i’m constantly collecting fragments,
without even realizing,
& they mingle with sleeplessness–
not that i couldn’t sleep,
there’s just no time because
ToDo’s pile like a babylonian tower,

Europe froze & i mean literally–
standing at the tram stop,
waiting for a group, if you’re not fast enough
the tram doors close again & you’re shut inside,
riding on or pulling the emergency–?
a decision, made in milliseconds &
our eyes meet through the glass pane,
trigger pulled– it took me
quite a bit to calm the guard–

on saturday i went to Heidelberg & sunday
took ’em to the mountains, it was icy,
Panama & Dom Rep lost the way,
and i was searching up and down the slopes
for a trace of them, called all the numbers
checked back with the restaurant &
lost myself searching–
like we tend to do sometimes,
becoming part of snow capped fir trees while
our footsteps disappear into the night–

later, frozen in the tram, already dark outside,
head leaned against the window pane–
i would meet them in the Asian place
and all i wanted was a bed, there’s
a paralyzing tiredness in rush hour trams,
& also soothing anonymity

as no one cares for no one,
and i think of silly things like ice bears,
entering the tram– just because i’m tired,
just because my mind needs space
to lean into, what would we do?
would we care at all?

& that’s when all the parts,
collected over several days, collide,
locks break open and my fingers
are not fast enough to type ’em in my iPhone,
dammed up verse, bleeding
life, lost along the way–

& he sits next to me, his soft fur–
felt through my winter coat–
brushes my shoulders–
i don’t run– dangerous or not,
at times you risk that you get torn apart,
just for a bit of warmth while on a way
that never leads you anywhere


at dVerse, we’re going backstage today…and our new team member Charles Miller has prepared an inspring prompt for us and is even bringing Dante to the pub…  i’ve written the above poem to let you a bit in into how my poem “Same, same but Different” developed.. and also to give you a bit of a backstage glimpse into how i tend to write usually…


40 responses to “Back//Stage

  1. i can totally relate to gathering scraps through out the day and in my notebook and phone…and you never really know where the inspiration will hit…and where it might take us…once i see something i try to take in each little detail…like a mental photo and then let my mind do free association with it as i write…those questions too seep in…and ice bears hey if that is where the mind takes us…smiles…

    sometimes you risk being torn apart for a little bit of warmth…great line…

    ps…any idea why WP is all of a sudden not letting me use my email? having to use my wifes…

  2. … which is beautifully, Claudia. I love how you bring us into your thought process. These words stick out each time I read this poem:

    becoming part of snow capped fir trees while
    our footsteps disappear into the night–

    … and I had to laugh at this b/c I can relate:

    ToDo’s pile like a babylonian tower

  3. I am having trouble with Word Press too sometimes now and have to sign in with a Word Press name rather than my usual….sigh. Not always, and I haven’t tested yours out yet.. I guess Word Press has decided to give Blogger people a hard time, as it seems for a way Blogger was giving Word Press folks a hard time.

    I understand collecting lots of thoughts and then eventually start combining them together to write so fast that you can hardly come up for air. However, I can never compose anything on my iPHone. I love the concept of the ice bear and risking being torn apart for a little warmth along the way. I love the insight into your mental process, and it definitely seems to work well!

  4. WP is certainly being strange the last few days…. there is no “Like” button, so I stopped to say… Nice! A grand post…..

  5. I’m forever collecting fragments too… and love when “”all the parts,
    collected over several days, collide,
    locks break open and my fingers
    are not fast enough to type ‘em in my iPhone,
    dammed up verse, bleeding
    life, lost along the way–”

    so exhilarating when that happens

  6. …”that never leads you anywhere”….great line and such a panicy feeling as it happened me last week…but I was saving the poem for another time…glad I did as it was so good to read your take on it!

  7. I like the concept of a “tour through” your thoughts…as I read i pickup the tempo of your voice and can even feel you breathe in as I read…as always a joy to read.

  8. I love this peek into your mind – I love your mind. What a fun place to visit, he said in an irritatingly obtuse way.

    Seriously, great imagery here. If you can make an international call, I’d say call it in to (951-665-8161). (Brian Miller said he was going to do a reading for the site soon.)

    Or, if you want, make an mp3 of you reading it and attach it to an email to me (

    Either way, you’re a real gem. I love you(r writing), 🙂

  9. Very interesting! After reading in one of your poems– you in the car–about iPhone, I’ve been trying that a bit more. I’m inbetween notebooks (well, not so much now) and technology, but ipAD unwieldy, etc. etc. Enjoyed seeing your process. k.

