…and why i don’t like aquariums

i’m on the way to Sweden in a
cabernet red mitsubishi–
pale mist hangs like fat grapes
on the vineyards– on the radio:
Dire Straits, so loud i wouldn’t hear the
engine detonate (in case it did)

passing the quarry pond, i swam
one summer, naked, when i read this book
that changed my life forever (sounds dramatic–
and it was), the icy road throws flashbacks

on me of a first time, 14 i/he 16,
bed hermetically sealed with plastic foil,
an aquarium full of fish watched–
as we dressed again, i anticipated
they’d swim belly up, Neptune
closed his eyes and– it’s a long way

into sweden & i weep a bit for all
that died on highways of a life,
lived way too fast– and headbang
to the music, yelling bits & pieces
of poetic flashs into my iPhone–

later at IKEA write them down while
rolling meatballs ‘cross the plate,
stabbing each köttbullar with the swedish flag
before i eat ’em (just in case..),
the guy next table stares at me,
i don’t look back–

too busy with my life, the fries &
screwing with an allen key those words
onto bloody bits of plastic foil, i hide
between my thighs–

in the car, mark knopfler’s e-guitar
tears the seams of the new
BlacK_Lace underwear, that i
surprised my husband with last night & with
an open mouth i catch the sound, SpiT it
on the windscreen and could swear that Neptune–

smiles a bit

.

we’re sailing under poetic flag again…it’s OpenLinkNight at dVerse poets with brian miller rocking the pub…gates swing open 3pm EST 

..and in case you’re curious…the book i’m talking about in the poem is “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom 

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70 responses to “…and why i don’t like aquariums

  1. What a story, what a ride! Sweden (or IKEA) never seemed so… exciting, and I’m with you all the way about Mark Knopfler, although I’d hasten to add he wouldn’t quite have that effect on me! Loved it, terrific.

  2. Again, thoughts fall out of your head like meatballs on a plate!(That’s a complement, by the way.) Hiding Place…It will have effects on those who read it…it did me. Might show up at the bar later. After a holiday, bellying up sounds like a good idea.

  3. Your poems take us back and forth down that long road of our lives, from memory to whimsy, loss, joy, all the shades of living, always with that sense of stretching that traveling can bring. Enjoyed the road trip and the meatballs, Claudia, and I’ve very fond of Mark Knopfler’s guitar, too.

  4. nice…love the refs through out…used to listen to dire straits….smiles…the flash back into a first time…to the forward…nice present to your hubby too…smiles…really a fine write….

  5. I’m sitting here smiling thinkng about the guy who was staring at you and your meatball-bowling-javelin dining event…would have loved to have a photograph of his face…ah…but the whole poem was just a delight…a perfect start to my day.

  6. Lovely, Claudia….I love your gift to your husband 🙂 and these words….too busy with my life, the fries &
    screwing with an allen key those words
    onto bloody bits of plastic foil, i hide
    between my thighs–

    🙂

  7. You made IKEA seem fun and that hermatically sealed bed would be nice for any OCD..haha Nice present too, another wonderful write by you.

  8. “into sweden & i weep a bit for all
    that died on highways of a life,
    lived way too fast– “

    Hello! Claudia…
    I knew that you would “sweep the words up [in your mind] and place them in the dustbin” [on your blog] and let them flow again!] and what words: Memories, time past, but most definitely, not forgotten…What a very vivid, descriptive almost melancholy poem, very reflective…Thanks, for sharing…too!

    deedee 🙂

  9. another amazing write, i love the way you weave everyday life into poetry, it seems so simple, and yet it is so difficult to do.

    and oh my gosh, i read and re-read that book so many times when i was a teenager. wow.

  10. This is quite a journey, Claudia. Whenever I think I’ve got the direction figured out, it goes another way. I love the zigzags of your poetic process.

  11. Love the journey here, lots of places to change direction and then return. The dire straits/knopfler references early then late, was a great touch of connecting the start to the end. Really great trip. Sweden is a country I have always wanted to visit. Love the culture from what I’ve read about and well, the music is just superb. Thanks

  12. Read it several times. LOVED IT …. the images were poignant… loved the scenes I saw… had to go look up ‘hermetically’ …. Great write!

  13. great writing here again Claudia! but of course – loved these lines – “into sweden & i weep a bit for all
    that died on highways of a life,
    lived way too fast” – your titles are always so intriguing too! nice 🙂

  14. I love how you are consistently taking the everyday and stretching it — metamorphing it so it is recreated on a transcendent level. A lot of plates spinning in the air here!

  15. the icy road throws flashbacks

    … just what you’re doing so well.. layers of sound, memory, taste..then shifts to different times.. love the layering in this one.

    Have a wonderful 2012 Claudia.

  16. Love the music loud enough so you can’t hear the engine – I always hear things I don’t like when the radio is off 🙂 Neptune smiling is a fantastic image to end on !!

  17. like the opening…
    on the way to Sweden in a
cabernet red mitsubishi–

    weep a bit for all
that died on highways of a life,

    rolling meatballs ‘cross the plate,
stabbing each köttbullar with the swedish flag
    with
an open mouth i catch the sound, SpiT it
on the windscreen and could swear that Neptune–
    smiles a bit

    ….you just like to have fun, don’t you.
    another nice write, full of the life-stuff.

  18. I think it’s great that you can sit down & write a poem in IKEA.. lol ….a good one too…and books still have the power to change my life… a great write, as always 🙂

  19. Well, this is absolutely naughtily-nice, Claudia! 🙂

    I do that a lot with my iPhone too — catching those poetic bits when they strike. Songbits mostly.

