Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

Alexis Pope

Four Poems

  • from That Which Comes After
  • from That Which Comes After
  • from That Which Comes After
  • from That Which Comes After

from That Which Comes After

Another poet keeps writing

Let love die

On all social media forms

I don’t know how

To tweet properly

But I’ve gained three hundred

Followers in a couple months

I mostly complain

About vaguely explained sadness

Here I’ll say it

We are leaving

Neither wants to stay

But we don’t know how

To go separate directions

The brakes on a car

Pushed down too late

I’m trying to write a poem

So I did a metaphor there

It’s all a way to say

I’m sorry or I’m not

We are not sorry

We are completely different

People we say

Obvious things

from That Which Comes After

Check up on apathy

Performance of emotional

Maturity what was that

You came in on

Asserting yourself

Only one crime

In the room

Blow a hit goodbye

My future in a mason jar

Pickle whatever feels

Right now all I could ask

Kaleidoscope acuity

Talk with my hands

I’ve heard of solutions

We can’t come up

With a head of lettuce

Not too browned

Each aisle leaning in

On the shopping cart

Ask for a push

I say here’s where

I eat my feelings

Another t-shirt returned

To the wrong store

Tell me the good kind

Of work is with hands

That a life fills the house

Backyard with a deck

You built with yours

This is what

I’ve made with mine

from That Which Comes After

All my friends living different

Cities are terrible vacations

Where a poem handcuffs

You to the poet I’m not

A poet I keep saying but

Here’s the thing:

Shot glasses are very little

B says I’m OK with

Books like the one I signed

For him with no inscription

I never know what to say

And here’s J in the other

Ways people exist separate

Situation splits to reveal

Tinier poems & that guy Schuyler

I’m crazy too or have been

Told but remember the echo

In the mall’s entrance my father

Pats a hand on my small head

And here I am doing the same

Only at real intersections & the fear

Of not eating enough protein

LS recoils at the sight of the fox

Scarf & I can’t stop

Touching those tiny finger nails

What’s an argument against abortion

What’s an argument against life

There are mostly answers

Every weekday in one pot

Like beans in my chili

But some don’t look

Me in the mouth when I’m

Drunk & spitting on a man

Kicking trashcans fueled

Sadness doesn’t feel

Like a real word, overuse

Uses all of us & I can’t

Remember my age

JY says all his friends

Are younger so he’s doing OK

While I’m in the cocoon stage

But not growing

Up there, sure, it’s sky

But there’s no time for that

This is my poem

There’s no talking about sky

Not while S holds a belly full

Of used to be life, the swell

Remains thumpless & all

I’m doing is drinking more

Coffee and probably making toast

Fifteen-minute phone calls

Don’t cover the loss

What gets thrown out

In our years without concern

How hydrated we were or weren’t

All my friends, you are either

Beautiful or more beautiful

Than I can dare to speak

from That Which Comes After

What’s the saddest song

You listen to early morning

Horns let you know people

Still angry at myself

Past decisions reenter

At night the dark purrs

Though my waist is shrinking

I once was full

Kind of lovely feeling really

To be thrown against a windshield

Lift me back into bed

Alone while the first lights

Brush my arm to wake

Am I still here

Asking the same questions

Do you even have

Plans for the future

Something he asked me

To remind I have nothing

Of value to offer

A swipe on my metrocard

Give a man my pocket money

Just got back from Ohio my heart

A few sizes bigger

This time last year

Pretty much the same

Boxes to carry

Someplace new & without

A person I called my life

Alexis Pope

Alexis Pope is the author of Soft Threat (Coconut Books, 2014), as well as three chapbooks. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Lucks, Denver Quarterly, Forklift Ohio, Octopus, and The Volta, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, edits for ILK Journal, and works for Belladonna* Series.