  10. Interesting look at the thoughts in your head, though I’m not sure it explains anything, but then I’m not sure poems actually can be explained–not ones like this anyway. The last lines are an explanation in themselves of all too much.

  11. way to fill in the gap…. time to find some white space… loved these lines:there’s just no time because ToDo’s pile like a babylonian tower… sad but true

  12. poetry on poetry, seeing behind the curatins, all very interesting takes on the prompt. Your sensibilities as an artist pull together those random bits that connect emotions and thought to life, that stuff we think is the real stuff as opposed that that “poetry” stuff. This is the line that I know you know about and that your poetry, even if it’s not about your poetry, pulls in and crosses so freely. It’s the artist’s sense of the real and its internal connections to a life alive inside us, that part of us that loves the world and and wants to make it our own. Bit it’s also the impulse, the drive, the desire to become new and not die somehow inside. What’s always amazing to me in your work is how you take the fragments that you call them here and cement them into a creative project, an artifact of life lived for itself, calling forth that creative power that counter-balances necessity with imabination and creativity.

  13. I know I capture thoughts and fragments as I go about my day…I am old fashioned us a piece of paper and pen…(only because I don’t have an iphone and if I did I probably couldn’t work it anyway…I can’t text to save myself). I love how you put this one together…a day in the life of a writer on their way to work… 🙂

  14. My mind is full of those scraps as they gather throughout the day whether I like it or not. But then they are fun to use for my little rhyming behind..haha

  15. The best part about reading your work is that I feel as if I’m travelling a cross the world. 🙂 It dosn’t matter what subject or what manner you write i feel like am watching a foreign film

  16. Your process certainly explains why your poetry is so alive and why your ability to write detail is so impressive. BTW–I linked the wrong poem today. Just put up the correct one.

  17. it was an awesome experience… your back stage was worth a read 🙂

    # there’s just no time because
    ToDo’s pile like a babylonian tower..
    I feel like this most of the time 😛

  18. Wow wow wow! What a ride! This one blew me away, Claudia. In a strange way, too! At times, I felt like I was reading aa foreign language (don’t ask) and understanding every word of it. The feelings and actions on the page put me right there with you, as you went through the daay and shared your thoughts. Again, wow! I love this poem!
    (You literally make me feel almost silly posting something like this one of mine)

  19. After reading this i went back and read the poem which resulted. It was nice to see how your words and thoughts formed here first, and to be honest- i like both! i really like the poetic prose contained here- almost like spoken word- just detailing thoughts, descriptions, and emotions…i can feel your frustrations, the sleeplessness and the lack of time (i really relate to this!). I sense a familair feeling here as well- trying to get words down whilst also trying to work and do a million other things at once- sometimes theres just not enough hours- and with poetry- i find once something starts to flow- i cant leave it alone until its done- and it becomes a distraction- and i don’t care about anything else. This was a really interesting insight- thank you

  20. I too gather scraps of thought..they are in notebooks, grocery receipts, napkins…poems are there waiting for me to pen them…love a look into the process of how you write.”.& that’s when all the parts, collected over several days, collide” Love that imagery. Great write! This is Laundry Goddess, Susie Clevneger btw…It is making me sign in with my twitter account

  21. Thank you for the ice bears, I’ll remember them for a long time. You capture the sense of confusion we experience as we try to make meaning out of our lives. The sometimes cold, sometimes alienating, sometimes frightening way we navigate the world. Excellent work.

  22. I love the voyeuristic view the poem gives. I felt as if I were a scrap being carried around through the day and seeing all the other scraps filtering through.

  23. Claudia, love the tone and conversational narrative throughout. Excellent job at working through the prompt, really enjoyed the direction you took with it. Thanks

  24. such a nice feeling on your journey, and of course i didn’t have to feel the “real” cold, though i sure imagined it 😉

    “lost myself searching” –

    found myself pausing there

    and saving lines from ourselves onto our iphones 😉 i email mine to me to save them!

    then those last lines of fur and willing danger for the warmth of being alive (i felt) –

    so nice claudia

  25. Claudia, an ice bear would be most welcome on some of the frigid busses I have been on in my youth! I just love the very smooth way you sequed from the actual events of this trip to the fatigue and cold induced fantasy part.