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

Haley Rene Thompson

Five Poems

  • Thinking Girls
  • The Classics
  • Chit Chat at Bank of a River
  • Free is Nothing but a Number
  • Monofloral

Thinking Girls

Her name was Agatha
maybe Agnes

She opened a school for
young women across

from a prestigious school
for young women

An illustrious Christian
she bathed nude under

a painting of baby Jesus
His chubby arms raised

as if to say—

Here bathes a woman
probably Agatha

The Classics



to poetry

glue is


glue is



is bed

is bed




Chit Chat at Bank of a River

10:30, “sugar at
the bottom of everything.”
On the phone, talking weather,
taxes, filling pause with rubies,
no, fake gold. Loot that holds
at the bottom of conversation.
“How do you ail?” I say.
I store old photos in a public place.
I speak an old style I got from
a book. Once it was given to me twice.
I don’t feel until you’ve started
speaking, how do you do?
Don’t ask, but answer.
“Good but train was late again.”
Days grow shorter the longer
they stay here, I say, not aloud.
There’s something a-rhythmic
to us. It is consistent, so coherent,
so no less confusing. “I dealt
with people, again. Didn’t read,
but said something, anyway.”
Talking little is still talking small.
What is wrong with the little, the small?
What needs to be addressed?
Morning, Paul. OK, see you.
I was approached by a baby
in the lobby. I held her until
it was discovered she was missing.

Free is Nothing but a Number

Once I let a man do my laundry, I watched it become magnetic. I passed for exotic at a restaurant, and said nothing. She doesn’t speak English. I said look I watched poetry become a person once that no one could hear, I believed in something, said it, I became someone. Nobody listened, so the day continued. I missed the boat and internet, I couldn’t do a thing with magnets, or speak language. I scared myself. My house watched the ocean turn into water, and I went to work, said something to the seventh grade. I said look there’s some bull in us all, and pulled her out. She jumped the wall, the fence, the meadow wild. She said no heart but meant we’ve become dominant because of our nature, violent, ruthless. No words for undoing. No object a synonym for trust.


Honey be open
Honey says Honey
I opened until
I was so young—

Haley Rene Thompson

Haley Rene Thompson is the author of Coos & Ons (Dikembe Press) and Series of When (Dancing Girl Press, Forthcoming). She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and currently teaches literature at Borough of Manhattan Community College.