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

Leena Joshi

I can feel my body inside of my body

  • the second coming
  • displacement
  • pink
  • being indoctrinated by feminist texts
  • the New York City Subway
  • Like Water for Chocolate, dir. Alfonso Arau, 1992
  • melatonin
  • melanin
  • anandamide
  • nostalgia as a narcotic

the second coming

"Walking Piece", Yayoi Kusama, 1966

This is not parousia, but still religious. I’m bastardizing the phrase for my own benefit. Someone blessed me with a renewed adolescence, and while I still have no porthole view of what my hormones are doing, I am more alive than the alive I thought I was before. No one told me to expect this self-renaissance but I’ve accepted it, trembling. Better art has already come from it. I will be body parts that prove courage: backbone, guts, balls, but all uncupped and unprotected.

I’m swarming with unknowable eros, which is just to say, a dirtier angst.


"Poem to the Glory of Sparkles", Joan Miró, 1969

People want to know where I’m living and what I’m doing right now. I am here now, but I do not live here, but I do not live there anymore either, and last week I was in New York City and so were lots of my friends, but I was also more alone than I’ve ever been. I’m flying a flag that says what the actual fuck.

Poem to the Glory of Sparkles says not everything has a place, not every poem is a poem.



pastel slime, lightly smashed cake frosting, cheap glitter beads on a fraying string, poppin’ pepto bismol like champagne, a clean filet, dawn’s blush when you haven’t slept, the ventral side of a human tongue, having a reputation (lust), raindrops on flamingo lawn ornaments, gums, youthitude/femininitude, a slap mark, eraser dust, spooled ribbon, a sweaty flush, the center rose petal, pox

being indoctrinated by feminist texts

“The first women are fleeing the massacre, and, shaking and tottering, are beginning to find each other. Their first move is a careful joint observation, to resensitize a fractured consciousness. This is painful: no matter how many levels of consciousness one reaches, the problem always goes deeper. It is everywhere.”

—Shulamith Firestone, _The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist __Revolution, _1970

The words I read keep the bizarre chandelier of feelings I have from synthesizing into rage. This was not always how it was: before I was content to be half a woman who cares more about other things and half one who could really get worked up about it if necessary.

Dear Leena,

Are you ruining poetry? UGH, please write about something more generally moving/ambiguous and alt-lit worthy.

I was recently told that carrying an open switchblade in my sleeve when I walk home at night is pretty intense but what I’m more worried about is that I’ll like using it.

the New York City Subway

Garry Winogrand, 1960

I sit here like a dummy.

“Everything is so superb and breathtaking. I am creeping forward on my belly like they do in war movies.”

-Diane Arbus

Like Water for Chocolate, dir. Alfonso Arau, 1992

These days I am reminded that cooking is essentially spell-casting. I take a pinch of something and over the heat it sweats, becomes something else. Then we put it inside ourselves.


I’ve never been a good sleeper so recently I bought a bottle of melatonin supplements. When the pill starts to take effect, it feels like the heavy, gloved hand of a giant on my head. My dreams are much more vivid. Last night I lay in a field and watched a meteor shower of such softness that I wanted to reach up into the sky and touch it. After it ended, it was suddenly daylight and hundreds of bouquets of roses hung in the air.


Being Brown in America is an arbitrary clusterfuck.

What about to be blue, like Krishna, or cratered and silver, like the moon?

Have you seen the news? It’s a summer of disaster.


Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. The name is taken from the Sanskrit word (and Hinduistic religious term) ananda, which means "joy, bliss, delight”

Did I ruin my brain as a teenager? Am I ruining it still? I like my Ruined Brain.

I am a flooded skull, afternoon molasses, a constant identity spiral.

nostalgia as a narcotic


talking on the phone for hours in the dark / saying _listen to this song while we AIM chat / _suburban talismanic hoarding - rock, eggshell, cattail top, helicopter seed pod - sunlight patterns, childhood roughness, jumping over the sensor, dark wooded hill drives, spitting out gum that masks other odors, now getting high while home alone in the house you grew up in. ho-ly shit. marveling. taking stock of old hiding places, the sonic scratch of tree on glass, a deep but unremarkable sadness.

Leena Joshi

Leena Joshi lives and works in Seattle, with frequent visits to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. neurometembe.tumblr.com