a collage// or how an art hall elevator can be more exciting than johnny depp//sometimes

i, age 18 in venice

i, age 18 in venice

.

she meets him on the train from paris
(which has certain, weird potential
in itself)
i, on an elevator,
in the basement of an art hall,
close to the canal, or

maybe in a row boat,
neither understanding fish
nor flying,

time crawls up on me &
things start, rolling,
touch, link in certain patterns, then
foam up
dice falls,

doors slide as he (could be
anyone, you know) walks
by,

“i need more time” i say
“to watch through all the things in real time”

“you mean life?” the elevator asks
with grinding teeth, & eats me, i–

“have been to venice once”
i tell my daughter,
(the tv spits frazzled patterns in the night)
“you liked it?”
“i don’t know, i was too young maybe
to understand the way she carries
stories in her drift,
& how she’s tied

to nothing in specific, tourists
in and out, all searching, &
(slow-mo boat chase
on a dark canal)

“you read a poem to me?”
“sure”, i grab the hicok book
“no, one of yours”
“ok–“

& as i read, angelina kisses him
on a venice balcony,
There is no spark though
& the screen stays
———–strangely empty,

doors slide,
& i press the button,
silver brushed steel, bathed in space-green neon light,
me, in a square cage, barely,
seen,
sliding in and out of blurred reality
& where it touches us
with a message

i don’t get yet, but
my feet vibrate,
(already), gently,
to this humming stranger’s beat

.

smiles..it’s hot here.. 38 C… happy summer and happy OLN.. we open the dVersePoets pub doors at 3pm EST for a cool drink and loads and loads of poetry… you join us?

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69 responses to “a collage// or how an art hall elevator can be more exciting than johnny depp//sometimes

  1. ha. i love the title….depp is a little over rated…smiles….i love that the elevator talks to you, smiles…surreal, but very cool blend of the convo with your daughter and the ins & outs of the journey in the elevator…the way she carries stories in her drift….cool line…and great close, making it very personal…smiles.

    happy tuesday

  2. This was a brilliant ride! I particularly enjoyed how your words created a story with so many dimensions and imagery. It made me feel as though I was right there experiencing all sorts of people watching and eavesdropping!

    This was my favorite though,

    “you mean life?” the elevator asks
    with grinding teeth, & eats me, i–

    I heard the elevator’s voice and the teeth ring through my ears. 😉

  3. Into the depp you go at your show, other than the first pirates all aglow, such Depp’s get a pfft from me, overrated indeed at my sea haha

  4. Fun to see you young, already talking to streets and sights in your woorld wonderland. Your images follow suit as the narrator remembers and reads her images to child as the elevator humm and conversation becomes present. Did the stranger come to mean something to her? “I don’t know, I was too young maybe to understand….”

  5. That picture takes me back: as a student, working in Amsterdam for a spell, in a hotel, I was wearing one of these lowslung belts, feeling very up-to-the minute.
    Then I heard a young Austrian chap say “Riemen um Bauch”.
    It sounded so horrible that I never wore it again 🙂
    The little scenes of life that stay in your memory.
    Actually, he was nice and invited me to one of those white formal dances in Vienna, so I can’t have looked too bad with it.
    See where your ramblings take people?
    Lovely floaty lines and thoughts again.

  6. hmm…I enjoyed the movie, it was romantic 🙂 I love how you blend that and your conversation with your daughter. Charming 🙂

  7. I love the mingling of past and present, of the real and surreal (talking elevators indeed) – and I’m jealous that your daughter asks you to read poetry to her – and that she demands that it’s yours, not anyone else’s … smiles

  8. Nice Claudia. This includes so much – the past, the present, your daughter, your poetry, even Brad and Angelina. The real and the fuzzy perceptions of life. And how do we explain this to our daughters? Can’t. They’ll live it themselves. Love the picture of you and as always am amazed at the machinations of your mind. It’s hot here too. Will stay indoors and try to write something for Dverse today.

  9. This is just haunting to me…perhaps because of that one line: “I need more time…” It’s a thought that is just obsessing me these days as I think about my age. There is so much to learn and do. I loved this one.

  10. First – disagree with Brian that Depp is overrated.

    Second – a super charming poem. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to Venice twice -once for three weeks in December which was just beautiful. Another time more briefly in Spring. Both times when it was not hot – obviously and luckily – it is one of my favorite cities – there is such sweetness that you are reading to your daughter – imagining too. k.

  11. The Depp/Jolie pedestrian film had Venice for the star; Depp runs hot & cold for me. Love that photo of the young hot you; instant nostalgia. You do travel a lot, and it feeds your muses, and inspires your poetics; lucky us.

