now that the kids are gone, we move our bedroom from the basement to the first floor

there’s a poem
just above the shelf
or hundreds //actually
but none i would want to read

the shelf is bending mad
under their weight
the weight of all the words, stitched bleeding into
something that–

&some of them are shit
&some would look at me

if they had glasses
and i’d say “i’m NOT a poet, doN’t
stare at me like that”

i walk into the bathroom
sheet of paper&black fountain pen
in front of the mirror draw myself
without looking at my hands
trace lines

&can’t //find anything

pace restless–
“you’re tired” says the nut tart by the sink
(i eat it)
“it is all the painting” i admit, the choice
of color wrecks me&—

i sliP
between the cracks, the book backs
leaning intiMate

into their neighbor’s chest
because their is no space for MorEanDmore&mOre//WorDs

what the next text
is about

as no one really cares.
to tell ’em


we’re celebrating our monthly OpenLinkNight at dVerse today… write a poem, join us, doors open at 3pm EST…

53 responses to “now that the kids are gone, we move our bedroom from the basement to the first floor

  1. The choice of color (and for me, words) would wreck me too ~ Admiring the opening lines of shelves & books ~ Funny how when the children move away, there seems to be a lot of space ~ I am sure you will find more & more words somehow hiding underneath ~

  2. I know you miss the kids, but you’ll enjoy the empty nest. Nice that you’re moving up in the world. I love your poem. Made me think of the shelves in my house – too full for any more. Yet, I know there will be more.

  3. Claudia, I really liked this piece. I don’t have children to move out but since my divorce I have a whole house to myself and books are everywher. Smiles…>KB

  4. I love this poem, the poem with glasses that says dont stare at me, the nut tart (good call to eat it!),the books resting on each other (my bookshelves are CRAMMED), and, especially, that now you get to move up to the first floor. Welcome to Above Ground! Let there be light!

  5. Collecting, reflecting, yes, it is paramount to archive our old words, to stack it up, to catalog it, to enjoy it, be inspired by some of it (smile, my high school poems from the 60’s are humorous in retrospect, though at the time I was dead serious). I remember when I had to purchase a tall four drawer file cabinet to house/hold everything I have ever written, manuscripts, poetry, screenplays, theatrical plays, movie reviews. I only threw out my old hand written college notes like ten years ago. I love the smell of old paper in the morning. It smells like victory. We have had an empty nest for 8 years now, but we still have our bedroom in the basement; just habitual. Upstairs the two bedrooms have become office/den & guest room.

  6. hummmmm….all the words…hundreds of words…and to think we haven’t said it all, so much more to say…so many words to try to say it….perhaps there is no end for the poet? Just when she thinks she has said it all….here come more words….more to say.

  7. Just love this. Opening line is a great catch (those poems lurking somewhere, everywhere) and all those words just piled on shelves … and there are the spoken ones left in the air after the kids move out …. very evocative piece

  8. … moment of silence is good, C … never feel pressured by anyone’s prompts … and your soul will guide your hand to write … just like that … Love, cat.

  9. Oh I loved the note with which you begin – “the shelf is bending mad
    under their weight”, such a great effect Claudia – very powerful..

  10. Oh, I love this, and relate to those staring, glaring words being snarky…only thing to do with that tart was to eat it…and there’s still not enough space when the kid(s) are out of the house, all those echoes. And all their stuff 😉
    Brilliant piece, Claudia. Thank you.

  11. yep, all those books on the shelf just starring at me, they think their smarter than me… and they are. thanks for the welcome back, i’m a bit rusty, got to get my legs back under me. glad you guys are still doing oln, I think i’ll add my link.

  12. Hope you enjoy the ‘new’ environment. I would have eaten the tart too. 🙂 And I totally agree that the choice of colors can be (nerve) wrecking. Wishing you a restful weekend!

