open links

hooded sweater pulled deep in my face, heavy
space falls on me with galaxies exploding
in the black part of my eye, pacing dirt-dipped
streets for fresh air, care-less thoughts, search for
the grit, feel like shit & zero fits together 2day- heavily
blurry, i‘m too weary to type these lines, but they
shout, form riots in my mind, resurrections from
what i thought was long dead, i freeze, bind

them on trees like pale, smutted soldiers,
hanged in wars no one talks about
any more and with hollow gaze they’re staring
at me, eye close my i’s, don‘t want to see how
ugly this world can get, breathless at the

cigarettes and vomit puddles at my feet
spit by fourteen something girls on bad nights, that
when they‘re lucky end up in hospital at my
friend‘s station with a diaper and an infusion
and someone who at least physically cares, not

pushed in the bed of some slobbery guy who
shoots, then fucks them ‘til something dies and they
wince, whine but never make the escape
& with greasy needles shame etches deep into them,
branding like brute, bruised & crashed in

piss lakes of what happens next and if you
can‘t swim this is where you drown in, Get
the first shot for free and we‘ll see further,
only there is no other day just night and

the light is swallowed by these corpses on
the tube floor, they still move as a proof of what?
just don‘t tell me it‘s life, so i seek– you &
weep, binding your pain on thick branches between
the tree’s broken spine, next to mine, next to
the hanged, the damned but who

carries them, my back– an aching mess, forgot
how cold this wind can get but be sure, i‘ve NOT
given up yet


my good friend joe hesch will be tending the dVerse Bar tonight…he’ll be ready to pour you some of the finest verse in town at 3pm EST..would be great to see you there..

68 responses to “open links

  1. So harrowing, so real, and so little one feels like one can do about it–the grief, the fates, the suffering of others is suffocating and hard to carry. But ultimately, your own griefs are all you can carry, and your own decisions the only ones you can make–and that’s rough enough. Your style here suits your subject perfectly, Claudia, disjointed, awry, full of a transcendent ugliness. A fine and difficult poem.

  2. Whoa, heavy. I love it! I would love to hear how you would speak this aloud – it has a wonderful flow to it. “search for / the grit, feel like shit & zero fits together 2day- heavily: … “bind / them on trees like pale, smutted soldiers,
    hanged in wars no one talks about / any more” ….”weep, binding your pain on thick branches between / the tree’s broken spine, next to mine…” …. so many great lines. Thanks for the read.

  3. really great on the textures of this claudia..the lifestyle is a sad one…we can not blame the girls completely that fall into it…there are certainly mitigating factors and once in it can be hard to get out for sure…love the quick rhymes as well…this would def be one i would love to hear by you as the word play is great, imagery haunting and one that sticks with you…

  4. Some hard realities of the young addict’s life…a centuries old problem which we seem no closer to resolving or helping those in need…excellent presentation of the subject matter.

  5. Wow you got really deep and violent today, causing the cat such awful dismay, okay not really though, always enjoy your show…haha

    Is a sad state of affairs they get themselves into, not always their own doing either, you delved deep and brought forth such images that made my nose curl, in a good way for your verse though..haha, nice little rhyming flow too.

  6. Magnificent, each stanza brings another call to reality and clarity about pain and our response to it. Breathless, brave, fully realized and your voice is ever present (maybe why so many have commented they want to hear you).

  7. Putting aside the greate content, this is an extremely musical, sensual poem just on the words and rhythms alone.

    Kerouac immediately sprang to mind by the second line, and content aside, I felt this very similar to Kerouac. (I have the CD box set of him reading his poetry over Steve Allen, and later on, Al Cohn and Zoots Sims. Every jazz lover needs this set.)

    Or alternatively one could see elements of hip-hop — but isn’t the beat poets the foundation for some of that?

    Now with all that great musicality you added this tough, gritty content, is deserving of even great applaud.

    And I still can discern elements of your own approach in addition! All in all a very complete satisfying poem!

  8. Hi! Claudia…
    Your poem is very heart-breaking, thought-provoking and honest …Once again, your words are very powerful…Whether read out-loud to your readers or as my eyes follow your words silently.
    Thanks for sharing!
    deedee 🙂

  9. very raw piece! your work always has such a romantic essence…. that doesnt go, but its dark & gritty feel merges with that & covers thee whole subject plus more.. amazing write!

