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

Katie Mertz

Two Poems

  • In Flight Safety
  • It Was A Good Year

In Flight Safety

an airplane is a mighty place
for all you trout and all
your frowns my space
is safe my hands are busy
I bet you are wondering
why I use my body
this way I am a plane
of breakfast matter
a plastic saucer of ice
and water really
a flight attendant licking
tray tables to feel a sense
of having been somewhere
and be the woman to say
I know the air mask on my face
worries you at least a little
really you are waiting
for your cookies I want to think
that’s funny I want to laugh
you watch me pull the mask
tighter tuck my stricken teeth
to bed you’re not listening
it’s the child she says hey
look everyone it’s the sun

It Was A Good Year

to be a bad man
stockings for a face
wowwow ouch now here
is the story etched
in the busted coil
of my radiator
California says
where are my flowers
and I say look
in my mouth
my fingers peel away
to bone and choke to death
my girlhood imagined
a delusion of birth control
and thigh matter shhhhhhh
we’re not talking about sex
my friends the lesbian
the black guy the bad feminist
walk into a bar
fuck yes I drink to them
and who is not already drinking
out a private anguish
recalling the hunt
the body of scars
the guns in our movies
pointed at our people
the children
are riding extinct
our porpoises
faster than the asteroid
745,000 miles away
can rally its moons
bring out the deep bruise
its bloody little fingers
wrapped around my pulse
bring me down baby
wring out all the flowers

Katie Mertz

Katie Mertz is co-curator of BIG BIG MESS reading series and assistant editor for Phantom Books. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Souvenir, Ilk, Toad le Journal, Birdfeast & others. Her poem "This is How to Be Good" was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Akron, Ohio.