where the words live

berlin airport

berlin airport


“so this is poetry?” she inquires,
we sit at berlin airport,
our reflection blurred against
the panes

“it’s everyday”
“it is, yeah” &

i usually don’t like
someone looking over my shoulder
when i write

“nice that you put the monk in”

i pull bukowski out my bag,
open on a dog eared page,
“that’s my fav by him”

she reads
“oh i don’t know”

“it’s just, i find me
in his verse”

each page, a soft weight
in the curve between
palm & thumb,

“flight’s delayed—fuck,
it’s the same all week”
a guy grunts next to us,

i hit the keys,
press my fingers on
a tint-black pulsing carotid,
feel the goosebumps
on its trembling skin &
don’t look up again

until the boarding call


smiles..that was re-surfacing from my last trip when packing my bags….just arrived in berlin again & will be tending the OLN bar at dVerse from here…off to explore the city now and i try to be back when the pub doors open at 3pm EST..smiles


81 responses to “where the words live

  1. …and i never liked someone looking from behind when i write too… when i write i must be limited to only me(the poet), the muse & the night… smiles…

    ..hey, i think it’s just me but i hate reading the ‘f’ word in a poem… just don’t get the significance…. smiles…

  2. Yes, yes, yes! Poetry is alive and your fingers are glued to its pulse. I love the description, familiarity with pages, words, poetry.

  3. I just knew this trip would provide some material and hey presto! I hate airports, such dull boring places where we sit around waiting for what often seems half a lifetime to catch a plane.
    This captures the emotions of that wait so well. Have an enjoyable stay.

  4. what a wonderful way to show what it’s like to have such a rich interior life, airplane delays or not 😉

    “each page, a soft weight
    in the curve between
    palm & thumb”

    such delicacy of meaning 😉

  5. This really captures the atmosphere of waiting for a plane, Claudia. At least you have something to occupy your mind while waiting for the delayed flight. Poetry is always a reliable companion. Enjoy your travels.

  6. So nice to travel with you.
    Never been to Berlin.
    And now I want to know which Bukowski poem you feel such affinity with.

  7. Off to travel once more, sure more writes will come after you explore. Someone over my shoulder would be a pain, but the cat does that once in a while.

  8. So nice to see you back with another glimpse of life, Claudia. A poet’s pulse is within us isn’t it? Our own music, our own shadows, our own sanctuary. O, we pop our heads out and peer. We peer, we write and share, then we curl up inside of the life-giving flow of music we sing by. I just love your birdsong. It is sweet and it is bitter. It is the type of art that lulls us in by those everyday travels that are punctuated by flashes of harsh insight. Keep them coming, Claudia, dear. Keep them coming. 🙂 Eric

  9. Airports are a great place to watch people and write poetry…so many interactions to draw upon….so enjoyed the little conversations you had…as always a delight.

  10. each page, a soft weight
    in the curve between
    palm & thumb…lovely. I don’t like someone watching me when I write either. Nice!

  11. Reading The Pleasures Of The Damned right now. Love his poetry, especially that poem, Claudia. I like the inclusion of a famed and noted poet in this poem. Great seasoning.

  12. There IS so much more to this write–but I like
    “…each page, a soft weight
    in the curve between palm & thumb,”..

    AND here I sit with a “mouse”.

  13. I’ve always been a fan of poetry that brings the reader into the writer’s current experience. There is something so beautiful about the simplicity of it. Lovely write. Have a great time in Berlin!

  14. How convenient, I just got a Bukowski collection out from the library today. Airports – haven’t had the chance to write at one yet, need to attempt it this summer, there are surprisingly many things to inspire you. Still jealous of how fluent you make everything, ha 🙂 Glad to be reading you again!

  15. I don’t like people “eaveslooking” at my journal when I write. You seem to be a fellow pastimer at the airport, anywhere… the poetry comes as it comes, like a river flowing. I loved your keyboard’s pulse… Thanks, Amy

  16. enjoyed reading your work as always Claudia. The F-bomb took me by surprise because it doesn’t seem very “you” somehow; then I find that it wasn’t yourword at all, and all is right again 🙂

  17. I love this:

    each page, a soft weight
    in the curve between
    palm & thumb

    That’s why I’ll always have books, no matter how much I enjoy my e-readers 😉

  18. Claudia, love your reference to Bukowski here. There is a little bit of us in his writing, as you put a little bit of you in us. Good write.


  19. I love the conversation within this one, showing us all that is there….. There, where the words live. A lovely word painting.

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  21. “press my fingers on
    a tint-black pulsing carotid,
    feel the goosebumps
    on its trembling skin &
    don’t look up again”

    I love the vitality in this stanza. Like the poem is already alive for you before it’s been written.