  10. Rocking from Beth’s poem about women breaking free and this poem about the little birds getting caught in the viscious nets/traps set by the wicked, found when following temptations, or the urge to know the underside of the beast. Scary and strong. I have the feeling I’m following you at times…this, you leaving the jazz club to find the darkness of human nature outside the door — but that’s just my imagination (smiles). Written in your inimitable voice.

  11. Hey my dear Claudia you really KNOW and feel” la poesie, the great poetry, i.e YOURS!

    those ”’shout, form riots in my mind,”’ so strong!
    Loved to see and listen to you

    This I did not expect, so nice!


  12. This has the crazed – but musical – feel of an insomniac’s rant (rap). Wanting to close the eyes, find peace and silence, but there’s a riot in that darkness that denies rest to the weary.

  13. Awesome piece Claudia, really enjoyed it, some wicked lines in here. And you should read all your poems, it truly was a treat- I just love the way the English language sounds filtered by your German accent- absolutely loved it, thanks:)

  14. Goodness..very real Claudia, powerful, sad, compelling, the overwhelming tragedy of humanity bent on self-destruction, by personal degrees, a girl, or en masse 360 …but we ‘don’t give up’….never give up…

  15. …oh, Claudia, du wagst dich an die schwersten Themen…alle Achtung!…
    eigentlich möchte man weg schauen, die Kapuze über die Augen ziehen, aber das geht nicht…diese Bilder sind Realität…es ist wirklich ein Krieg…
    du sprichst darüber in deinen Versen…danke!…

  16. Gosh…another powerful & stirring piece. I know I certainly get those days when all I can see is the wrong in the world….it’s so tragic to see it, and can lead to despair at times. I love your ending…’I’ve NOT given up yet” ~ So brave and strong. A great write.

  17. I am enjoying your prose poetry and am thrilled to see you stretch each line. Determining enjambments is much more difficult when writing the long line. Whitman was a master at that, even equated to be the father of it by some. I’m heavily involved with the spoken word community of late. I find the good ones work the long line on paper as well as voice. Also, I love the way you turn a line, it reads and feels natural and right, just the way good poetry should. An excellent write you have produced my friend, excellent.

  18. I love the rush and force of this piece. It helps me experience the rush and force of a life out of control. It is a sad life, the kind that makes one want to look away. Thank you for making us look because then we might be able to at least feel compassion even if there is nothing we can do.

    And thank you for reading it to us via video. It’s so nice to see you! Yay! Charles is not alone…though I haven’t read everyone on here and don’t know if there are others on video.

  19. Claudia, this is really deep, beautifully and lyrically dark. Again (and I keep saying this, I know) the musicality breathes fire into your words. Glad to see and hear you reading today. Sort of confirmed everything I imagined about your beautiful gift in my mind’s eye.

  20. Wow! Pow! You opened a vein here!

    I‘m too weary to type these lines, but they
    shout, form riots in my mind, resurrections from
    what i thought was long dead

    I’m glad you have not given up, as so many have. That cold wind blows mightily through this whole poem. Along with your powerful voice!

    Particularly enjoyed your video reading of this. Print is dead! Long live video! ( ;0= }

  21. I feel like I am watching this generation’s Ginsberg as he furiously recited “Howl” – the pacing, the way you express it, is so reminiscant of his style. You are inspirational – I would love to one day do a video reading one of my poems, but I know I could never come close to your own majesty. Thank you for this gift.

  22. Listening to your words and your emotions made this poem more powerful and sad. But I do hope for a better ending… hopefully…

    Thanks for sharing this ~

  23. Sister you brought the poetry hammer up, and slammed it down.. right in the middle of these peoples pain, suffering, darkness..

    When a poem can transport me to the window and I see the words in action I know it’s a winner..
    your poem is a winner.. hellified good job Claudia..

    I see you care.. me too

  24. Wow. You created riots in my mind with this bombast of images and then they became even more powerful with your reading. Thank you.