  12. Love it! Cute pic, too. I especially like:

    “i don’t know, i was too young maybe
    to understand the way she carries
    stories in her drift,
    & how she’s tied
    to nothing in specific,

  13. …aww… very cool Claudia… to contemplate with the ins & outs of / from an elevator… tracing the furtive messages hid in the loud silence… ah, i loved it… cool pic too with a long hair… ha… i really liked your closing stanza… & i’m gonna quote that… smiles…

  14. Love the playful beginning and the tantalizing ending stanza — great bookending of a great poem, Claudia. Reading with your daughter is especially poignant.

  15. Nice picture ~ Smiles ~

    Interesting conversation with the elevator & daughter~ The time element/theme resonated with me:

    time crawls up on me &
    things start, rolling,
    touch, link in certain patterns, then
    foam up
    dice falls

    Time is a great teacher and healer ~

  16. And Claudia blows me away yet again! I saw that movie, and strangely enough, I liked it. I never would have recognized you from that photo. What is the longest number of days that you have stayed in one place? LOL

  17. This is almost like Jackson Pollock in a poem – such incredible energy – and sounds and colors – it all shakes and moves. The photo is perfect for this poem, too!

  18. I love the presentation and the collage of present and past… and what a picture 🙂 I really felt the situation in an elevator… alone with a stranger perhaps.. and those elevator doors. Captivating

  19. sliding in and out of blurred reality
    & where it touches us
    with a message

    i don’t get yet, but
    my feet vibrate,
    (already), gently,
    to this humming stranger’s beat

    I don’t know–will we ever get the message? Great work here, these last lines are especially powerful.

  20. Read through comments, and agree with Butkus…Lucky us, that your travels inspire your muse. And WOW! age 18? You SURE?–grin!
    My toes resonated all through this piece, Claudia! E.g.,…sliding doors as “he” (anyone!) walks by… and following that, what I think about a lot (not obsessively),

    “…i need more time” i say
    “to watch through all the things in real time”

    So, for personal reasons, THAT was my fav line…b/c I reeely believe that everything has happened in that first FLASH. , we are watching (LIVING) it out in real (fabricated) time. So THANK YOU for that. Maybe next week OLN you could pose HOW that all happened–that’s where I get stuck…like in an elevator?
    PEACE!

  21. Wonderful ramble of past and present, reality and fiction Claudia. Strange the things we remember of our past… Lots of things I don’t get yet – the fun is finding out!
    Anna :o]

  22. I’m always so impressed with your style, its so organic.
    “maybe in a row boat,
    neither understanding fish
    nor flying,”
    LOVE this.

    • “have been to venice once”
      i tell my daughter,
      (the tv spits frazzled patterns in the night)
      “you liked it?”

      …I like the fact, that other readers, like the same thing that I liked about your poem. The intermingling Of your thoughts about a film and your interaction with your daughter… too !
      [The girl in the photograph is lovely…Is that you?]
      Tks, 4 sharing !
      deedee 🙂

  23. I thought the same with that movie – how could two such powerful actors have zero chemistry – anyway – love the movement of this – the change of place and time – always appreciate the intimate glimpses of your life – such courage – K

  24. Now see, I enjoyed that movie… I thought it left us guessing until the very end. But I love Depp in white and might have been distracted (I am one who tends to think he isn’t over-rated 🙂 The poem is … surreal – like you are half listening to your daughter, lost in your own thoughts. Nice. And I love the purposeful stride you had at 18! I imagine you’ve still got it!

  25. Interesting write, Claudia…..my crooked 5 point star is more attractive and eye catching than Depp…he looks like a well groomed rat to me….phony as a 3 dollar bill…there I said it!

  26. I’d quite happily converse with an elevator just as long as it’s not playing piped music at me. Isn’t there always that issue of more time?

  27. you read a poem to me?”
    “sure”, i grab the hicok book
    “no, one of yours”
    “ok–

    Shows how one or one’s poetry has an impact on others. Not very often there’s an insistence this way! Great, Claudia!

    Hank

  28. heh, love the white shoes…they speak volumes…oh wait, this is about commenting on your poem! Next time I am in an elevator alone I will listen carefully. 🙂

  29. Claudia, your poem – like a good movie, like the slice of life with different associations and views…I like your connection with daughter…and your readiness to vibrate with what life prepared ahead…I enjoyed…ths

  30. so often the drift in the end to the truly personal, it seems to ring it true so much more so

    and within the lines, esp liked,

    “venice once…
    i don’t know, i was too young maybe
    to understand the way she carries
    stories in her drift…”

    love the daughter/you interaction too, so good to have a chance to read you again 🙂

  31. time crawls up on me &
    things start, rolling,
    touch, link in certain patterns, then
    foam up
    dice falls

    Loved these lines.. can’t get them out of my head..
    memories, people and places that’s what our lives composed of

  32. Oh Claudia, how I have so missed reading you. You just do something to me with your words. You force me into a scene and a world with an almost hypnotic trance. I hate that the chaos and litter of the internet often gets me lost and away from so many people that I love to read. But I am tickled to death to have stumbled back here. Never ever stop writing. You are my muse!!!