playing the game of life–

Bukowski writes “so many women
want to save the world but can’t keep
their own kitchens straight”– it rains,
i tell my daughter that
she’ll love her time in tuscany (she

leaves tomorrow for her graduating class trip)
& i want to see florence and pisa
through her eyes, we eat together,
just the two of us, when i was cooking

earlier i teared up, touching
the hot plate– then the fridge,
a stable 5 degrees (i put my hand inside
to feel the cold) today, i take
nothing for granted, sunk deep
in the wrinkles of the couch,

(hours after getting up,
still in my pajamas), read bukowski,
listen to the rain– both of them
tell story after story


this is my OpenLInkNIght poem for @dVersePoets where i’m going to serve drinks behind the bar tonight…doors open at 3pm EST and you’re more than welcome to join us with your poetry… and… regarding Bukowski…this could be an endless discussion.. i understood it in a way that people (no matter if men or women) should care for what is entrusted to them (whatever that is) first and set priorities…but of course we’ll never know if he meant it this way..


83 responses to “playing the game of life–

  1. read bukowski,
    listen to the rain– both of them
    tell story after story

    Words and rain…quite similar how they fall, eh?

  2. ahh bukowski, always wanting us to hear him as real as he kidded us πŸ˜‰

    esp liked,

    “i want to see florence and pisa
    through her eyes”

    there is something, i keep finding, that’s very meaningful and satisfying if we can get our child to share their impressions with us of something we had found, i guess meaningful and satisfying – it feels to me like getting glimpses of the real connection we’re left behind in our blended dna, our child…

    thanks claudia, enjoyed it πŸ˜‰

  3. Oh yes, the rain does tell stories. I think I’ll be reading some Buk tonight. Thanks. πŸ™‚

    Her class trip sounds amazing!

    • The thing is, women would rather impact the world than have to clean the kitchen. There just isn’t time for both.

  4. You write so softly, gently about these very deep concerns. Care, love, domesticity, poetry the stories that hold it all together when they can, as this one does. Bukowski often played his role as the outsider’s outsider too well, at times, it seems to me. No doubt being outside looking provides unique and forceful insights, but as this poem shows so does being inside looking in. I think we have to give Bukowski his due, no doubt, though as life peels away its layers and challenges each with poetic and real truths, but whose is more true is perhaps only left for time or a higher reality to tell.

  5. So moving! The pattern of the rain seems to be telling the story with you. I could hear it as I read then re-read the poem.

  6. The Bukowski treatment wanting a little of our time to listen! The pitter-patter of raindrops is ;like telling the story itself, so mesmerizing, Claudia!


  7. Sunk deep in the wrinkles of the couch… time passes and how quickly they grow up and explore the world on their own…and we get to hear their stories… it’s sad but nice just the same!

  8. Its so nice to look into the world or places through loved ones eyes. πŸ™‚
    The Bukowski lines are terrific and they hit hard .. for sure your poetry as always is brimming poetic lines..and yes to really live a life full of vigor and passion and nothing should be taken for granted.

  9. Words do fall in the music of rain, don’t they. This is a little sad, melancholy perhaps at your daughter leaving for her trip. I love that you want to see it through her eyes though. Ouch on the burn!
    Yes, women would love to change the world trouble is, a woman’s work is never done and, if she is an ambitious career woman, she has no time for that and home and family.
    Fabulous write and read.

  10. nice….love the staying in the pajamas later in the day…and reading Buk of course…smiles….i know she will love that trip, very cool…would not mind a tuscan vacation surely….hope she sends you lots of pics…and i know as a mom it has to be on your mind as well….lovely write poet

  11. Ah, the poet is nothing if not always aware. I see Claudia–aware of every molecule of life wherever she is. One might notice a blade of grass and write a chapter. Another may sit at her desk and say, “I cannot think of a ‘thing’ to write about”. How puzzling–grin!

    That is what I love about being surrounded with you and your peeps, Claudia. You have taught me to be aware of ‘awareness’. “,,,both of them
    tell story after story.” THAT’S WHAT I MEAN! Brava, dear lady!