  25. I loved hearing you read this, and wow, this one grabbed my heart and ripped it out… love the rhymes and the cadence, the images are haunting and unpleasant, but as a poem, this is magic.

  26. Paints a scene of a harsh urban world of lost youngsters. Dark but not brooding, real without having to go too far in its emphasis. Love your reading of it as well.

  27. Hi Claudia, I don’t know if you remember me, left a few perceptive comments to some of my poems at the Big Ape Diary in the past year. I’m in the process of re-organising the site and getting it up and running again. More to the point however , during the summer I won the Erbacce Prize for poetry and have a book coming out in January …. Would you mind casting an eye over the manuscript and providing a quote/comment for its back page if you find anything in it you like. I can be contacted at… Feel free to delete this comment as I know it doesn’t pertain to the poem of yours above.
    Yours, Brian

  28. Great performance of this harrowing piece Claudia… hearing your voice and see the emotion on your face was a brilliant way to experience this… the grit and dirt and sorrow of your theme was palpable..

  29. urban debris is all around us …some fail to notice or choose not too …other choose to care …love the fact you wrote about and made it feel so real …thank you x

  30. Wow! Listened to the recording! This is a different reading than what I had in my head — less rhythmical but more expressive. Thanks for recording this reading. Very impressive!

  31. It just keeps building. Words are a good way to purge feeling. I love the multidimensional of paper and sound and how they come together.

  32. I like you voice and dare i say, accent? This poem feels like it was written in the trenches, on location. Makes me wonder if you do volunteer work with women like this. Insightful and heartbreaking. No “Pretty Woman” ( is that the name of the movie with Julia Roberts?) experience for these girls…

  33. as a whole this kicks ass. but the line :

    i freeze, bind
    them on trees like pale, smutted soldiers

    stopped me in my tracks.

    dark read for a dark day. thanks for the share.
    Karen :0)

  34. Holy crap, Claudia. This is harrowing, raw. The way you read it and seeing almost-angst in your expression really brings it home. I wish this would go viral among young people. Put it on You-Tube!

  35. wow I was riveted ~ spellbound by your voice carried me through these harsh realities ~ ‘vomit pools’ ~ young girls ~ lured into god knows what ~
    and yes, wars forgot ~ for any possibility of truths learnt ~ lessons to carry forward ~ but nothing change ~ spirals worse ~ and in it all ~ will NOT give up ~
    Staggeringly brilliant Claudia # wonderful social commentary ~ powered ~
    hugs Lib x

  36. (Whistle!)
    man! this is gut-wrenching stuff. real rot of life, the bad side of life. Make’s Bukowski’s stuff tame, in L.A. — the City of the Angles.
    man! this is tough life stuff. How did we get here? Where did it go wrong? What the hell is happening?
    man! this is a damn good poem. I like this one the best I’ve seen, that you’ve done.

  37. this is certainly a powerful piece of work. It gives some deep thoughts to think about. IN a way to help instead of being A cause TO the effects of these sorts of things.

  38. You must be the nicest Peep at home, a most loving and docile creature. Because you get all your frustrations out in writing. WUNDERBAR!

    Sort of like music (you know about that, too?) whenever things are not going just too great, I take out my fiddle, and after playing a concerto movement or two, all is forgotten of the daym except the GOOD, fun, the peace, and happiness!

    Love your work here, Claudia!

  39. Well, well. Raw, uneven rhythm of lines well-played for the chaotic suffering effect. My fav = “eye close my i’s.” Perfectly deep and contrary. I feel that suffering, and yet, like others in the comments, I shrink from it to carry just my own burdens. Guilt or release? Hard to say. An excellent read.

  40. Claudia, I came back on your page to read today’s post. I hadn’t heard this poem, just read it so I decided to listen to you. It was quite an experience. The anguish and desperation of the words come through so clearly. You did a great job. Glad I came back.

  41. A drum beat, rolling, thunder, louder and louder still . . . the message, the disgust, the anguish . . . and the hope. . . there is always the hope.

    I am not a schooled writer, a technician. But I am taken with the rhythm of your piece and more, with the profoundness of its message. Superb!

    I suspect you are making a difference, out there trying to make it better.