The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.
This week’s Marathon, the last of 2019, was a multi-day event. With the Christmas holiday in the middle of the week, not to mention getting a new car, having the kitchen measured for a new floor, and all the other things going on, the schedule was confusing. To say the least.
Before I start, how about some visual memories of Marathon in 2019? I will scatter them through this post.
During this week’s event, I spent some time preparing for next year’s Marathon. Each December for the past three years, I have thought about how my writing will fit among the other sections of my life. In 2020, it is my goal to participate more in the outside world.
Since my accident in 2012 in which I injured my hand, leading to an antibiotic infection, difficult treatment, and many complications, I have had to put health-related concerns first; and then, three years ago, my husband had a severe fall and the healing for that took about 2 years. Add to this various family and work upheavals and well…I found myself dropping or stepping away from a lot of things outside the home.
In 2020 I have resolved to make changes. I won’t go into all of it, but I’m hoping to spend more time in wandering around, in learning new things, meeting/observing/working with/teaching/socializing with people, traveling around my area more doing art and taking photos, and of course being outside and exercising.
The Marathon will be a big part of this year as it has been in the past. I love writing and I love making print books. I am resolved to let the writing topics fall where they may this year – poems, stories, whatever. The Marathon as writing diary, maybe?
My main goal is to leave the house to write – go different places and enjoy being out, doing some writing. I plan to stick with one day a week (not always the whole day, but several hours) and I’m thinking of having a Little Vines session once a week separate from this (we will see). Marathon time can also include setting up my books, etc., but always, always, always, some writing.
I am calling 2020’s Marathon
“Just Enjoy Yourself Marathon 2020″.
That is what I want to do.
Now, here is some work from this last session of the year.
A pirate poem. I am not sure where this one came from. But once I got started, well, it took on its own momentum.
and so now we’ll have a little talk
and then we’ll concur
and then you’ll walk the plank
said the pirate captain
his eyes hidden behind sunglasses
filched from a crate
broken in the fight.
The filthy crew stood by
sweating in the hot sun
The four captives
slouched along the rail
All was silent
except for the creak of wood
and rope. The pirate captain
picked his nose. I need answers
looking up at the sky
I need answers.
The slap of the chop
against the hull
a chorus line of sunburned faces
adjusting stance in unison
I’m not a polymath, you know
the captain continued. Even the captives
looked surprised. The crew sighed as one.
ran before the bow. Time stretched on
under the cloudless sky.
behind dark lenses
carried on at a deliberate pace
concluded. The captain decided.
Throw them in the dinghy.
It was done. The captives
made time toward a distant speck
might be an island
might be a mirage
no matter. They rowed.
You’re very cheery this morning
observed the first mate
The captain would have snarled
if he had been a snarling kind of man.
Do you want to go with them?
The mate squinted. Oh for pity’s sake.
By midday all crew
in sunglasses and
The pungent salt air
the hard blue sky
the deep green ocean
they held no judgment
no clues no answers.
Turned into the wind
returned to brawling along
the waves. The crew
the same. The captain
chewed a fingernail
in a parking lot
empty shopping carts blown around by the wind
For every word that exists
somewhere right now there is a pencil in wretched distress
struggling to spell it correctly
She was graceful
I gaze across the junkyard
hundreds of cars
honking out a majestic chorus
that only I hear
The drill the excavation the extraction
of what is buried what is pent up.
Soon the maddening throb ceases.
A gold tooth emerges.
Let’s look over Chapter 2 Polite symptoms of boredom.
Level I: the yawn
Level II: the restless shuffling
Level II: the lie about needing to make a phone call
well for starters this guy’s been in love
for only twenty minutes.
I think there is still time to save him.
The sliver moon
barely hanging on to the sky
A bent pin working itself loose from a velvet seam
the con man
his schemes numerous
his tranquil self-confidence in humanity’s greed
dims your words of approval
like a cloud drifting across the sun
I don’t want to worry you
said the doctor
I never saw anything wiggle like that, though
A group photo
drained of meaning.
Faces whose names have slipped from memory.
it’s none of your business
where I decide to start a new life
unless you plan to pay for it.
in another life
in another city
I would have walked down a different street.
putting the squeeze on has proved inconclusive
but if you keep pushing and pushing
eventually that balloon’s gonna bust itself.
You said she was just a dumb rookie
Well, a week later I’m still clucking like a chicken.
let me sob into just one more beer
then we’ll get going
The high-priced bottle of perfume
drained dry to top up the goldfish tank
by the kids. Toss out the corpse.
Swish on a bit of fishy floral. Enjoy your night out.
You kept your eye peeled
for the panoramic distant landscape
the big-romance opportunity you’ve always craved
overlooking the modest garden right in front of you.
the shadow you cast across the sidewalk
it’s all we have left of you
since the sky fell
the fizz has gone flat
in this flamenco dance
a million or two bubbles later
our champagne bottle is empty
they have nothing but money
they want to be anywhere but here:
Cue the luxury car salesman. Get him on stage now!
My New Year’s resolution:
Let’s get this renovation going.
I didn’t know about the money when I married you
I just wanted to leave home and you were smitten
Believe me I know the value of a dollar now.
a poor sport a hard worker
a dreadful raconteur an avid theater-goer
can cook but does not clean up:
On balance, I’ll take him, I said. Deal done.
you can’t resell a stalk of celery
you’ve already chewed up and swallowed
said my grandma, nodding at my husband across the room
Thank you for reading!
You must be logged in to post a comment.