  22. Another scintillating slice of your life, Claudia!
    Bukowski’s advice to aspiring writers was: “Drink, fuck, and smoke lots of cigarettes.” He was a true romantic.

  23. Well Claudia, I see you have the wanderlust too… Some great slices here:
    “our reflection blurred against
    the panes…” “open on a dog eared page…” “feel the goosebumps
    on its trembling skin…” You certainly capture the atmoshere of each moment with great precision – joyful to read… Scott http://www.scotthastie.com

  24. My son likes to look over my shoulder as I write…and I find it difficult when anyone does that too! My son likes to ask questions so it does put me off my train of thought. You know I had never heard of Bukowski until I started with dverse…and I was surprised to find a book in our library… I loved what I read and I understand how you say you can find bits of yourself in his words…he writes life as it happens so well! As you do…so well! 🙂

  25. I love the escape into self that poetry offers me. What a detailed capture. I don’t like people looking over my shoulder either. Personal space is important especially when doing something as personal as writing poetry. Bravo!

  26. Hi Claudia, the monk is still with you. I would have liked to see his picture.

    I like to be alone with my poetry too.

    Like Kelvin, I find it difficult to read F words in poetry. But then, it is how the world communicates disgust and anger. And I can see that….

  27. I so admire your powers of concentration…I would be so distracted by airport noise and scenes…you make music wherever and whenever…Bravo!

  28. The remarkable thing about Bukowski is how he continues to inspire. You appear to have emulated some of his most striking features in this poem – the short lines and stanzas, the commonplace images and word choice – and carried it off so well.

  29. Yes, this really captures the airport experience. I’m in the middle of getting quotes for travel to the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, and the US (including Boston) – the the thought of flight delays depresses and exhausts me, and I haven’t gone left NZ yet!

  30. I dislike air travel. There’s so much hassle, discomfort and many times, uncertainty.

    I really like the intimacy of sharing a poem here, someone is curious and then you let them read what you like, and well, you can go back to doing what you were doing if it hooks them. Not sure, but I get the feeling your companion got even more puzzled when shown Bukowski. Really nice that you were totally occupied until the boarding call. 🙂

  31. “so this is poetry?” she inquires,
    we sit at berlin airport,
    our reflection blurred against
    the panes…

    Thanks, for sharing the image Of…
    The berlin airport
    and a moment and the reactions/conversation Of others through your poetic words…too!
    deedee 🙂

  32. I don’t like anyone looking over your shoulder either… I mean mine (smiles). This is my favorite:

    each page, a soft weight
    in the curve between
    palm & thumb

  33. That person’s reaction is normal. What is called “poetry” varies hugely. “Poetry” has a loft nuance to it in English and what people are writing certainly is not lofty. I don’t know how it got that lofty feel, but it is the common image of folks I talk to and why I avoid I am telling them that I read poetry or write it at all. “Tis all very pretentious.

    Even this, and many of your “poems”, I simply read as a diary entry split into verses, some dropped grammatical piece and a bit of poetry mechanisms. Then I enjoy it. If I think of your writing as “poetry”, it frustrates me. But that is because I have the same silly images of what “poetry” is that all my non-literary friends have. So my approach is broaden my view of poetry, and to rip out the sacredness that got snuck into the form. Poetry ’tis merely a form of scribbling. And I love reading people’s scribblings when they communicate something interesting, fun or amazing.

    And this writing of yours was very fun.

  34. I’m picturing this exchange as between you and your daughter at the airport and bless you from afar for exposing her to poetry. Your line: ‘each page a soft weight in the curve between palm and thumb’ is lovely.

  35. The first 4 lines are really effective at setting the tone and stage. I didn’t get “a tint-black pulsing carotid” but is sounds exciting. I figured you were referring to a computer… Maybe it is a reference to Bukowski that I missed. In either event, a very enjoyable poem….

  36. “So this is poetry?” What a great opening line! Fantastic poetry at that. 🙂

  37. I’m not sure anyone’s ever looked over my shoulder, but I imagine I won’t much care foe it. I enjoy the way you add dialogue, it always seems to add an interesting dimension.

  38. I don’t want anybody looking over my shoulder when I write either – unless he/she was invited to do so. It is an invasion of my privacy, to say the least.

  39. It’s not only hard to write with someone looking over my shoulder when I write, I can’t even allow myself to look over my shoulder; poetry is elusive, “it’s every day.” Wonderful lines here that pull us into that moment you were in.
    Just lovely.

  40. i couldn’t write when someone is looking at my words. I do, on the other hand, write many times when people stare at me. I find it strange but also musing. in a good way

    nice one