too-real moments
hadn’t we. It’s a noir business we’re in.

n.
To finalize the divorce
now all three of us exchange parting gifts
start on the task of finding someone new

o.
A paper clip and a nickel
drifting
through her purse

p.
maybe
he says
maybe in a day or two. Disregard
that last unlucky flip of the coin, all right?

q.
the fog crept along the fence
slipped into the dreary garden
fingered the rotting marigolds

r.
I’ve got better things to do
it’s always going to be that way I said
I disconnected that last loose end
listened for the splash from the river below

v.
I picked up the suitcase
the foolish trusting soul that I was
long gone.

w.
I screeched out a few words
if the shoe flies catch it with honey
and took off running

y.
we quarreled about
the lavender walls
of the hospital room
rather than your prognosis

bb.
to my left
the man on the bulldozer shouted
efficient reshaping in progress
take the detour please

 

Thank you for reading!

Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 36

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

Poetry Marathon continued its trend of multi-day writing this week – I worked on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, September 4-6. I’ve had a lot going on with the holiday weekend, yard work (no more poison ivy problems, and believe me, I am paying attention to any vine I see), and a couple of art projects, including trying out some new raku clay. Anyway, I write as it fits in.


On September 4, I was at home, with a couple of companions. My cat:

PO 9-4-19 (2)

And how about this young groundhog, who came right up to the sliding glass door. These pictures are not the best, as he startled very easily, but I got a couple of him as he looked around the offerings near the house (he’s in the middle of the image in each picture):

Anyway, on this day, I worked on Little Vines.


Next day, September 5, I did some writing in no particular classification, and I began to work on some Snippets. Now, Snippets have not been on the menu for a while, but I got the idea to try a few. As you know, they take time, and you need to be in a calm mood to push around the little words and phrases that are cut from paper. I worked at home, because I need the surroundings to be calm, too – a swish of a breeze from a passerby and all the snippets become food for the vacuum cleaner.

On September 6, more snippets. I’ll show you in photos a run-through of the process I use.

QUICK EXPLANATION – SNIPPET CONSTRUCTION

First, gather up old books. Tear some pages from each one. Gather backgrounds for the snippets (here I’m using ATC-sized cards that I have painted). Get some scissors and glue. Choose a piece of cardboard or matboard or whatever to use as a work surface.

Cut phrases, sentences, or individual words from the book pages. This session I seemed to be more attracted to words, but other times it’s been phrases. Also, usually I perform this step before the Snippets session – cutting out the words beforehand saves time when you want to get to work.

Lay them out on the work surface. If any seem to go together, arrange them, but otherwise just set them into view.

PO 9-5-19 #34

Start to arrange them into Snippets. My rule is 3-4 lines, maximum. I have done longer collage poems but for Snippets, the idea is to stay short.

PO 9-5-19 #52

As you start to come up with lines, look for words in your inventory on the work surface or return to your pages for inspiration. Sometimes I get out other books for more pages, too.

PO 9-5-19 #43

When you have something you like, glue it down. Keep arranging and moving words around until you are tired of working. At this point I usually sweep all the words into a pile, so that the next session can start fresh and I am not bound by the constructions I made in this session that did not gel.

PO 9-5-19 #61

 

Sometimes I create a card or two with lines that I like but that did not get into a Snippet, or else I did a speed word-clean-up at the end of the session and created sentences or phrases from whatever I happened to pick up. I might use these in future Snippets or in some other way.

PO 9-6-19 #31


And there we have it. Here are some examples of my work this week.

This one just came out of my head. Thinking about crime novelists, I guess. And when they are not writing but instead going through everyday life like the rest of us.

2.

Reviews of his work
almost always use the word
Dark
and they say
the gut-wrenching conclusion
of this gripping and original
or
on the edge of your seat
with every page of this thrilling
or
pulse-pounding non-stop gory

and this is the same fellow
who tells me today’s dinner
– a pleasantly-spiced chili
I made from my mother’s recipe
that she used to feed to us kids
when we were young –
I can’t swallow a bite
It’s just too intense for me.

Can you believe it?

 

Snippets. Here are a couple of favorites from the session.

1.
in an unsteady voice
The man long alone
struggling through Small words.

2.
the man,
humorless
hurried
and always too late

 

Little Vines.

c.
I could
discredit quite a few stories
but your pale blue eyes stop me.

e.
go ahead, push her
but of course there is no guarantee
the stairs will know what is expected of them

f.
choose any word
stress any syllable
the secrets spill out

g.
My idea
I saw it straying over to you
I jerked on its leash.

h.
Even though I am forced to explain it
I try not to remember
what it feels like

j.
hide here
lie flat in the cracks
of the broken window

k.
the origami horror storybook
my favorite
the ogre in black tie and tails

m.
winter
though I knew the answer already
the ground is frozen
and the bees are asleep

n.
run along clock
suit yourself
but I think I will end my journey here

o.
a few tears
as I combed out the snarls
in my illusions

p.
good fortune
dormant for years
blooming today

s.
the idea of happiness
liberated
an out-of-practice smile

t.
peel the mistake
away from the hands that made it
like removing an ill-fitting glove

u.
pried an identity
from the bottom of the stack
shook out the wrinkles and tried it on

v.
the whispering in the kitchen.
the crying in the bedroom.
I wish I hadn’t made up that story.

Thank you for reading!