filterless

parchment paper soft between our lips,
we smoked rebellion filterless,
sitting on pavements, lolled in
poster-plastered rooms,
the lush-me-green park or forbidden
quarry ponds next town, inhaling

pipes of freedom, world-less peace,
release-ing tiny dragons, tunneling
our lungs like oriental trains,
badged with the fear of falling black,
etched fat upon our foreheads

And their remnants fell like soldiers.

We lived on Che Guevara, blew
our ashes to the wind & bravely blasted
tightly ravelled dreams, fueled with
insist_dance, resistance–
hand-rolled, bent between
our fingers, gambling high scores

shoreless, though never tagged them
good or bad, left/right, dark/light– but
threw them in the air and let ’em fly

(your lips did curl like Tutu seams,
pink ice-scream dreams) & we rolled
drunk with summer-laughter over
clover-covered grass.

But i remember autumn hanging in your hair,

& we kissed hard to keep us warm and like
there’s no tomorrow– and there wasn’t,

so we cut time to tiny mars bar chunks,
thickly sick with politics we didn’t understand
until we faded,

blue with smoke

& caught in the nightfall

maybe you’ve already heard the rumors on twitter…next week, we’ll be launching dVerse Poets Pub, a new online community for poets. The site is just a shell right now, but stay tuned, we’re about to paint the walls and get the chairs ready for you guys..for tonight i’m linking up with One Shot Wednesday  for the last time..and i’m thankful for the great time we had…thanks to all of you who made One Stop a success..and could you hand me some tissues please…


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51 responses to “filterless

  1. I feel compelled to take a smoke break after reading this. Beautiful imagery, Claudia.

  2. Wow, this poem has some beautiful rhythm and internal rhyming. I love these lines: “so we cut time to tiny mars bar chunks, / thickly sick with politics we didn’t understand” Very inspiring and thought provoking!

  3. In the middle of the poem I wanted to wave a flag and cheer, then the line

    “But i remember autumn hanging in your hair”

    made me catch my breath, got a lump in my throat. The energy, feeling, so vivid, alive.

    dVerse Poets Pub? -I’m there.

  4. Claudia, I loved listening to this. Your voice took me there. So many lines that I love here…”we kissed hard to keep us warm and like there’s no tomorrow-and there wasn’t”

  5. Claudia you are such a joy to read. I simply love the way you put words together. My inner dialog goes something like, “oh! that is so good, that is so, and that, and oh that, yum.” Like these treasures, “release-ing tiny dragons, tunneling
    our lungs like oriental trains.”

  6. Reading your poetry brings me such joy. The opening line is absolutely wonderful. Immediately it stimulates thought, each line requires the reader to stop and ponder meaning, the enjambments are perfectly placed, soft turns to be exact, and not abrasive. A very lovely write Claudia.

  7. Here are your tissues, Claudia–and I’m going to light up a filterless Marlboro clone (Never smoked a filter in my life, but 32 years of ‘other’, etc., etc.

    Now, WHERE is it I must go check out. Maybe you’ll need help with the painting.

    OTOH, I’m sure y’all can handle any necessary renovations. Only THREE things are certain in life: Death, Taxes…and C H A N G E……..
    Best of good fortunes, applying what you have all learned so well. Godspeed!

    Oh! and PEACE!

  8. Claudia, I’m sad that you’re leaving One Stop but glad you’re embarking on a new adventure. I’ll be sure to check it out.

    I love this poem. I can relate to it as I remember my rebellious, know it all, politically savy years. But I could never have written about it as beautifully as you. So glad to read your work.

  9. I feel like crying too.. .. but really I am happy to see you flourishing and painting a new house.

    Beautiful as always ~

  10. The kiss of the pipe, all the other kisses, how well you bring them back here, with all the brashness and all the vulnerability of that age, in expert language, shimmering image, and the immediacy of adjectives that glow. The ending is the neatest description of age and time passing I’ve read in forever, which is where this poem belongs. A forever piece to treasure, Claudia. So many thanks to you for all your work and play at One Stop that has been such a pleasure to us all, and I’ll be standing in line, thumping a big pewter stein and demanding service just as soon as that pub opens the doors.

  11. I’ve got some tissues if you need ’em, Claudia. It has been a wonder having you about – your writing has always been one of my biggest inspirations in this poetic community of ours. I wish you best of luck in your new endeavor though, and the great works to come!

    As to the poem itself….wow. Blown away. I saw the tags first, che guevara and teenagers, and it quirked my eyebrow…but then I read, and you took my breath away. Sound language, striking imagery, absolutely beautiful descriptions. Marvelously thoughtful, and lovingly crafted – if this is the note that sounds with change, than goodness, take me along for the ride.

  12. smiles. this is lovely my friend…cant wai to kick open the doors on our new place…your poem tonight was a delight to the senses on many levels…can i have a piece of that mars bar? smiles.