  13. Sometimes those poems above the shelf really do not beckon. I find it so anyway. One has to be in the mood. And yes, a lot of them are ‘shit’– I find that true as well. But I guess even those want to be accepted for what they are, just as we do!! Smiles.

  14. I really like this part:

    “the book backs
    leaning intiMate

    into their neighbor’s chest
    because their is no space for MorEanDmore&mOre//WorDs”

    That’s how my bookshelf is, as well as my shelf of vinyl records.

  15. Enjoy your new space, funny how words accumulate from fragmented thoughts to full blown poems..they all have a purpose and helped pave the way in the journey.

  16. Hi Claudia, children moving out is a trauma of its own kind, and you never stop worrying about them, but you do get used to it, and the extra space you put to good use, eventually. Enjoy your weekend.

  17. So many times it seems to me too.. that my words have a mind of their own.. or perhaps it is my fingers that are real.. and i cannot imagine writing with pen and ink at all.. as i play a keyboard and as the same with piano.. the words just flow from somewhere without planning or conscious attempt…

    But there is this feeling deep inside.. that has no end.. that has no words.. that makes the words..

    happen.. but i cannot explain it i just flow with it.. and smile cause it feels so good..

    to create…

    Words are symbols.. and keys strokes are actions.. and what lies underneath.. is what we are i suppose.. with rooms with space.. or rooms too filled to breathe…:)

  18. Love, Love, Love imaginary dialogue with the books and papers–of course they must move too! (There is room!) I love that though they lean on each other intimately, they don’t read each other and don’t bother–rather, I don’t love that, but love the observation. It gets so lonely in there–perhaps much like the drawing in black lines the artist does without looking at her hands? I miss the color.

  19. I love the concept of feeling a responsibility to all those words – the ones you’ve read as well as written. Great poem, Claudia. And enjoy your new space.. xVivienne.

  20. And here I thought you were calling your husband a nut tart until I got to the next line. 🙂 This reminds me, in a somewhat opposite way, of what happened when we had children. All the books and things in the house moved up, leaving about 2′ of empty space around the bottom of every room. Without children around, the fridge doesn’t have artwork on it and as for our books, they’re mostly in boxes even now. Enjoyed this a lot, Claudia.


  21. I love the shelf ‘bending mad’ under the weight of poetry, and the ambiguity here – adjective/adverb? adverb/adjective? adjective/adjective? Playing with language is fun (and profitable).

  22. Ah, what an interesting time! A new bedroom (a new perspective) and the empty nest syndrome. It affects us all a bit differently but we do go on and find joys on the other side. Please do not let my bookshelves know they can limit me as I always manage to slip in one more… I really enjoyed this piece and save me a sliver of the nut tart s’il vous plaît?

  23. Best thing to do with cheeky nut tarts, really! I love the warmth and humour in this one, run through with little slivers of regret and wonder. But please don’t believe what the hundreds of poems are telling you… you are most certainly a poet!

  24. That’s what happens when they left the nest. A period of adjustment affecting the parents. However mindful of the fact that my wife has to be careful about moving upstairs because of recurring knee pains going up flights of stairs. Wonderful write Claudia!


  25. Geez, Claudia? This write pulls you as you cannot wait to get to the next line, but then you reveal inner thoughts. Geez, I was expecting to see one of your great drawings with the mirror and your reflection. Just saying the painting you drew with your well placed words.

  26. the words crowd us, the children crowd us, but then, when they are gone, we miss them so… i love the way you showed this with your beautiful imagery, that search in the mirror for the new definition of you… we are so many people throughout our lives, and it’s always changing isn’t it?

  27. there is a certain futility i feel in this….what is left to say…does it need…does it need our words…is there any value in our words…and ultimately who are you….we have to constantly be asking ourselves…and refining that….and sometimes it changes….as the journey continues…

  28. I know that kind of tiredness–you want to keep painting, but you are tired–but you kind of do need to keep doing it. Have another nut tart! (With a cup of tea or coffee!) Thanks. k.