spaceships, seagulls, words & math

i stabilize my life with words like freaky spaceship
operators do with math, each an individual & found
in rain pipes, kennels and in smoky pubs,

i’m filling gaps with them like dentists fill
your teeth with amalgam and who can say if
they’re toxic and how long they gonna make it

yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
with your saliva & i held it for a while,
felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
my palm but then it died before i found a place to
store it and your eyes went dark with pain,

a shade like ripe, black cherries and I thought of
times we sat on branches, drunken with new wine
and bravely riding in the storm– soon

i‘ll be where gulls screech in my ears, where
wind blows seasalt in my face to search
for clues between the pebbled beach and
english beer and pace the pier at night, gather

spume-sprayed seashells & write letters in the wind
with new words, built on wide-spread space & scented
with the ocean, those that shattered in the storm
i fix with duct tape, pack them into tiny parcels, hide ‘em
in my coat and smuggle them on board, pass

through security & customs like a robber, always
one hand on them to make sure they stay silent and
in case i’m caught, i’ll deny everything,
tell ‘em about spaceships on their way to save
the world or– tiny parts of it.
You think this is theatric?

Wait until you see me swing onto the custom’s desk,
dangling legs, imagined steering stick in hand– and I take off
before they’re getting hold of me

.

so in case you own a spaceship, even if it is an imagined one…you should head towards the dVersePoets pub and join us for another OpenLinkNight …it will be brian miller on the steering stick today and we got lots of space for your poetry… you gonna fly with us..? we’re taking off at 3pm EST

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66 responses to “spaceships, seagulls, words & math

  1. This poem is super awesome – adventurous, valiant, and beautifully true. This stanza is perfection:

    yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain,

  2. you dance us through some pretty tight emotions here…i love the intimacy in the finding of the word under the tongue but felt it die in my sadness…felt rejuvenated with the memories of other times…but i hate living there in memory as it makes me feel like we have no hope of new ones….i like teh little bit of crazy you get there in the end refusing to be stuck there or held back…fly on…smiles.

  3. Oh Claudia I love this! These lines especially are yum…. maybe yum is a bad word choice 🙂 “yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while”

  4. My spaceship will steer clear of yours, you might run me over..haha…the seagulls the cat will snack on, the words he will rhyme and the Drazin guy you like so much will do the math, see I’m good to go. Let’s see who finds the best planet now..haha

    Really liked all the visual placees you took us through with this one, your spaceship sure can be fun.

  5. Oh I love this, LOVE it, theatric or not. The image of fitting words like dentists fill gaps between teeth, of finding a word under the tongue only to have it die… And each stanza leading straight into the next, a whirlwind tour of hmm… “life, the universe and everything” that matters, it feels like. Cohesive, a virtual sensuous feast of words.

  6. I like the journey you took us… on board and taking off.

    these lines resonate with me:

    yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain,

  7. The stanza: “yesterday i found a word…”–oh my. I think that will hang with me all day, plopped into the middle of a fantasy-like poem then plunging me into a place of sadness. So savored this, Claudia.

  8. “i’m filling gaps with them like dentists fill
    your teeth with amalgam and who can say if
    they’re toxic and how long they gonna make it”
    Ohhh, sublime lines 🙂
    Beautiful, beautiful poetry as ever from you 🙂

  9. Excellent write Claudia, I just love this metaphor, it’s amazing how this piece just keeps moving stanza to stanza and all the images transitioned into. I also love the third stanza, every bit of it. And Cherries, well they’re my favorite fruit. Just a little something extra about me to share:)

  10. Complex, full of meanings and symbols, a pure joy to read, and the last scene I can almost see you kicking that leg in the air–perhaps accidentally dislodging a tooth of the Customs Man. Anna quotes the central image of the poem, but I also felt that the first two stanzas were exquisite. A fine poem, to hold on the palm until it melts, hopefully not causing any pain anywhere in the process.

  11. There are so many wonderful lines in this…’yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm under your tongue’ is a wonderful image (before the pain) Just wonderful to read your poetry 🙂

  12. I started smiling at the third line… love love love this, i have always been a hoarder of words, probably all poets are, but this is a perfect description of how we live our lives that way. Perfect cadence, too. Love!

  13. I can see you Claudia…little legs just a swinging for all they’re worth! Oh, the smiles! I’m also imagining the gazes of the customs officers as they see you. Wonderful writing always, but this time I even giggled outloud! You don’t know how bad that was needed! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  14. L O V E this, Claudia! roll that word around in your wetness (tongue!)…

    And Babe–I wanna get on that spaceship of desks, and ride away also…with one sound of “whiffff” and be already in another galaxy. It’s called TRAVEL, right?

    Or insanity? Hmmmm!

    Thank you.
    PEACE!

  15. We seem to agree that we love this stanza! Perfection!

    yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain,

    Great Job!
    Alaurilee

  16. yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain,

    This stanza particularly stood out for me. It’s like the little things that are so important but we momentarily forget to treasure them and then there’s the cost to pay for forgetting.
    Brilliant, Claudia.

  17. I was reading in Scientific American yesterday that researchers have discovered an innate ability by young children to operate the scientific method, problem-solving toys and such, isolating the golden bead. Then for some reason they lose the ability — analytics fade before the more engaging word. Poetry is somehow the science of that early youth, reading the world with open eyes, inventing a new language to fit emotions that are like new species. Such a wonderful breeze in this poem as you heat-seek the heart of it. Well done, doctor. – Brendan

  18. I love these lines…yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain.

    Good write, Claudia.

