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

Emily Skillings

Among Elsewhere and other poems

  • Among Elsewhere
  • Backchannel
  • Pepsi Will Bring Your Ancestors Back From The Dead
  • Carpet Town
  • Other People’s Poetry

Among Elsewhere

I crime towards you aggressively
with an already-broken bat in my hand

a flashing mental accent cube
rests atop the laboratory spirit

icons bounce hollow on their bar
font headings churn paste on the mountain

action what makes my cloth and my food
eroded cantaloupe skin on vague animal ideas

the 1812 invention of gas streetlamps
trash steam visibly lifts

sleeping patterns gap productivity
a term for this in softening manuals

a cue from autodidactism’s smarter cousin
essential oil of “greatest highway moves of all time”

mass-farmed breakaway spit
pins me inside white surveillance

icicle moon makes so pretty whirs
she’s only able to occupy tents and rests

a pregnant bear sits on municipal ground
a piper at the gates of prepared slaughter

this superimposed shitsponge logic
the withering spirit of most lemon


I buy an orb-shaped glass orb
and a designer candle
and go home to touch myself.

I take off everything but my shag coat.
My vibrator craves a new sense of community
so I play it minimalist drone music
sent to me by a man.

I was never almost partly there.
I was on a stone beach in Newfoundland
enjoying near-perfect sound
with the early, hovering crowd of bodies.

I was in early evening Brooklyn
backchanneling an elder about acupuncture
receiving dull, potato-shaped aches,
O’Hara-tinted aches, age-old pricks, hyperbolic
Encyclopedia of World Mythology-sized feelings.

Isis buries replicas of Osiris’s genitals
in Egypt’s maternal earth fields
and from these plantings
grow gluten-free snacks.
Some chick gets pregnant when she squats in clay.
Her baby a limbless waterpot with giant mouth
betrays her in the river.

A glitter splotch moves across my eye.
Bacteria raft?
I’ve been drinking too much possessed broth.
I pre-condition. I condition. I deep condition.
I leave-in condition. I deflect an image
of the body as a series
of hermetically sealed plastic cubes
filled with sluggish wasps.

I can skillfully point at something
by connecting it to a term
with a little line from my
character viewer of recently
used icons, but really there’s nothing
in these texts to end on.

I climb out into a thought—
some rare embossed urn,
youngish flowers pasted
on the back of light,
misaligned polka dots
on an entitled seam,
a pulse in my ass,
the exquisitely-dropped beat
I’ve been searching for
in most holdable objects.

Pepsi Will Bring Your Ancestors Back From The Dead

Duh Paris and New York become entire passage parade laundry.
And Milan, cassette season, the joy mode and lesbian effects.

Duh contrast lamb ambiguity—enter masculine etc. feminine etc.
Force and fragility, opulence and grunge
Turned out those hips in the past, attenuated gifting.

Pour out reflective multiple personality
(auxiliary facets of adjoining hue)
to celebrate the stylish personnel of the first trout.

While uncovering the tendencies as they repair—surprise,
our podiums defile autoimmune hives in 2013-2014.


React to a chef called The American Reader.
The dream of small-dog flavored mayonnaise.
Quail party plus endive plus pearl of elk.
Capers in June. Princeton diploma remoulade.
The livers of the devoted cultural séance
American sweeteners have unearthed exclusivity.
The nonexistent veal is very fashionable
And prefers five tightly-pinched pastries.


Cilia transcribe the conferences and interviews, the notes of students.
It’s gross—the tutors of the lung and archivists of the inner ear.

Quills of poor droves and quinnies touch Matisse with mottled suggestions.
Cupped felt enters the freeway.

Carpet Town

I walked into the ugly carpet
and decided to live there.
Everyone was there already,
all the cats I ever loved, my favorite sodas
and snack cakes,
most of my friends and family.
The people’s names were slightly altered,
but only by a few letters
and they were people I loved
and recognized. I wasn’t worried.
I found a warm spot on the southeast corner
near the puke-green stripe
and settled in
really got comfortable
with the tinny sounds
and the body soil
and the faint feet smell
and this squeaking sound like grass weeping
whenever you moved or someone greeted you
with a wave or deep bow.
And I was in love with the way the carpet
held you in place, almost like a delightful,
straightjacket tightness.
I enjoyed
the way the green and red fibers
almost mixed at my border
but didn’t. It made me remember
bifurcated fields of flowers.
I was sad for a minute and missed nature.
I started a lucrative dish delivery service
for people who needed more dishes
or just wanted new ones.
Then something really weird started to happen.
All of my friends’ faces, the people I knew
from before my carpet days
from tongue red and assfoam white
and Marmite beige
grew metal faces. They had been dipped
by something, held by the feet
and lowered into a vat.
Their gestures made low sounds.
They stopped talking. I was scared.
The carpet loosened around us.
I grabbed my favorite dishes
and hid inside a fiber loop
long enough to catch my breath.
It was getting dark as I began to wonder
where I might put my face to sleep.
I walked until I reached the edge.
I could hear the low howls of the dead.
The cats had followed me.
I always do dumb shit like this.

Other People’s Poetry

I wave
to a slight something
I stoop
to put my ear to the ground
I look at a person while thinking
of someone else
I fuck a person
while inner-discussing landscape
I remove my heart from style,
return to the same room
expecting new people
with freshened terms

I would like to solve a fractal
I think I did already
bending over behind the house
smoking tubes into doom
I found the pine curve against
the old sky
I cut it up

I think—
this coffee mug of cottage cheese
is your life
you are a white person
feeling freely, writing
other people’s poetry
purchasing leather clutches
you recline in the halls of art
and often leave without definitive
tastes in your mouth

how wrong it was
to think myself as beautiful
as a beast
you are no beast
the beasts do not respond to your calls,
texts or advancements
you put objects into bowls
to self-soothe, watch
hours of television,
are calmed by stable
lines and tones

you wait, arms spread like a balcony light
letting go of moisture and salt
into the triple-berry-flavored afternoon
consulting important instructions
for the care & handling of your plushness
don’t crease here
remove liner to expose adhesive

Emily Skillings

Emily Skillings is a dancer poet poet dancer. She’s the author of Backchannel (Poor Claudia, 2014). Her work has appeared recently in No Dear, The The Poetry, Bone Bouquet, Lingerpost, Stonecutter, La Fovea, and Maggy. Skillings dances for the A.O. Movement Collective and The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik) and presents her own choreography in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. She recently co-curated the exhibit John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things with Adam Fitzgerald at Loretta Howard Gallery.