born on the fifth, yet it means nothing

if someone would translate
my poems into japanese, i’d go and search the karaoke bars
for local men who, drink in one hand,
cigar, squished into a crumpled mouth’s edge,
would read ‘em to me, oVer&aGain, let the words seep in my pores,
their foreign-ty,  with clumsy tongue ReCite &
hold ’em, tied to harakiri kites, careful
in my palm (sweaty by then), calm down only
once i feel ’em hit like needle pins
on every backslash inch of skin,

& i’d sit next to thousand birds, panting,
somewhere near the end of world,
a black orb stret c  h ing star-drenched fingers,
pale white polished nails, the milky way’s permanent,
oscillating coat, center-fold(ed),

born head-first in waterFall(s), i can’t get rid
of its tossing in my chest, trying to get in
to /&under all the cells that map my skin, pavementLess,
& allow it just 1 eXit, howling spill-pressed
smashed, against hips, breast “shhhhh”
he says– & i scream, shaken, speedStart

a fast car, in an ever changing shade,
hands stretched through little holes
that make the roof a prairie, & beyond, turn
‘round the bend toNight(s)
on open fire on a tent front enTry, with just me, sitting,
6string on my lap, singING all those songs
i’ve never made into blackHoles,
how they stretch,  & all the restlessness
exPanding, crickets crack the night, empty

galaxies, stabbed in sand, revive,
wondrous patterns on the skin, i thought about
getting a tattoo in california, just a fake one
in a delicate spot (well, no one knew me)
to surprise my husband with, for the thrill of–

change gears, 4, 2// 1– bReak, reVerse,
& end up in a different story


over at dVerse we’re still celebrating our 2 year pub anniversary, and as we’re between year 2 and 3 now, we’re writing numerology poetry– i chose the 5– always loved that number cause my birthday is on the 5th and when i read the numerologic meaning, well…there seem to be parallels… smiles.. see you at 3pm EST


39 responses to “born on the fifth, yet it means nothing

  1. whew…magic & energy is what this one is…love how you move from them reading your poems and feeling the backslash on your skin, to painting the birds to a car flying off down the road…a little here there and everywhere in this…smiles…i think your numbers got you pegged…smiles. this is one that could take a book to analyse every line…def a fav c…smiles…

    hope the reunion went well last night…have fun with your little today catching up…smiles.

  2. oh… there is so much movement from here to there… and on and on.
    intriguing.. you have carved a twisty tale with your words. I particularly loved the first stanza.. there is so much beauty in it.. 🙂

  3. Translated into Japanese? Is that where they say “Cherry Brossoms”? I love the sounds of Japanese, and their traditional matter-of-fact messages, so in tune with history.

    Why should I be glad you didn’t get that tat? Well, I am!

    LOVE that shot of you on the bike, smiling. If you ride a lot, maybe you could write about that sometime?

    Back to topic: crazy top-down car ride, the day of your birth–wait! that’s enough for now. Nearing midnight–I’ll read it again, tomorrow, or Monday!


  4. you are def a 5, claudia – if i’d had any doubt before, i don’t now, after reading that poem… I love the idea of having a poem translated into japanese or some other completely foreign language, & then having a native read it back to me… such delicious language here, even in english 😉

  5. I had a fast car
    in an ever changing shade
    you could tell who worked
    on each beaten panel
    their hammer dents
    were fingerprints
    the parts fitted

  6. Starting with the title…..Truly I wonder whether it makes a difference what day, what date, what month we were born. Somehow I think our fate is not determined by numbers. I wonder what your poems would look like in Japanese…..or mine. Smiles. I had never wondered that until today. NOW I do. Love the changing gears at the end and ending up in a different story. Ha, if only we could do this sometime when we needed to make a quick getaway! Enjoy your day, Claudia!

  7. Japanese you say, that would be an interesting display. Sure they have an app for that haha flip flopping from story to story, great touch too.

  8. If you had gotten that tat, would you have showed me. Nah, probably not a good idea even though we were in California. Lots of word play in this–one of your trademarks, I believe. Fun.

  9. I think I would like to hear my poems translated first in French, then in Hebrew. As I recite them I imagine that the language becomes rhythms, beats, and measures that anyone/everyone could understand, as I read them aloud sometimes as Richard Burton, sometimes as Jerry Lewis. Loved this poem, and would like to see it printed by hand in Japanese; would be a work of art.

  10. It’s fun to be able to reverse whenever you need so…to correct, to impress, to surprise, but I think after that we’d come back to us original, loved for what we are, for our essence…cool write

  11. This left me a little breathless, a little confused, a little mesmerized with the wonder of all you include here. Makes me consider that you’ve stumped the science of numerology. What science, pseudo/science or divination could possibly analyze you? You’re inexplicable.

  12. Such a cool pace in this, could feel the restlessness loved this…
    a fast car, in an ever changing shade,
    hands stretched through little holes
    that make the roof a prairie, & beyond, turn
    ‘round the bend toNight(s)

    just so cool, very much enjoyed as always 🙂

  13. Changing gear at the end is is a good thing. It reflects a decision made following consideration of various factors. It would be a good decision! Brilliant write Claudia!


  14. I have the feeling now – that should I choose to get out of bed and off of my computer – and walk to the window – sliding back the curtains and raising the shade, I would see you three galaxies away with my sharp eyesight as you fly by. Always your words give flight to anyone who might be stuck upon the ground.

  15. Hee, hee–high five to another 5! Everyone else has already said the intelligent stuff, so all that is left for me to say is–uh, me liked it. Me liked it lots!

  16. That first line swallowed me whole and dragged me (not that I needed any coercing, you know! :-)) completely into your poem’s orbit. The image of your poem being karaoked was just great. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  17. …a lot of things goes here Claudia… a hyper poem…. the intensity while i read every single words here is quite really mind blowing… hihi… that part of having want a tattoo even if it is only fake is really really interesting… it brought memories of childhood to me where i once used to be a tattoo collector… one that can be removed actually… & one that can be applied actually using water & a sponge… smiles… i hope the reunion & your 25th celebration went well as planned… smiles… my parents will celebrate their 25th next year… & i am excited already… as early as now i am into thinking what better presents to give ’em… hihi… smiles…

  18. “… let the words seep in my pores,
    their foreign-ty, with clumsy tongue ReCite &
    hold ‘em, tied to harakiri kites…”

    You had me at these lines.. There’s a Kerouac-feel in the poem, and I love the enjambment kept me wanting to read more 🙂

  19. poetry is always rich and dense. And while there’s a stream of consciousness underlying it, even I who struggles with the abstract and fantastic, find the rope you weave for the timid so I can soar with you even though I’m afraid of flying. Enjoyed, Claudia

  20. I sometimes find my academic work cited in foreign language articles, and I’m often curious what they are saying: do they agree, do they disagree, are they citing my work in context? It’s a mystery to me, but does give a bit of a buzz nonetheless.

  21. star-drenched fingers, white polish and then crickets crack the night! I was breathless in the first read, had to go back to nibble at all the lovely treats you had in this poem–Wonder-full!! 🙂

  22. & i’d sit next to thousand birds, panting,
    somewhere near the end of world,
    a black orb stret c h ing star-drenched fingers,
    pale white polished nails, the milky way’s permanent,
    oscillating coat, center-fold(ed),

    I am loving it all!