this is why i write// so you can see me

the race / acrylics on wax paper

“i don’t wear Frodo’s ring” i shout
“i’m NOT invisible”—a cloud of exhaust
in the air, roaring cars & i–
(one hair span from an accident)
shivering on my bike,

when i was small
i drew in the margins
of old magazines (for lack of paper),
borrowed space to squiggle in
a bug/ face/ dog in print-
Less spots, &ball pen creatures,
dropped– seeds,
‘til deported to the rubbish tip,

not quite sure
if coming to the fore
between a blaring tv, smoke,
& my parents fights while
trying to learn geometry,
the empty margins magically
offering a safe//blank chest

to rest my head a few minutes,
wrote on pages of a world
that bore no room
&i becoming visible in words and scribbles
that would paperfly (headlessly brave)
through keyholes to freedom,

“do you see me?” i say to my husband,
blanket loosely wrapped around
my nakedness,
combing damp curls (that grow out of shape)
with two fingers from my face,
“hmm– let’s check– liPs, eye//eye, nose–”
he pulls me close/ER,
“have you searched the margins in the book of life to find me?”
how can he answer this?
i feel the ring’s weight heavy ‘round my neck,
i see//i see you //not/i see/ u–
in a bit when scraps of me


it’s OpenLinkNight again at dVerse— come write a poem and join us when the doors open at 3pm EST..


62 responses to “this is why i write// so you can see me

  1. to really be seen…is a blessing…to be known and understood…appreciated…for who we are, in spite of who we are…is a blessing..we all have those escapes as well…like the margins…for me the words…but a soft place to land…that too is a blessing…smiles…

    happy tuesday c…

  2. Now you see it, now you don’t … now you feel it, now you don’t … that’s how life/ love comes and goes … maybe “maybe” is the best place to be … o, well, eh?

  3. I cannot imagine anyone who has met you or read your poetry…not seeing you as a full page full of life’s beauty…no room on the margins because of the fullness of your gifts.

  4. Only person in the universe who had to look up Frodo–I knew it must be some famous person. (Never read the book, nor saw the movie–what a chump, I.)

    At least TWO of us draw in the margins–I still do. Usually I am rewriting the sentences…in my own image!

    Again, I thought, “What does he see? Your blanket, or your nakedness? Hmmm. Let me guess. I know–it was the RING around your neck–grin! I thought a ring was the square where two guys (Joe Louis and Billy Conn) fought until one died.

    Later, I found the RING of music and story and beauty, and LIFE, those four operas of Wagner. (And I was blessed to play all four! L O V E that stuff.)

    FAVORITE line: “…have you searched the margins in the book of life to find me?” Pulling closER is nice/GOOD, but for most people, it does not show what was written in the margins.

    I’m sure your husband knows some of those arts-margins. I think only God knows the stories of them all, though!

    REALLY LIKED THIS, Claudia–gave me more memories to scheme the dreams tonight/morning…

  5. You have a talent, Claudia. You pick up the shards of each day of life and shine light on them like the sun on the ripples of a deep blue lake we call Earth. 🙂 E

  6. Whether we draw something, paint something, or write something, I do think oftentimes it comes from our desire to be SEEN. I do think it is a primary motivator of ALL artistic creation, from childhood to adulthood. (I realize that even in the days I was writing poetry ONLY for my own eyes, I wished to be seen by myself in those days.)

    I really like the question: “have you searched the margins in the book of life to find me?” which made me reflect a bit; and I think much of what is importance can be found in the margins…..IF we take the time to look. A thoughtful write here, Claudia~

  7. It’s wondetrful to be seen. Also, to hide a little behind the unseen words in margins. This poem speaks to me. Makes me appreciate those who see me.

  8. So much revealed, so much shared, we see you, we feel you. Yes, at some point we just want to be seen, to be noticed–like our youth with their Goth-look, piercings, tats, but later, as life gets into gear, and our escapades & children come, grow up, & breed, we find there is more than just recognition, substantiation, hopefully there is remembrance, a legacy, a mark on our small corner of the wall, writing with a pen knife in the public restroom of the globe’s service station; another fine piece, Claudia; thanks.

  9. Yes…to truly be seen, known, understood, loved…that is a wonderful place…”Do you see me?” love that simple, and yet deep, question…and the “margins in the book of life” beautiful…

  10. Claudia, this poem really hit home. I’ve been a margin scribbler for years
    This stanza said it all:
    the empty margins magically
    offering a safe//blank chest
    to rest my head a few minutes,

    Awesome poem!

  11. Claudia, this poem really hit home. I’ve been a margin scribbler for years 🙂

    This stanza said it all:
    the empty margins magically
    offering a safe//blank chest
    to rest my head a few minutes,

    Awesome poem!

  12. “the empty margins magically
    offering a safe//blank chest

    to rest my head a few minutes”… we can only ever see the bits shown, sometimes through words, through actions, or just being near enough to see with our hearts… and this nearness can be a great distance if one is open to receiving vulnerable presence and unafraid of brokenness. I don’t know if this makes sense to you… but maybe it will.