    Off to Ikea now…. 🙂

    xo

  20. You may have been stabbing at meatballs, but this is fine dining at its best inside the Poetry Pub!

    …and the road
    is such a soothing pill…
    it can make you think you’re moving
    when you’re standing still

  21. Woo this is a hell of a ride Claudia, raw in parts too, love love love this bit

    too busy with my life, the fries &
    screwing with an allen key those words
    onto bloody bits of plastic foil, i hide
    between my thighs–

  22. The opening verse catches attention; but i like these lines best:

    ” i weep a bit for all
    that died on highways of a life,
    lived way too fast”

  23. “…& i weep a bit for all
    that died on highways of a life,”

    Amazing how the memories come at the most unexpected of times. Love how you captured a glimpse, a few moments in your life. Well penned!

  24. Ah, Claudia. I would love to travel the highway with you. I believe I would be spellbound, mouth gaping open and wondering why my synapses don’t fire with the same intensity. I would love some meatballs, thank you. As for the surprise, you go girl! Awesome poetry.

  25. wrenching Claudia. vivid imagery (I could see and smell the meatballs at IKEA) throughout this piece. transports the readers along this incandescent journey of raw moments that are imprinted so clearly on the page. well done.

  26. Enjoyed the read. Vivid flashbacks, metaphors reflecting outlook on life from the scenes.

    I can relate to putting small verses into my idevice too. 🙂

  27. 40,000 (+ or -) People die on US highways in a given year. Don’t know about their “first times”!) pretty sure it was their ‘first time’ dying.

    I pictured you flying over the highways in valleys, alongside that lake–VIVIDLY!

    Realize this is not the Neptune I should be commenting…BUT…the gaseous Planet Neptune, if hollow, could hold 60 earth-sized Planets inside.

    (Aren’t you so happy I strolled into your blog today!!!–grin!)
    PEACE, Claudia. YOU are top-shelf, girl!

  28. You are full of talent. You seem to be full of such beauty and honesty. They way you write pulls me in. Thank you for sharing such beautiful work with the world!

    ~L

  29. It’s wonderful how you work in so many specific details and brand names here–they bring a kind of immediacy to your images. (From Ikea to Dire Straits to Neptune. Needless to say Sweden and meatballs.)

  30. Whew! What a ride! You kept me with you for every bit of it, waiting for the car to explode, or the meatball to roll off the plate ; )
    As forThe Hiding Place, a sobering remarkable book. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Funny how music or a place can trigger such nostalgia but not dying on the highway of life being resuscitated by all these triggers which you express fantastically ..memories and experience ( good and bad ) shape who we become.
    So hoping this strong talented lady has a fab 2012 without regrets ! x x x

  32. I’m sure Neptune smiled…though he could be an ornery cuss at times. Your drive sure turned into a wild ride of the mind. Each stanza was like a new, different wave. Loved them all. Very nice..,

  33. dire straights, huh? if it must be loud, let it be heavy fuel:)
    you have so many marvelous twists and lines here.
    i wonder what book changed your life. those are some of the joy of living.
    i especially like the view of you cobbling together your poem in your poems. you are a scavenger for great detail.

  34. Wow. Reading this I realize how I’ve missed you, your naked honesty which makes your poetry pierce the heart and your sensitivity which makes you wise beyond even your own experiences. Love you Claudai.

  35. that book has been on my reading list for months now…I need to get to reading it. Claudia, I just get so drawn into your poetry, the way your mind uses it to tell us a story…

  36. The entire thing amazing! I think this is my favouite piece of yours, so far : )

    The last stanza put me away….awesome!
    -Eva

  37. Crazy good trip with this one. It was poetic relief to laugh (imagining the scene with the meatballs) after a the dramatic rush of rushing the tender years too fast. Must now look up this book, thank you. Excellent, as always ~

    (sidebar…thought of you as i just picked up Gunter Grass’s Peeling the Onion at a used bookstore…in english, though, not as talented as you!)

  38. And …the song is you. Nobody does it like you do, kid…no one. When does it happen I wonder, the way you throw words at your canvas – smart, and patterned–seemingly disconnected but when finished liked Jackson Pollock’s Lilac Mist. The spill of images and paint is startlingly clear and brilliant. Again another life ride through Sweden, and galaxies of love, meatballs and Knopfler. I ripped his disks last night. The year was so crazy for me..I am giving all my music to my children on a separate external hard drive per family for late Christmas presents.

    I have about 1/2 a terabyte (500 gigs) of music. The jazz is just now getting ripped. 12 disks of Rippingtons, Today Kirk Whalum, David Sanborn, Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour. Of course the old (old) stuff was the first to be ripped. Still there’s old 78s of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong that must get converted along with all that Beethoven (the complete works). Sigh, I should live so long! Well done Ms. Jazz Poet. You’re the cat’s meow!

  39. i had missed this with the rush of rushing about, and glad i came back to it –

    so much in this one, the imagery, the feel, bits that shock, the car ride and a life racing each other –

    gonna have to save it & re-read a few times

    definitely enjoyed it! thanks claudia 😉

  40. I agree I’d like to be along for the ride as all the images, words, ideas, memories, and fantasies spin out in your head. Like doing donuts in a Ferrari on a frozen lake :).

  41. I like so much how you integrate memory, present and historical present into a whole. Stitching together these pieces to cover perhaps a naked soul alive to the pulsing chaos that is life.

  42. HA! i don’t like anyone watching either, no matter how small their eyes.

    an amazing poem filled with “claudia passion” ♥ LOVE it!