Poetry from Claire Blotter




Whose son is this? I think I know

the one who lost his mind in snow

Why did we freeze him out again?

Why didn’t we listen in blizzard

after blizzard?


What drug is this? I think

I know: purple hash or heaven

knows, ecstasy- Wandering deeper

into the web he popped pills drank

the chill of lacy flakes of roaring winds

of frozen lakes- Can we heal

his shimmering soul strain the stones

from melting snow? What blazing sun

what glacier gone

can keep the ice from

moving on



In memory of Sandy Hook



What will we give to the Queen?

the dreams of her own sweet



What will we give to the King?

our taxes and castles


What will we give to the Dark

Knight? The souls of children

mowed down one by one

in their horrified rows


What will we take from the story?

two hand guns a rifle stashed

in the back seat


What do we bleed as a nation?

our children

our children

our children

once more

once more

our children

our children

our children


Each one stands and falls

for them all





High in the friendly United skies

a video screen explodes on the upright back

of the seat a foot and a half in front of me

As soldiers charge a hill bombs explode

with no clear way to stop them-

The guy across the aisle has

tacked a black cloth over the screen

to spare himself the devastation-

He tells me: If you press long enough

on the faintly marked arm of your chair

the war eventually disappears-

But you have to press hard and

keep holding-




We vacillate in the luminous night   under white blue stars

      like steering wheels   like flies over


It’s a true translation  except for the vowels

     guttural with unpronounceable sounds we keep

trying to prove

We insist  grapple search out corners  empty

pockets of coins of tissue unsure who paid us

who loved us

Even the tumultuous river contracts with

   autumn’s caution: crackling leaves   bodies, stiff

        with sudden  indescribable sorrow

We vacillate  pull paper from the windows  then regret

          the light





Mirror to yourself,

mild mercy You look

only when called when

your mother calls you back

to her- Gray sheep

apple blossom and

you come as you did

as you must bringing

the bread or broom

helping helping till

all is clean all is wiped

dry till you look up though

she does not smile back

already planning the next

meal purging dirt that rises

at her door Mirror to yourself,

mild mercy Search again

and again but only

her face stares






The moon is a lemon floating in a vat of

tar glowing really impossible to

peel my heart is a car window stuck

in its groove that won’t slide down my

emissary shut in its safe embassy when

I look up stars shoot down like fiery bees or bullets I

think no where is safe where there is no mother I try but

maybe never ever recover from not enough inside the lemon is healing

juice that’s sour the heart pounds from the strength of its fibery mass

tough woven walls never drop down completely like tired stars Are

they torches in night these tiny guide lights that keep falling or anonymous

weapons from an omnipotent sky I can’t know for sure but sometimes

sense the shining the steady beats of my heart as stepping stones

to jump from then precariously balance one two three before I’m swept

back into treacherous motherless



From Claire Blotter: 

My poetry has been recently published in Barnwood, Gargoyle Magazine, the California Quarterly, Canary, the We’Moon 2012 & 2013 Datebooks and the anthology, KINDEGARDE: AVANT-GARDE POETRY FOR CHILDREN, among other anthologies and journals.  As a performance poet who competed in the early National Poetry Slams in Chicago and Boston, I’ve concentrated on spoken word performance and collaborative theatrical work in the past. For the last 2 years I’ve focused on revising and refining my poetry for the page. My third chapbook, MOMENT IN THE MOMENT HOUSE, was published this year by Finishing Line Press.

Claire may be reached at savesongbirds@yahoo.com  and lives in Sausalito.


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