  13. it’s a heavy question, a hard one when, really, we can only ever see another in our own eyes…. seeing with the heart‘, now that’s a different story

  14. I really don’t know if I have seen anyone for their heart of hearts… (well besides my mom) people are so guarded… with their dogmas and such… hell, nowadays it’s hard to tell if a person is really even being THEIR TRUE SELF. something huh… still i try

  15. Oh but I so love the references to LOTR – and Frodo, how you create such imagery with words, is what I so appreciate about your writing, Claudia. I feel like I am peeking over your shoulder, seeing.

  16. “this is why i write// so you can see me”

    Yes to all of it! The invisibility on a bike, with the parents during a fight, in the bed at night–turn on the light. I always had to make sure. ALL of my books have marginalia–no trading them in. “I was here” is what they may say now, but “I am here” is what they said when …

    Thanks, Claudia, for visiting my “Portrait of Peace” poems. #2 is my favorite.

  17. I must say I adore this poem, Claudia. The title captured me before I had read the first word of the poem. Every stanza builds on the other. To me you’ve captured something special. More importantly, your poem captured me (as usual).

  18. you’ve taken a dive right into the core here, Claudia. Being seen, really seen for who we are, is maybe one of the biggest challenges humans take on (in my not-so-humble opinion) I love the peekaboo scene but my very fave stanza begins “to rest my head a few minutes…” wonderful.

  19. I feel like there is so much depth in this. So many layers of stories. I like that you drew in the margins! Blank space and I like how to molded the two situations together. Loved it Claudia!

  20. Lovely look back to how you started writing, at the margins, wishing you can paperfly to freedom ~ To be seen & appreciated by a loved one is indeed a blessing ~ Happy Tuesday ~

  21. i still write in the margins as books and on my rough drafts, on lessons..pieces of myself..thoughts that occur as I read and work..margins are my jounal, where the me exists..liked the correlation to the margins of life..does he see you..thought provoking poem

  22. “i don’t wear Frodo’s ring” i shout
    “i’m NOT invisible”—a cloud of exhaust
    in the air, roaring cars”


    You remind me a the beat generation. You’ve got a style of writing that I respect so much. 🙂

  23. I think this is a powerful introspective. It is what is within, perhaps once suppressed, intentionally maybe, that forever longs get out. Maybe it is as much to see what it is, what ITis wants to be seen, as YOU want to be seen, need to be known.

    It is the fodder at the root, the fountain of your words, the impetus, the gift for such elegant imagery.

    It is a joy, completely, to read what you write, so vivid an expose of self.


  24. this insecurity is something i think artists go through, lots or every once in a while, and you showcase it here with such beautiful scraps. you have a dynamic quality as a writer, and blogger, as you know:) i also like the title and the concept of seeing one’s self through words. when i’m loving writing i’m thinking it’s the lowest budget production movie of all time. when i’m cycling through my artist insecurity, or whatever it more accurately is, maybe i see words and writing as a desperate measure for worth and existence. or something. thanks for getting me going:)

  25. I think sometimes it takes a long time for us to see ourselves, I often find my way there through poetry, but it is always hard for others to see us the same way, we have to draw in our own margins every so often, to show them the way… Smiles…. A lovely glimpse of you in this one.

  26. We crave to be seen but I think we still keep bits prized to the background…you know just in case. That’s a tough one to be seen and accepted but you’ve described it so well, from the close shave on the bike… and on the outside at home being stuck in the margins not seen terrifying thought as well…could sense the anger and frustration… very cool poem! 🙂

  27. Claudia this took my breath away – each line resonated so deeply with me. Invisible yes, writing on the margins of life, yes. I get it. I really do! Beautiful my friend, just beautiful.

  28. The need to be read… to be heard//seen does become all consuming at times. And we wonder. But reality tells us that invisibility is science fiction and your work is clearly out of this world, Claudia. A great self-searching piece!

  29. I think we can all see snapshots of who you are through your words as I feel they extend the margins as you paint a picture outside the box..fav line do you see me..does anyone really see us???

  30. How much of what you feel could only be you, only to resonate with so many others that read your words. I scribbled in the margin.. absorbing space, feeling small and the more we write the more we feel the need for recognition not for the glory of how…. but simply because we do.

  31. “the empty margins magically
    offering a safe//blank chest

    to rest my head a few minutes” –

    and then to find someone we care for, and sometimes someone we don’t even know, finds those bits of us

    the loose towel around our nakedness ready for revealing –

    marvelous piece claudia 🙂

  32. Very nice! I think we all feel invisible from time to time.

    I love the artwork you included with this as well! 🙂

  33. Ah now, I struggle with wanting to be invisible, to be on the margins AND from wanting to be centre-stage all at he same time. Clearly, that doesn’t work! I really enjoyed this – a real work of art that poked at all the feelings I try to bury…

  34. Impossible to be seen by others as we see ourselves (or would like to be seen). Everyone brings their own frame of reference to the party and fits those around them into it. Sometimes, it pays to be invisible, to avoid that uninformed judgment.

  35. “have you searched the margins in the book of life to find me?”

    That’s one of the best lines I’ve ever read on your blog. It comes at the right time and it is in the right place. I loved this poem. And no, no one can answer that, but I bet your husband tried! 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  36. When first gaining my emotions back after five years..I had to show it to my wife in writing..on the computer screen…

    Not too long after than IT existed in real life..

    Amazing the power of technology…

    I know she felt invisible before then..but I could neither find ‘a self’ either…