the poetry that matters

Claudette Cohen

Claudette Cohen is from a leviathan corporation that moved her family every two years. Her work has appeared in: Lyric Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Oklahoma Review, Squaw Valley Review, The Southern Anthology, Owen Wister Review, Fireweed, Mainstreet Rag, Earth's Daughters, and UWYO Magazine. Honors and awards include: Writer's residency, Ucross Foundation; Elsie Rohrbough Scholarship, U of Utah; Chesterfield Writer's Film Project, Semifinalist;  Scholarship, Squaw Valley Workshop, Poetry; Outstanding Thesis Award, Fiction, UNCW;  Heekin Group Finalist, Fiction;  Charles A. Shull Award, Poetry;  Thomas H. McDill Award, Poetry. More at http://claudelimogeswhat.blogspot.com/

Unfolding the labia

one for each cut
keeps me by the
sea; Por
phyria hangs rope on the door,
taps green mantras into
liriopes, and I, poor putz,
eating mushrooms, watching
moth flight, see all as
a kind of sprinkling
of urine into grass
burned by the sun—tiny
shiny stratospheric ice crystals,
a newborn's temple-vein
spinking blue, blue,
pastiche of sidewalk algae,
the foreskin of a thought,
crunchy as a grapeseed,
miasmic as mold.
I am a scarecrow
thirsting enormous,
a necessary corporeal evil,
an afterthought marked,
an outline traced
by bills.
Crab-eyed, glowing red,
snaking backward,
We the billions
make the beast—
asphalt the hardened slime of a vast
tellurid worm
yawning and sending out
a hundred thousand
sticky tentacles
that grope and find nothing.
Warm filth clouds the sun.
Cadavers drive to drugstore,
mill, bottom lips mopping floors.
Igor mumbles in my ear,
mariposa, mariposa.
We the People
come from a ground
not stricken dumb
but with closed eyes and mouth
exhales, gets through,
manages to shove aside
some asphalt
not intentionally,
only a tossing
in its sleep.
No great pink snail
has a ride-able shell.
Only a radula
that scrapes the meat
over and over,
and the spiral
inside a shark
grabs the meat
and twists and soaks
and sponges all, even itself,
and the bull elephant
takes three hours to die,
more or less.
To be, then,
the bell tolled,
the water droplet on
orangutan's forehead—
I can hardly explain it
which is why I sing it
if not without words
then with words that
intercept—fill oceans,
clog airwaves, and buzz
through intentions like the
love songs of oyster toadfish.


My Space
Hey look at my splatters
tits fat lips, look
at my shiny pants
cockeyed photo X-
clamation Marx! LOL
Oh, look, baby, at my
cat guitar shades lamp
ass hood stupid spelling
of my naim—just
love love love or fear but
don’t take your effing eyes off
Hey look at my splatters
tits fat lips, look
at my shiny
Hey look…


Einstein at the bus stop
Winterstreet womans a redly walking.

Throughing chirrrup swallowsongs

frostbreath ghosting CO2

Fields quarter past five visioning

Winterstreet buses a silverly roaring

CO geists,
Owrrrumpf skeer

Folds metal glass through—

Rubber floor grid wets stampings;

Pass brakings. Seat womans redly.

Winterstreet swallows a chirruping skyly.


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