when social structures c/RacK

a slide show //multi-spaced (to breathe/recover), slow-drive
through the californian desert, side
ways into main streets, one/third ruined empti///ness, at night,

youth meets in an abandoned factory, “he lied”
she says, the only witness a black widow, wage-
&weightLess // it’s their eyes that ping //my chest//sCracthsaved
memories// he nods “there was wealth &culture– once“ now manmade
desperation, empty valleys in their face
no hospital, nor nurse,

“we had a church
liFe// every other month now– escapees//white trash &worse//
hide in burnt down houses, sooner//later, they’ll find them–all” she wrinkles red, purse(d)
lips, cigarette fume a flag/trail in the scorching sun, “i’m born here” back
bent “didn’t think that losing happens fast //like that–“


for dVerse — Meeting the Bar


38 responses to “when social structures c/RacK

  1. what a bit of social commentary in this claudia…seriously well done, it flows and you dont allow the end rhymes to dictate you tale….the desperation/empty valleys….working with kids, not many of them carry hope…they see the world for what it is not what it can be…

  2. … had a family once … they pushed me hard to marry into another family … that’s what my culture deso … marry off their girls early … for profit … I choose to run and build my own social circle … and am paying the price … everything has a price … even freedom … but that’s alright.

  3. I think you captured something real here. Interesting write – I think Brian’s work is having a bit of an impact on yours. I admire that. Couldn’t hope to write the way either of you do – but I like it. It has texture, content, and depth. Great response to the prompt!

  4. “didn’t think that losing happens fast //like that–” Great ending. Like how it just cuts off. Also, really like the structure in this one. Plays really well off the prompt.

  5. Used to live in a town that was grand, now pretty much dead end land. Reality and expectation sometimes doesn’t measure up. Unless one is just a happy crap eating pup lol

  6. Our sagging sad logging industry here in WA state has created several sad & dying towns, and it is heartbreaking to drive through them, and see the teenagers in clumps along the sidewalks, empty stares, angry lips, with mischief afoot; strong piece, and like Brian, you bent the prompt to fit your personal vision; cool.

  7. This is bewildering – how something that seems so precise, so directly channelled to personal experience (from it obviously, but also to) can come out of such a uniquely personal device and back into such a uniquely personal context. Your work is obvious IN what it is, but it is bedevilling how you manage to get it there. That’s the joy of poetry, I guess.

  8. Excellent commentary Claudia. My town has become a dormitory as all the councils ‘wealth’ is being channeled into a ‘newer’ adjacent town.
    My town centre is virtually dead – the majority of shops boarded up. Tis a sad thing.
    Anna :o]

  9. so you’ve been to the Central Valley, where Modesto and Stockton were pilfered and gold lies were hung by the bankers and their jowls. well done, Claudia. ~

  10. Wow, claudia.. so thoughtful.. and sad. I live in california.. not the desert but am familiar with your description.. though I suppose these places exist the world over.. terrific piece!

  11. Certain neighborhoods are definitely a bleak slice of reality. The rich texture of your words paints the unfortunate truth brilliantly. I too love the black widow as the sole survivor.

  12. at first I thought: black widow, the deadly spider. But this was even worse. Scary but true and intricately presented. I loved your kitchen drawing from the day before: so detailed.

  13. Very sad to see how things can change so quickly within one person’s lifetime. Your poem painted this colorfully and perfectly, giving the reader pause to think! (Happy Valentine’s Day, Claudia!)

  14. “didn’t think that losing happens fast //like that–“ …. This was my favorite line !! It’s so deep and so true; filled with widom and raw pain at the realization that we can lose so much in so little time. Another beautiful poem 🙂

  15. Sad. The dialogues created an atmosphere of bereavement. Tenderly touched… the sadness of the losing that happened so fast. Great job.
    I rather feel a little gloomy after reading it.

  16. Oh, the heart break some lives endure. Somehow I got a picture in my head from “Breaking Bad” when I read this. So often we think our place in life is defined by our present circumstances. I say there’s always a way out. Someone just needs to lead you by the hand…Maybe bring a flashlight, and a blanket and guide you. May more of us become those guides…

    Tina @ Life is Good

  17. the only witness a black widow…it is a scary fast slide down. This is one that stays long after the reading is over. Thank you.

  18. Oh jeeez, Claudia. There is a community just like that down here. It’s mostly abandoned trailers. I remember last year they spent days gathering up feral dogs that were left behind to multiply and exist on there own. So hard to consider the contrasts here in Coachella Valley.

  19. “One-third ruined emptiness”…wow, that caught my attention…so many remote towns like you describe here…with a few stragglers hanging on…somehow. Excellent…so enjoyed this.

  20. A story and a very clear scene here. Reminds me of places I’ve been, filmed, written about. Desperate places and times– Sun Valley, NV; Silver Springs; Goldfield; Bombay Beach, CA. I like the poem, those times, not so much.

  21. there is a foreboding to this and yet still a bit of current reality. the cracks have already begun…I wonder how long before they break wide open or if we might be able to catch them before they do and perhaps do more than just band-aid them.

    interesting read…I fear my sleep laden brain may have seen something my fully conscious brain wouldn’t have.

  22. Barren desert, barren lives. But those of us who have lived in or spent time in the desert, know how beneath the thorns, lie flowers of great beauty…