Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 7

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

On February 21 I arrived at Montco the day after a snowfall. The snow was melting already – we expect a high of about 50 degrees F – but the white covering smoothed out all the rough edges and reflected the weak sunlight, brightening up the scene that is otherwise shades of brown and gray.

I left a figurine on a bench in the quad.

In the spring, this ring of stalks will be…flowers.

PO 2-21-19 #66

I didn’t hurry over to the school and didn’t arrive as early as I usually do, but the library was still very quiet. I settled myself on the main floor.

PO 2-21-19 #75

I was not sure what I wanted to do today. There are changes going on at my house – my husband will be starting a new job soon and we’ve been involved in making arrangements for that. And many other changes have occurred in the last year for our family, as I have mentioned in past posts. As I started the year 2019 saying, it’s time to step into the new. Sooo…among other things…

We’ve been doing a thorough top-to-bottom house cleaning and inventorying as part of this new phase. You may groan, but I enjoy cleaning and ordering, and it is a way for me to mark a change.

Anyway, I admit to some cleaning fatigue right now and the trip to Marathon land is a nice change from wrestling furniture and wiping baseboards. For today, I planned for Little Vines, of course. And I had some cut-out phrase cards at the ready to spark an idea or two.

I also devoted some time to thinking over my short-story ambitions. You may remember I have been hoping to write more of them, after enjoying the Minuscule book project. I have not yet been able to make a good start along that path. It is not yet time, I think, with all the other distractions coming up lately. But I have not lost sight of the idea.

I worked on miscellaneous poetry in the morning. The library started to fill up. When lunchtime coincided with the arrival of a tablemate who seemed to have a really bad cold, I got in the car and drove to my grocery store café for lunch and Little Vines.

Here are some results.

I wrote this poem from a set of cut-out phrases (photo follows). I used the phrases at the beginning of each line. I’ve done this before and it always results in a storytelling poem. It occurs to me I could be doing this with prose. Hmmm…

What, sorry to be what, what was he going to say in any last message if he even was
suddenly before he up and ran from all of us and out of town so
unexpected. I wouldn’t know where to start but he sure did and let me explain I
didn’t mean only in the sense of making new friends but leaving those new friends in
worries and atmosphere of utter confusion he left all us the duped and regretting
the whole that might have been. We had liked him so much.
The man had impassive written nowhere on his face. Smiled like a well-fed cat. And now we’ve
been washed more times in the regrets machine swirling from the stupid that
dominated to teach us nothing that we could learn and into more and more
trouble. Dilemma – what’s his new address? I ask the air and
so do many and whether they endured small cheatednesses or whopper big cons, a person of any
moral philosophy would go away big time angry and
if asking more questions and she had and he had and they had
in fact hadn’t helped recover all the fancy necklaces and stock market profits and
the saucer twenty years ago your grandma gave you swearing trouble
and terrors or disinheritance if you broke it or lost it which now of course you have done.
About this time a cat strolls along the bus station platform a stray not that smiling cat I mentioned and
nothing, absolutely nothing, the blank road stretching out away from here and your car
a strange thing the keys not in your pocket and the car not in the space

where you left it
forget the bus
he stole the car
and is in
right now as we speak.

PO 2-21-19 #81

Snow poem. There must be one, since it just snowed!


Slush slush the cars in the street
slop along the asphalt
spatter up the melting snow
draw lines of black on gray
stipple polka-dot stubborn spots
break them down in tire-tread patterns

under white-lined black trees
raining down a thaw in progress.

A shadorma for sleet and icy conditions.

the necklace
broke the beads spattered
melted against the window
dropped down the pane. Gone.

Another sort of story poem. Here is the picture I worked from (it is postcard-sized) and then the poem. See what you think.

PO 2-21-19 #97


Hesitant but
carrying out a necessary confrontation
on the roof of the house
in a nice suburb
a skinny lady in black pants
asks the workman in charge
when the job will be finished
He gives her a blank look
calculating some increased hourly charges
to recompense him for this aggravation
while the skinny lady’s ancient mom
stares stony-faced out the window
and she thinks:
Ruthie is never firm enough
if only I could still climb a ladder
I’d get a grip on that man’s collar
you bet that roof repair
would be done tomorrow
superior quality of work
at a discount price. Yes it would.
In the living room Sneekle
a mammal of unknown style
consenting to live in this house
classified as a pet by the other inhabitants
though in reality nothing of the kind
stares with longing
at the non-gregarious houseplant
with whom
he would like to
strike up an acquaintance and
if things don’t work out
eat it.
There you have it
one minute after ten o’clock
on a weekday morning
as rain clouds roll in.


Little Vines. Little Vines. Little Vines!

how about you drop in sometime
you beautiful blue fluid going by the name of ink
settle yourself in a comfortable fountain pen
we will sing a duet on paper

not everyone is selfish
or a survivor

I’m trying to pull it all together
test me one more time
darn whatever the answer is
it just ran out the back door of my mind

flu shot
opponents of regime change
sign up for battle

I disappeared on us.
I take it we’re no longer friends.
I get that.

too-full trash cans
make no mistake about it
I deal with it but I sure as hell don’t like it

walk in the snow
I was so squeamish
about the yellow parts

you need to understand
I’m using my name
in a more recent configuration
than that under which you first met me

like a cloud
bleached white
and fraying

knees bent arms askew
you are not a natural ballerina
even after a few glasses of champagne

I was in so deep too deep
shafts of light cutting through the green water
dimming as I sank

every two seconds in the garage
the hydraulic lift farts
you can do nothing but laugh

we made such a long trip just to end up here
a fat pug dog lying on the rug
loud music coming from next door

go with me or stay behind
little spiders
it’s not my place to tell you
but I hope –

are you going to tell me
we have never met before
I say and
the sisters close their eyes

Thank you for reading!

18 thoughts on “Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 7

    • Thank you. I haven’t been leaving much art out and around recently, I have been occupied with a lot of other things plus the weather has not been good enough to be outside much. I thought the same thing, go straight to the answer, eat it. But everyone has to try their own methods, I guess, we’ll wait…but the end result will be – that plant is gone…

  1. I enjoyed your road snow poem… nice to see the slushy world in words. The story about the morning moment was ‘juicy’ … the characters and the overall situation.

      • Feels like more of a heightened awareness than ‘weirdness’ in the postcard and then the story…wonderful to have a creative flow.

        • Thank you, I like to observe and make up stories and always have, pretty much anything sets me off and I guess it’s how I make sense of the world. I do enjoy writing for this reason so much, it gives an outlet for my thoughts, and to share them with others who find something in them, well, that is fantastic, I think. I will always be grateful to the internet for this, because in my younger days I felt pretty isolated. Anyway. I am glad you liked it, and it seems to me you know something about creative flow yourself…

        • I’m happy to have discovered the internet too…it does encourage people to create and share when it may not have happened otherwise (at least not the sharing)…

        • I am sure that in my everyday life, that restricted to what I can physically get to, or communicate with, or whatever, would be just that – restricted. And lonely. I’ve always been the odd one in the group and had a hard time fitting in. Now that I have the whole world, well, things are a lot different for me and better.

        • Yes the whole world and no time or travel logistics to contend with…also easy for common interests to overlap and any ‘differences’…well either they are in the shadows or I just move on…

  2. a.
    “how about you drop in sometime…
    …we will sing a duet on paper” ——- Perfect!

    The figurine-bench photo – like a pocket of warmth melting the snow.

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