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

Jameson Fitzpatrick

from Mr. &

  • I felt, I remember
  • felicity in so unusual a form
  • Her father had been looking at her
  • her Professor
  • 84
  • A few weeks late
  • that night
  • since it was the fashion to be in love with married people
  • hunting, rifles, mechanics, cars
  • fifty still dreams

I felt, I remember

little perk of self-approbation with which
fulfillment means disaster
a cold hand came on
startled to begin with
close together in front of the steps up to the house
You’re Mrs. [Page 148]
Meantime—this man

felicity in so unusual a form

Mr. missed exceedingly his affection
Mr. Half As Well As I Do My Dear
Mr. so near a vicinity
to her very material advantage
the promise of balls and young men
suspected by her father
she could still moralize every morning
their characters suffered
He bore
It is a great comfort to have you so rich

Her father had been looking at her

Who is that
in her pink almost
people getting emptier and emptier
scattered rather
That did make her happy.
brain matter
heart come
but for a moment this terror
this ecstasy he thought to himself

her Professor

loved occasionally
out of respect to his former mistress
a wilderness of boys
little ragamuffins
the most beautiful things
being the sauce best beloved by the boyish soul
these unromantic facts


I saw no point
to him
on the whole
I concentrate
the way light would
on a windowsill
I threw the coins in
the water in such a way
I almost moved.
I refrained.
in my defense
I know “nothing”

A few weeks late

Mr. knocked on my door, told me
he had been feeling uneasy
we’d held the Ugly Pain Competition
We discussed it: Was the winner of an Ugly Pain
the person who made the uglier pain
or the person who made pain inadvertently?
Did I want to come with them?
up to the observation deck we arranged ourselves
like stroke marks left behind by the players
dark roots from above
drinking from our bottles very heavily.
They bent low, one threw himself to the ground
and missed. We turned our attention
to anything but explosions, his sweet tic

that night

long tears fell
on the children’s chairs
a flood
of mathematics
and choice
after her brother made his decision
they both pledged themselves
more than children
the blank suburban space
they were supposed to

since it was the fashion to be in love with married people

she could run away any time
she intended to hammer his head into a jelly
a little travel-stained
over those loose planks last summer
packing away his tools
a little swim, before dinner
There was no one thing in the world she desired.
Like antagonists that had overcome her
she knew a way to elude them
her old bathing suit still hanging
the night she swam out
the blue-grass meadow

hunting, rifles, mechanics, cars

he’d get furious about
getting eaten by tigers
or getting drowned in the river
the supernatural light that follows
This bend or branch
too expensive for my mother
but with him scarcely
Chance did not forget
“the happiest days of her life”
more tragic than they are today.
He behaved as usual
water from the jars
called me his child.

fifty still dreams

but not of his feet on the desk
the dimmer dusty older he gets
occasional imperative
to amble bearish into infinitude
a lapse he thinks of as “his book”
her version of his life
an oddly repellant love poem.
He has resisted the middle-aged
tendency to retreat,
the model’s secret pride.
Sometimes he shuts the book he is
such an unprepossessing object.
I can move him no further from me.

Jameson Fitzpatrick

Jameson Fitzpatrick is the author of the chapbook Morrisroe: Erasures (89plus/LUMA Publicatons), which comprises 24 versions of a single text work by the artist Mark Morrisroe, and his poems have appeared in publications including The Awl, The Literary Review, The Offing, Poetry_, and Prelude_. He lives in New York, where he teaches at NYU.