april 6/RUN

5.5 miles
franklin loop
25 degrees

Brr. It’s cold today, with a cold wind. Wore my winter layers: long sleeved green shirt, black running tights, purple jacket, black winter cap, gray buff, black gloves. The 12 mph wind felt stronger, especially when I was running into it. My favorite part of the run: the river. Running east over the franklin bridge, it was blue with a wide strip of sparkling silver. Later, running west over the lake street bridge, it was a deep shiny bronze. When I reached the 36th street parking lot, I walked over to the bluff and admired the silver water glittering through the trees.

Heard a woodpecker, its loud knock echoing through the gorge. Also heard some honking geese. Saw the white flash of plane then the broad wingspan of a flying goose.

Smelled cigarette smoke as I passed by a parks worker in a bright orange vest.

Got a side stitch on the east side. Tried to run though it for a few minutes, then stopped near the railroad trestle to walk.

Parts of this run were difficult. At first, my back, then my left hamstring were a little sore. Later, feeling the wind in my face, a thought flashed: can I really keep running for another 2.5 miles? But most of it felt good, and I’m glad I went out there to be with the river and the birds and the bare ground. And, Mr. Morning! who I was able to good morning! for the first time in at least a month.

the mannequins return!

Last night I got the idea that I wanted to turn my mannequin poem (about the mannequins at the state fair) into a strange, uncanny prose poem and submit to a great literary journal I just discovered, Hex. Before I went out for my run, I was working on it and hoping to think about it while I ran. I probably did have a thought or two, but I don’t remember — too busy trying to stay relaxed and notice the river.

Before the run, I was thinking about the mannequins as delightful Crones, including one with Tammy Faye eyes who presides over an uncanny valley of other past-their-prime mannequins and vanquishes an army of J-Lo looking mannequins that arrive one fateful summer.

I looked up “crone” on the poetry foundation site and found some wonderful lines that I won’t use, but that I’d like to remember:

And when she laughs she makes a sound like things
That children are afraid of on the stairs.
(from Crone/ George O’Neil)

These lines remind me of a favorite memory from when RJP was a little girl — maybe 6 or 7? We were at a local coffee roastery. An old man who worked there was at the roaster and when RJP asked him what he was doing he replied, roasting little girls. I laughed and loved that he said that (it didn’t scare RJP).

And here’s a poem I found last week, part of a series on curse poems, that inspires me:

Misty Eyed Woman At The Carnival Tells Me I’m April’s Fool/ Lemmy Ya’akova

you will live long! it will not always feel like living.
if you put your hands on top of your need
you will remember what it is you are about to do.
this is completely normal behaviour.
these are your mad works, you must protect
your madness! all of it, yes you heard me, is forgivable!
it may or may not be who you want to be,
it is who you are in that moment.
one day the heron will arrive all long legged & blue—
you will know why it chose the water.