  12. Don’t ever be sad about the state o fyour kitchen, especially if somone is a bout to leave … I know about that emptiness … soon this kitchen will just sit there with all its grime and memories of endless brunches and good talks … at some point it will get cleaned up … tomorro maybe … next week … as soon as you are able to grow new wings, C … Love, c.

  13. Hard to see a daughter go off on her own experience…those motherhood ties are deep, and though you are glad for her opportunity, I think there is still a bit of sadness that she is going without you, is launching herself into adulthood onto her own path; and also I think there is implicit in your writing the yearning for your own adventures (the mention of Florence and Pisa). Being a mother and a person is indeed complex.

  14. Quite beautiful….melancholic & reflective…the bukowski reference for me refers to the realness of life’ and how you are watching and feeling your daughter experience it…such a personal piece and deeply honest….amazing how you managed to wash these words with a blanket of emotion….so good…

  15. touching the hot plate-then the fridge, a stable 5 degrees. this is the part of your poem the grabbed me. you show us a picture of deep domestic love here. very cool poem. and I know exactly what i will write about today…!!!

  16. I’m familiar with the scene you paint so well. Sadness/joy over a daughter’s leaving to find her own life. I think the quote is about me. I’d love to save the world. My kitchen – who cares?

  17. I have never read bukowski….& I must put it on my list….a lovely, tender write from your pen. Your daughter must be really excited…I love Italy…another beautiful poem πŸ™‚

  18. A lovely poem – I was especially touched by the tearing up at the hot plate/fridge – there is something about the way physical pain feels when one is already in an emotional state–it can really be the final trigger to a kind of outpouring.

    I don’t know about running kitchens and the world – I’m not sure I’d want Iron Chef for President! Oh well. k.

  19. Reading Chuck can only inform the soul :D… great juxtaposistion in the opening stanza claudia, sets up the narration perfectly and the whole feels V.intimate and the reading experience is totally enhanced because of this sense of closeness with the poets pyche… i could really feel this πŸ˜€

  20. Ah I wish I was in Italy right now πŸ™‚ I understand wanting to see it through her eyes…that’s how I feel with my boys. I hope she has a great time!

  21. Bukowski’s a fine one to talk about keeping kitchens clean–I can only imagine what his looked like–but under the stories and the varying temps there is indeed a reality of time that can only be absorbed, not avoided. Change is constant, and npo matter how open we are about it, it gets harder as we age to roll with it without damage. Lovely, bittersweet piece, Claudia.

  22. I’m a big fan of Bukowski, Claudia, after all, he was the first poet I ever read who was nasty, boorish, petulant, drunk and misogynistic, which led my teenage heart to know that poetry was not simply effete beatniks mumbling in front of a brick wall. And damn, can he tell a story.

    Thank you for this slice of your personal life, tied to a Bukowski balloon.

  23. Lady, you sure know how to weave magic with your words, I loved this. I fell completely into the opening and was carried beautifully through to the end. Your relationship with your daughter touched me deeply too. Thanks Claudia… of to read Bukowski after I get through these poems then!

  24. Claudia, that mother-daughter bond shown so eloquently. The daughter may act like she’s all about the trip, the move to college, the move to take a job 2,000 miles away, and Mom will tear up every time… but the daughter feels it, too. I agree, great time for some Bukowski… or maybe something gentler? Great write! Happy dverse, congrats on #1! Amy

  25. I’m with Matt. Bukowski never rocked my boat but your songs always do. Hope your daughter loves her time in Italy. There are more stories coming!

  26. Is that the chap who says: I don’t hate people but feel so much better without them? Love that quote.
    She’ll have so many stories to tell when you see her next …

  27. Reading in my jammies on a rainy day while missing my adult children and relishing fond memories of so many good times and their unique reactions to lots of current events is also a favorite part of my life, Claudia. So pleased to see you taking care of yourself like this!

  28. Beautiful Claudia.
    I love what you did with the quote. My initial reaction was insulted but you showed me a different way of thinking… thank you.

  29. oh the transitions we make as we move through life… i am always happy to put a clean kitchen on the back burner when there are much better things to do… life, love, poetry, it all changes the world in much better ways.
    and taking the time to listen to those stories, yes.
    lovely, as always.