  19. so much to love here claudia. the words sing and that ending is so very playful! one phrase that really blew me away was ‘a shape like ripe’. breathtaking!

  20. I like the way you let the child woman in you go hunting for words in the most wonderous places… the way we would let our own children discover and play in the mud, or under rocks, in puddles and things, to make believe, and truly believe in their imaginations. You are a rare find Claudia… a rare find… on that seashell beach of our imaginations. I’m just glad you’re real.

  21. Really lovely, Claudia. We all like the words under the tongue–no one’s mentioned the color of cherries! It’s a pretty poem, but packed with feeling too. K.

  22. Your words dance on the page – they exude joy and enthusiasm! Glad I got my weekly fix of Claudia! 🙂 // Peter.

  23. I love all the places that you take your words in this poem Claudia! “eyes went dark with pain, a shade like ripe, black cherries ……” God you are so talented and so imaginative…….. There are so many images here and they just flash before me so very vividly…… the ocean, the gulls, the new wine, the pier, seasalt winds and spume-sprayed seashells…….. Oh Claudia it like a kaleidoscope of emotion and memories……. Very, very beautiful for a fun poem……!

  24. I LOVE this Claudia! Especially here:

    “yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain”

    I wish I knew the word. We’re all trying to hold on to that one word, aren’t we? But it always disappears, more quickly the tighter we grasp, I think.

  25. i have lived, died, been reborn and hug on a wire by one word before.. i see you have too..
    and we keep listening as well..
    very creative poem here Claudia!!

  26. Just one little word brought forth all this? Hell of a word, Claudia, for a hell of a piece. That bit of “S”-play in the sixth stanza (a statement in and of itself a bit of “S”-play) would require me to work out for a week doing pushups on my tongue if I was to try reading this aloud. Great fun and thoughtful.

  27. Claudia you are amazing. Each time I read your poems they are so full of flowing words and images. They are outstanding and I love them so much. I think part of my lack in English words holds me back from creating some different pieces with more vivid images that flow together like yours. In French this would not be the same and would be so much more difficult to try and pen a good poem that flowed. So I dig in the back of my mind and remember the English I had learned and try to apply it to my writing and my comments. I sometime feel like I am almost at a loss for words to say and write about at time. I love your site so much and you never stop to amaze me each time I come here to read your wonderful words.
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/25/the-groom-of-the-dead-bride/

  28. yes, words from smoky pubs seem to have a special magic to them…of course, they are not as magical as a word from a lovers tongue, indeed. You remind us of the beauty of poetry, Claudia, and why it is good to get a bit crazy if need be ~

  29. Sometimes I read your work and I think it touching it has a way of expressing a yearning of someone that someone once loved. Even if it’s about a pub, or a word.

  30. This just makes me fall in love with words all over again. I only wish they didn’t come to me the moment I put my head to pillow. That seems to be their favorite time to whisper. I love how you bring life to the words as this line does, “yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm”

  31. Claudia, I admire how you so fearlessly dissect the human heart and delve into the whys and wherefores of emotions. Your writing is heading in an awesome direction – a voice of the common person of this time.

  32. loved the physicality of words here, especially this stanza :

    ‘yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain’

    Really enjoyed this poem Claudia, lovely…

  33. A fun poem to read and imagine. Telling customs about spaceship after you supposedly try to smuggle words and letters through like they were drugs. 😀 So much goodness, one would risk doing that if such were restricted. Love your poem.

  34. Claudia! You just get better and better! This is one of the best poems I have read in a longggggg time. I loved it, the rush of words, the imagery, the craziness of it all…and it all fits together so well.

    I am chortling at your mad-cap imagery, but it’s so damn right now, isn’t it?

    Reading this, there was no lag, there wasn’t a moment when I was wishing it would end, scanning it, etc. You had me at the beginning and I didn’t even beg to be let go!

    This is such a feel-good poem, I want more.

    Lady Nyo….flapping her sleeves in delight!

  35. I relished this the way I do a piece of chocolate, and I love chocolate. What a treat. It made me want to run to the dictionary and just read words for their own sake, not even to use them, just to appreciate them. I appreciate you Claudia.

  36. Shooting off in a spaceship can be an awesome thing! That is exactly the feeling I get as you bring us progressively over your write with all the imagery.

    Hank

  37. The intamacy in this piece is amazing! I am a lover of words as well so this piece reaches me and hits home!

  38. A silky smooth engagement; a distinctly sensuous delight.

    “yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,
    felt the warmth and rhythmic pulsing on
    my palm but then it died before i found a place to
    store it and your eyes went dark with pain,”

    A complex wonder, my friend, and a distinct pleasure.

  39. “yesterday i found a word.”

    wow! claudia! that line alone is breathtaking and your entire poem is stunning! i giggled out loud at the ending, too. no one writes like you do and your words are always worth reading at least twice.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  40. Crossing so many times between Canada and the U.S. I have had some pretty weird Customs experiences, but none quite like this. 🙂

    Claudia Schoenfeld — one of the finest poets of our time.

    Seashells and Irish pubs and ripe dark cherry shades. Loved this!!

    xoxo

  41. Great! I especially liked: “yesterday i found a word, just one, silky soft and warm
    under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet
    with your saliva & i held it for a while,

  42. “under your tongue, i took it, dripping wet”….YES! Loved this, the images of words being smuggled, stolen, hidden, treasured in delicious ways. Yum!