april 14/RUN

3.1 miles
2 trails
67 degrees

The last summer-warm day for a while. I wore black shorts and a light green tank top and was too warm. Was able to run the winchell trail today! Got a closer look at the river. At first, heading down to the southern entrance of the trail, the river was blue with a streak of silver sparkles. Later, heading north, it gleamed bronze.

Lots of trees hanging ominously over the trail. Would one fall on me? When will the parks people come through and remove them. I think I counted at least five.

At least one of the trees on the edge of the trail in the tunnel of trees was sprouting green leaves.

Surfaces run on: grass, dirt, cracked asphalt, crumbling asphalt, smooth asphalt, dry leaves, road, sidewalk, roots.

Heard: a conversation between 2 women I can’t remember now, kids yelling at the playground, a man on a bench talking on his phone, the sizzle of my feet striking grit, a bike shifting gears, the trickle of water out of the sewer pipe at 44th, the gush of water out of sewer pipe at 42nd

A. R. Ammons’ garbage

section 12, the beginning:

a waste of words, a flattened-down, smoothed-
over mesa of styrofoam verbiage; since words were

introduced here things have gone poorly for the
planet: it’s been between words and rivers,

section 12, the middle:

we must have the biggest machine,

fifty miles round, find the smallest particles,
and the ditchwork of the deepest degradation

reflects waters brighter than common ground:
poetry to no purpose! all this garbage! all

these words:

section 12, the end:

imagine, though we think

ourselves purposeless, we may be the thinnest
cross-section of an upcoming announcement, and

though we cannot imagine what the purpose might
be, even now it may be extruding itself, tiny

threads of weak energy fields, right through
us: first an earth in peace; then, hundreds of

years looking for other wars: strife and peace,
love and grief, departure and return: gliding

we’ll kick the l out of world and cuddle
up with the avenues and byways of the word:

Again, this reminds me of Mary Oliver’s conflicted feelings about words and being a poet in The Leaf and the Cloud, minus all the garbage. I like the effect of Ammons’ excessive words — his garbage, even as I find it a lot to read.

Discovered a new poet this morning: Fay Dillof. Here’s one of her wonderful poems:

Little Infinities/ Fay Dillof

Remember The Twilight Zone episode
in which a couple tries to escape town on a train
that loops them back to the same station?

Like that, there are tracks in my brain.

Halted on the highway,
my friend Amy says We’re not in traffic,
we are traffic.

I try not to look at the man in the park, doing pull-ups
on the limb of a tree. Sweaty,
bare-chested—he’s always there.

Not that it’s always the same guy.
Or the same poor tree.

My father’s cousin, when he still could speak,
asked How big is your now?
but I was already looking back on the moment

from some sad future.

The gratitude journal I keep by my bed is empty
because every night its the same:

In the final reveal, the couple is trapped
in an endless game
being played by a giant child.

Well, at least she never stopped
trying, my gravestone might read.

When I say soul,
I mean like a photobooth photo—
quick this, this, this, oh, this.

a breakthrough!?

Before my run, I was thinking about my colorblind plates and the hidden message I might put behind the dots. What about having each plate hide 1-2 words that, when put together, create a sentence/another poem? Here’s the poem:

Can you see me? I cannot see you.

I’d break it up this way. 7 plate poems, words hidden in each plate:

  1. Can
  2. you see
  3. me?
  4. I
  5. can
  6. not see
  7. you.

Or, should it be:

I cannot see you. Can you not see me?

  1. I
  2. can
  3. not see
  4. you.
  5. Can you
  6. not see
  7. me?

Not sure, but I think I like the second version better. I’ll keep playing with it, but I really like this idea! I think it finally does something with this form that is more than just a gimmick. I imagine the you here as ambiguous. It could mean the hidden numbers or the reader of the poem/taker of the test. I also like the idea of breaking up cannot see into can not see, where “not seeing” is something I can do, I was relieved to do, because it enabled me to finally understand that something was strange about my vision/eyes. It’s so exciting to have figured this out! I’ve been working on it, letting it simmer, since September.

addendum, 26 april 2023: After thinking about it more, I wasn’t satisfied with this hidden poem. I came up with a much better one (no spoilers)!