  30. from saving the world to listening to the rain in pj’s -> that’s a trip!!

    i liked the concept of all women wanting to change the world but they are pretty much stuck in the kitchen in the house

  31. (hours after getting up,
    still in my pajamas), read bukowski,
    listen to the rain– both of them
    tell story after story

    Lovely Claudia! I can so relate, my daughter just graduated High School, she leaves for her trip next week. Sinking deep and taking nothing for granted… I’m with you πŸ™‚

  32. Strong piece Claudia. It’s really tough when your baby birds leave the nest, I remember how my parents were when my sister went away for school, yet I think when it’s to another country it’s even a stronger emotion, as when she came back the one summer and told them she’d be spending a year in Paris, studying at Sorbonne, the emotion from my parents were seemingly magnified. The tie in to Bukowski is neat. Thanks

  33. I like those treasured moments with our children and seeing things/places through their eyes ~ Never take anything for granted as those times quickly slip away ~ Happy day to you ~

  34. Especially when my son — now 30 — was small, I delighted in seeing the world in new ways through his eyes. So this one resonated for me. Once he brought home some representation artwork that had had creatd, with blue clouds in it. I hastened to tell him there “are no blue clouds.” Soon after he pointed to the sky and showed me how wrong my conventional thinking had become. “Blue clouds!” he announced triumphantly. And sure enough, there ARE blue clouds!

  35. The small things in life are so precious and you capture them well in this. I must say I’m quite envious of your daughter going to Tuscany. It seems like a magical land to me.

  36. bet she’ll love it Claudia – lovely to share it through her eyes – the beauty of the tuscan sun – I beamed myself there on the very mention – so much rain here it’s beyond the joke – when everywhere in the world is so hot – should be able to share – love that chilling in your pj’s – and Bukowski – well enough said – hugs Lib

  37. Beautiful write, Claudia. One of the wonderful things about poetry is that the reader sees it as they see it. I’ve always thought that’s a good thing.

  38. Wow! To see Pisa through the eyes of your daughter. That got me Claudia. It touched my heart. Such love for one’s child, to see through their eyes. You are a master at connecting the reader to the intangible by virtue of the tangible. Thank you.

  39. oh well, bukowski – & does it matter how he meant it? i think what matters is how we take it…

    bukowski & rain… bukowski & rain… i’m listening πŸ˜‰

  40. I’ve got a poem this week just in time for your daughter Claudia haha! is about I trip I did into the Tuscan countryside with an ex-girlfriend.

    And an interview to watch (related Bukowski’s comment) based on an article, who was fairly high up in US Govt Dept, title “Why women can’t have it all”,

    interesting watching, obviously works for me as well

    thanks for that

  41. “she’ll love her time in tuscany (she
    leaves tomorrow for her graduating class trip)
    & i want to see florence and pisa

    through her eyes,
    earlier i teared up…”

    Hi! Claudia,
    I hope that daughter will enjoy her trip-I think that you miss her already!
    and…Bukowski too!

    “touching the hot plate– then the fridge,
    a stable 5 degrees (i put my hand inside
    to feel the cold) today, i take
    nothing for granted, sunk deep
    in the wrinkles of the couch…”

    I like every word in your poem and how you used the juxtaposition between hot and cold…too!
    Tks, for sharing!
    deedee πŸ˜‰

  42. Not just the wistfulness of motherhood, this brings up for me evocations of a remembrance of one’s own youth, of a time when Bukowski must have framed the mother’s poetic or social life, when he was more immediate, real, visceral – as Tuscany would be to the daughter’s eyes – than the evocations of words on a page.

  43. i was with my daughter on sunday…then up the motorway home…tearing up as we went wanting to keep her but knowing that she no longer belonged to me. such agreat write…thankyou.

  44. Pingback: playing the game ofΒ life– « thebleedingpen

  45. I like it! The rain, and the words…the stories, a snapshot of life, telling of things that are important to you. in th e moment.

  46. Love the warmth and intimacy here, Claudia…in your pajamas, in the crease of the courch, soaking in the rain and Bukowski telling stories. I’m there with you…feeling it…Thank you for sharing this moment!