  13. Great rhyming adding to the pace of this one, really a cry of rebillion too, still I’ll stick to my can of pringles over a smoke..haha

  14. You are crazy good, Claudia. When I read what you write, I feel like a kid at the adult dinner table just soaking up all the wisdom and learning how it’s done. 🙂

  15. …drunk with summer-laughter over clover- covered grass/but I remember autumn hanging in your hair…

    I remember those days…this made me flash on “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen.
    And the top of my head started to tingle…and I’m saying, DAMN…DAMN!
    Woo hoo…you always fix me up so well in my frenzied search for my next poetry high!

  16. “So we cut time to tiny mars bar chunks,
    thickly sick with politics we didn’t understand.” Damn, why couldn’t I come up with a line like this. Love it! Great poem!

  17. I have been reading your words for quite some time now and you have yet to disappoint me.

    I agree with Chris G….change can really be a beautiful event and you have depicted that in this poem..
    I too thank you for all you have shared, all of the kindness and support to myself and all of these other wonderful people.
    Please don’t go too far…
    Lynne

  18. “archment paper soft between our lips,
    we smoked rebellion filterless,
    sitting on pavements, lolled in
    poster-plastered rooms…”

    Hi! Claudia…
    Once again your spoken and written words are very beautiful…When I read the title Of your poem I immediately, thought Of coffee filters, but it’s obvious from the words that I should have thought cigarettes or it could just be a figure Of speech.

    Thank-you, for sharing…Oh! yes, I have brought you, a box Of Kleenex too…Just like I mentioned to Brian I hope to visit you both over there at the “pub” too!
    deedee 😉

  19. [but it should have been obvious from the words that I quoted from your poem that my thoughts should have been cigarettes filters…]

  20. Brilliant, wistful, and dark, yet with a warmth of running with an old friend.
    Oh, Claudia, the images and word-play in this piece brought me back to a time before many of the folks reading it were born. And, to think, it is coupled with a comment about a bright future!
    Thank you, my friend, for pulling me out of the creative darkness and into the light of so many supportive colleagues. You’re the person responsible for a self-proclaimed poet named Joe Hesch and a virtual notebook called A Thing for Words.
    Now, pour me a mug of verse. Here’s a tissue. Lets talk…

  21. sounds like a delicious summer, flowing free and “high” without a care in the world. How nostaglic! Sigh, I miss those summers sometimes. Looking forward to seeing you at the Pub.

  22. “(your lips did curl like Tutu seams,
    pink ice-scream dreams)”

    i would love to live in your imagination. after listening to your reading, i need a cigarette. {smile} breathtaking! ♥

    i’ve subscribed to d’verse ~ looking forward to it!

  23. Everything is so good about your work..the free verse, the tale rhythm, the feel…Amazing! I tried my hand on writing a poem on smoking; but now I know how much I need to grow up..the words you used were awe-inspiring…so real! Gr8 one..

  24. Am with everyone above – the sort of poem you think you need read aloud but it seems to have transcended the page anyway… loved so many lines and all the polaroid snapshots of that time too… looking forward to your next venture!

  25. I love everything this says about youth and revolutions there conceived, but these lines just made my heart sing:

    we rolled
    drunk with summer-laughter over
    clover-covered grass.

    But i remember autumn hanging in your hair,

    & we kissed hard to keep us warm and like
    there’s no tomorrow– and there wasn’t

  26. What an image in fact series of images you provide Claudia wow ‘lips curling like tutu seams’..and like ‘there’s no tomorrow, and there wasnt’..sounds sad even though there will be no regrets there of time wasted when it could have been constructively utilised 🙂

  27. But i remember autumn hanging in your hair,

    & we kissed hard to keep us warm and like
    there’s no tomorrow– and there wasn’t,

    so we cut time to tiny mars bar chunks,
    thickly sick with politics we didn’t understand
    until we faded,

    blue with smoke

    & caught in the nightfall

    The narrator is at once wise and aware of their foolishness: self involved and self effacing. Seeming to say but we live what we know and grow into the rest. This is a lovely, subtle, intricate tightrope act.

  28. Ooohh…amazing! Loved your swirly imagery here, Claudia! There is quite something about dragons and breaking away from norms this week, eh?! Or is it a very Capricorn thing shared by you and me? 🙂

  29. Or maybe other kinds of smokable herbs lost amid the memories of living in the Now and Youth at the same time, long ago. Wonderful recitation also. Hope to hear more from wherever you choose to broadcast.

  30. Nostalgic and beautiful… love the voice here. I’m excited about your new venture and will be sure to check it out. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  31. A captivating coming-of-age write, Claudia. Some very fine lines of imagery in this one. Best of luck in your new venture…I’ve subscribed and look forward to the words ~

  32. so glad i stumbled upon your work…i plan to visit the new spot soon…

    like so many others, i paused – and thought – and re-read…throughout
    could’ve quoted the whole thing…but your insist_dance stopped me cold…

    “We lived on Che Guevara, blew
    our ashes to the wind & bravely blasted
    tightly ravelled dreams, fueled with
    insist_dance, resistance–”

    look forward to reading more soon… peace.

  33. Thank you for a wonderful read 🙂 I especially liked where you split some syllables, made subtle changes to a word and gave it a whole new perspective.

    And also, thanks for the support over time through One Stop 🙂 I hope that the stoppage of the platform isn’t permanent and to see you all together sometime again. 🙂

    My One Shot ~ A Poetic World