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

Christopher Janigian

Five Poems

  • Morning Stomach
  • Runners
  • Hagiography
  • If Babylon Has Really Fallen
  • The Procession

Morning Stomach

Oh well. She flexed herself to the times,

acres of camphor, hundreds of rays

of sleep, the moss that sealed over

her crotch. She turned on the outside

light, revealing the rust

on her porch, the trill

of her belly. Oh well. She paid

her taxes. A glossy orange sheet

where her body pressed through.

The breasts in silhouette,

lava tight around her fat. She was early

to the appointment and took

her vitamins, the blue first every day. Oh

well. And now her fingernails milky blue,

and in them, rain. A stork

sizzling over the hills.


some kind of / exodus
unsticking me from a train
dropping off people
who keep talking to
cliffs / everyone floating down
to different water

at times: goosebumps re /
membering my abacus at times
my marathon, suck me
into secret lather / rafflesia

another person
reclining under / taxidermy
all of them running
through me, viscous, what

came over my reflex
something concerning
smoke / why my feet
are fruit rinds: try to think
of when / how the cord was cut


Your friend is treading water

with a lion cub, and you agree

it’s cute, her head half in

its mouth. If yours is dry

and you wait in sandy ruins,

pants down, urine will still

travel through, and it may burn

but many bulls will surround you. When facing

a bull, or a man smoking

in the bathroom, you may take all smells

for incense: that faux pas,

your real salvo. Then Saint Geneviève will speak

though her feast is not kept

at this time: long white braids

squaring off her face, one hand squeezing

a huge candle, its flame invisible,

melting her halo.

If Babylon Has Really Fallen

on your orchard,

pick up an orange and press

the skin, feeling for strings where they

shouldn’t be. Open the door.

Some ancient instrument

washes your floor. Do you notice

the votive candles

all at once cutting the sides

of the room. Do you let the yellow

map the pulp.

The Procession

Hooded people are dancing    their faces
covered with daisies. Silence
fattens the space we cannot
grapple with    but nothing Jurassic, no prongs.
There are no caked mouths, just
our normal mouths

dry. A plastic entity, a ghost half-open
floating past all the artillery
even as it invents for us
new puzzle forms. Doors
open and close in cuts. We’ve
been staring down

at our calculators for so long
we cannot now rot. We could analyze
the motives for this procession
the apocalyptics
who flicker with math
who ask if we bear some relation

to Adam and Eve and we hear
them peel off our shirts,
the taste of milk that lingers
long after swigs of mouthwash, which
is a glitch, yes, as inside us
a llama stands and spits

at the ceiling. Skydivers have the fog and we
go quiet. Fondling the data
of our membrane, a cloudy bed
with veins and cogs when
a Ferris wheel descends
piece by piece, in infrared, a lie

of nothing in particular. We hear
the place empty, Zambonis trying to enter
the altar of what we saw,
a valence of bones. But who wanted to be
cremated. Who was scooped
by a ladle instead. Who, before their passing, rubbed

their knees, who told us to look
at a video of a tiger
having a seizure. We look up
and see the sun limping through an annex.
Colors and angles are crashing
and the sky is stringy

but now banished, gray scales
coming and going then throbbing
in silence, while   at the other end
of the rink  nerves misfire, the phalanx
arriving    not to be wiped out by   the ice.

Christopher Janigian

Christopher Janigian is from Rhode Island. His work appears in the PEN Poetry Series, Prelude, and Web Conjunctions. He is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where he is the poetry editor of issue #55 of Columbia Journal.