correCtions–

she sits across the aisles from me,
scribbles notes with a red pen in
small, steep letters, very small,
& very steep (just like the streets here),

nothing smooth or round &–
yeah, it bothers me a bit,
the way she moves her head, wrinkles lips–

hair without a color, held back
by a tiger patterned clip, carelessly,
as if she had forgotten it already years ago,
as if it doesn’t matter, as if nothing
but red marks on margins matter,

(there are neither bugs nor flies, i know
that seems out of place like Lenin in the
mural by Rivera in Rockefeller Center, that they kept
draped after completion, then destroyed
because it didn’t fit, man at the crossroads–
like we are– red ink)

during take off, she stops a moment,
leans back, closes her eyes, pen tightly gripped–
scribbling on as we reach altitude,

and i could write a poem,
sleep or read Bukowski who stretches
like an ignorant & lazy cat across my lap
but i just watch her scrawl, & paint
on walls, invisible
‘til we touch ground again

.

Victoria has us write literary allusion in poetry at dVerse today, which is, simply put, a reference to another literary work…

Mine is a mixture of, after reading Bukowski poems on the flight from San Francisco to Long Beach, wanting to sound a bit like Bukowski (which i know i never manage anyway) and a mural by Bernhard Zakheim that i saw at Coit Tower in San Francisco which refers to a destroyed Diego Rivera mural at Rockefeller Center that i heard about when I took a guided tour there earlier this year and that kinda bridged the gap. Cause what Zakheim did was a literary allusion to Rivera. I wanted to post a photo of the mural first but unsure about copyrights..so…

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50 responses to “correCtions–

  1. smiles…really love how you capture this woman…smiles….of course i am a sucker for people watching…..its the little touches though that set you apart though claudia…the book on your lap like a cat…at the crossroads, red ink….really some great stuff…smiles..

  2. You are a quite the gawker, catching her small writing haha give Brian a run for his money for sure. A lazy cat too? Geez, we can’t have that. haha

  3. Another fine portrait…there is a universality to this woman…some with pens, ipads, or laptops…all are unable to drop the intensity of their job.

  4. Claudia, you are unique. No need to be like any other poet. Your talent is inimitable. Nice how you can write about things many of us wouldn’t think to write, like a fellow passenger. I wonder what was going on, Who/what was she correcting in red, defiant ink?

  5. I agree…you don’t need to sound like Bukowski because, you sound so unique and awesome, when you sound just like you. I also love the book across your lap like a cat. The red pen held tight, the hair pulled back tight… lovely people watching moments captured by you.

  6. I can see you sitting on the plane making observations… I do the same, sometimes write my best poetry in the air… I can also see clearly this woman you describe. I especially like:

    hair without a color, held back
    by a tiger patterned clip, carelessly,
    as if she had forgotten it already years ago,
    as if it doesn’t matter, as if nothing
    but red marks on margins matter,

  7. You capture this scene very well, Claudia. Those long plane rides are killers. I am going to have to read some Bokowski, I think.

  8. You mixed it all up quite beautifully here in this poem.

    or read Bukowski who stretches
    like an ignorant & lazy cat across my lap

    that is a brilliant line. You and Brian both do wonderful studies of people. It really intrigues me.

  9. So well done–I don’t know how well the Buk comes through since I haven’t dwelt much on his work, but I do know this is one fine poem.

  10. Your poetics spring forth fully blossomed, whelped wherever you are, capturing the cosmos in the minutia of profiles you gather. Red Ink always irritates me as well. Teachers all used it in the margins of my school papers, with circles and angry lines leaping all over the word children I trusted them with.

  11. I smiled as I see another reference to Bukowski plus his cat..and I think to myself if there ever was man to tame the Cheshire Car,it would be him.

  12. ..recognize that bothersome feeling..some chemistry just isn’t working and she takes you away from your reading…I can just see her..very nicely done.

  13. Some delicious allusions in this. Particularly:-there are neither bugs nor flies, i know
    that seems out of place like Lenin in the
    mural by Rivera in Rockefeller Center,

    and Bukowski. I’m a late-comer to Bukowski, the last person on the planet to discover him, seemingly.

  14. Makes me wonder what she was so intent on correcting. Like Laurie, I particularly liked the reference to her hair held back carelessly as it gives a feel for the woman.

  15. Love that you have also caught the very act of allusion (loose threads between one thing and another) in the experience of the flight itself… linking one place with another. The joining consciousness being (always) unmistakably Claudia

  16. I’ve met people like her. Especially during take-off. I loved this:
    hair without a color, held back
    by a tiger patterned clip, carelessly,
    as if she had forgotten it already years ago,
    as if it doesn’t matter, as if nothing
    but red marks on margins matter

    Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  17. Why did I know you’d go with Bukowski!? This is so good. The references to Rivera’s mural, and the character development of the woman. Didn’t you want to talk to her, to probe more? Was she a writer..a teacher? I bet you did, eventually.

  18. A mix of illusions and allusions. Flying gives me a terrible headache, and Bukowski, also, but never your words, Claudia. Rivera was a great artist of the people, and your poem has a bit of cautionary tale on how even art can be politicized.

  19. The image of Bukowski spread out like a cat across your lap made me laugh. I know you were referring to the book of poems but for some reason I had a visual image of Bukowski (giggles) His appearance left a lot to be desired:)

  20. “(there are neither bugs nor flies, i know
    that seems out of place like Lenin in the
    mural by Rivera in Rockefeller Center, that they kept
    draped after completion, then destroyed
    because it didn’t fit, man at the crossroads–
    like we are– red ink)”

    Hi! Claudia…
    In your beautiful [descriptive] poem… correCtions–
    You have captured words like Rivera captured the images in… Man at the Crossroad

    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee

  21. Liking your inclusion of those proper nouns… watch out for too much Buk though.. hehe.. have you seen Barfly the biopic before? Bukowski always influences my poetry directly after reading. I almost get mysogynistic… hehe

  22. only you could make a woman scribbling with a red pen so interesting, Claudia! i LOVE:

    “hair without a color, held back
    by a tiger patterned clip, carelessly,
    as if she had forgotten it already years ago,
    as if it doesn’t matter, as if nothing
    but red marks on margins matter,”

    stunning poem!!!