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

Joanna Fuhrman & Toni Simon

excerpt from King of the Street

Before I knew
how to walk,
I knew how to sing.

Now singing and
walking are the same

(contiguous) action.
I walk songways,
releasing a roller-

skating future,
a waving-
naked street.

At night, my teeth
are birds or are
they flying dollar bills?

Once I restored
the earth’s sight.
Now even my own

fails me. Tell me,
is that a birch tree
feathered with pride

or just another slow-
walking lady, twitching
her raggedy eyelashes?

When a toddler rides
a metal horse, she absorbs
its dream-grammar,

finally understands
why edges
dissolve in sleep,

why her skin will
never be as real
as the ocean—

her breath always
less alive than
the vulnerable sheet.

Sir, insister,

inert tires rest
in stern trees.

Sirens sire
resin irises.

Ten nests
rise, resist.

nets stir.

If I am angry, blow
on my words until
they cool down.

All the anger
in heaven fits
in an eyelid,

or so I’ve heard,
but here I am
without any eyes

or eyelids except
my damn own
floppy ones.

If you want my photograph,
try closing your eyes.

There are so many of me
inside there, waiting

to be caught, shivering
like a second set of teeth.

Organs drag sand
on angora roads.

A sad dragon
or a saran gonad?

Ragas soar,
odd dads goad

radon sarongs
as grand as

an argon god
or a sonar rod.

We’ll meet again
once you relent,
and your mouth

and the wall
are one, once
you forget

the taste of air,
the shadow’s
indivisible smell.

Joanna Fuhrman & Toni Simon

Joanna Fuhrman is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Year of Yellow Butterflies (Hanging Loose Press 2015) and Pageant (Alice James Books 2009.) She teaches poetry at Rutgers University, through Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and in private workshops. For more see: www.joannafuhrman.com

Toni Simon is a multimedia artist and writer living in Brooklyn. Her illustrated book of prose poetry Earth After Earth was published by Lunar Chandelier Press (2012). Simon’s drawings have been exhibited at the Drawing Center in NYC. Her video animations, paintings, sculpture and photos can be viewed at http://tonisimonart@blogspot.com.