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

Matthew Minicucci

Six Poems

  • Beta
  • Epsilon
  • Nu
  • Sigma
  • Phi
  • Omega


The first day, unclear. Each day after, selenic; nothing but oceans and craters. Sidereal days; synodic nights. The world quartered by distant stars. Ours was a history of apparent size; lying to the sky. A history of light, reflected. History nothing but the voiced bilabial plosive. By which I mean: the voice tract occlusive; all airflow ceased. By which I mean: I don’t know what to say.

For any two variables, we can estimate the change and relationships between. You called this regression: linear and simple. I called it the steps to your apartment. The locked door. How exchanged glances become the barycenter of balanced and balancing bodies.

The truth is, a first morning together is always multinomial: such discrete possible outcomes. Perhaps it’s only supposed to be a moment; all just aleatory in the end. Perhaps it’s about how you decide to partition the probability space of an egg, double-yolk, sunny-side up. What you might call the problem of two bodies; but what I named the tide.


Elektron. Amber. Drawstring and light bodies, left without scratch or stitch from a needle. Ad or ab, depending on the oscillation of this swing. Dynamic. Direction just formed; the production of some length: arbitrarily small, insignificantly distant. For example: the empty space between fathers and sons. The permittivity of a straw grass cowlick when reached for; resistance encountered there.

The nature of this sort of family is deformation: displacement of bodies; distance of relative particles to relative particles. Their interactions only a deflection of light, sum of the squared differences between place where and time since.

In the end, all we consider is what can be held in the palm like a silver coin; an uncle’s favorite parlor trick. The not-so-bright star of this backyard constellation set against the world like a pall. How well we absorb the flash at a given wavelength. How elastic these easy smiles can be.


Freedom, or fission. Or both, of course. Of course, of course, of course. It varies, to some degree. Distributions arise. How to part with this; parry that. How to calculate the number of dimensions in this domain. You say variance and I say divergent. And then we say nothing at all.

Perhaps connection is periodic: a sine wave oscillating in some smooth repetitive pattern. Wake, sleep, deep water. Wake, sleep, deep water. Inertia is resistance, first, before all other things, but we know this. I’ve said it a thousand times. Do I have to say it again? Volatility. Sensitivity. Derivative of the option value with respect to the underlying asset.

A door, for example, how it’s not a true anomaly. How it swings open in the summer, in even the smallest amount of wind. Precipitation and reaction. The periapsis of a sun dress wandering around the house, picking lemon mint. A confession: I’ve never understood celestial mechanics. A corollary: the door; I never fixed it.


This life, like the plight of just-planted trees, where everything begins in the bed of a truck. From there, a hope for dirt: regolith religion; the unknown angle at the alley’s blind corner. Such concern for a world out of position, wandering, the velocity dispersion of some family’s globular cluster.

Of course dust is spun out from the center. Of course. Such debts and demands resist balance. And the sum of these things sits on surface tension; how water loves water more than air. And by this I mean everyone leaves, eventually, if only for the nearest hotel: force per unit length; energy per unit area.

Such terrible kindness in instruction; simple plans with sharp edges; how a boy learns: fat storage; flight mechanics; an envelope with no letter. Pathology as evidenced by a ripped magazine cover reminding us that everything will someday burn in endless summer; red corona of a sad, old sun.


Easy, like always: lax latitude and roll angle. just some damn geodesy. In the end, we were always about pressure: real divided by the ideal. Characteristic function; normal distribution. The predicate logic of a yard’s paper birch. For example: for each yellow-horned lark, there exists a pennyworth piece of bark. Simple.

But I did not tell you this. Instead, I remembered just how important prepositions are: closest to; furthest from. Don’t worry, it isn’t just us. Every kind of science measures the void eventually; here is just our particular porosity.

The truth is: I never know what to say to the sky. Irreducible sun. Roots and their complex union; sad, mislaid multiplicative identity. This cardinal number. That ordinal street. When you called, you made leaving sound as generic as flying. Look, people do it all the time. But what if, all this time, flying was just falling towards something else. What if they lied to us. People do it all the time.


The end, Janus-faced cliché. The eschatology of a door. Hinge pin rolling across the floor, lost to a solid angle subtended. Or the multiplicity of moving furniture; microstates uncertain in a living room’s dusty system. Boxes stacked, waiting to be filled: object, object, subobject. So much like bodies intertwined, you say. How one always fits inside another.

But maybe you say none of this. Maybe what’s left is just some turbulent apology: topology; the perceived properties of space preserved. When there’s turbulence, there’s also a specific rate of dissipation; pressure changing with respect to time.

For example: how a parcel of air seems to traverse the space between two open windows without incident. Such streamlines & streaklines & pathlines; probability that any randomly constructed program will suddenly halt. High-energy; short-lived. The simple division of a last night together. How for every number N there are X prime factors that divide the integer exactly. How you could see them when you closed your eyes, branching like beetroot. How you told me you can dream of nothing else.

Matthew Minicucci

Matthew Minicucci is the author of two collections of poetry: Translation (Kent State University Press, 2015), chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize, and Small Gods, forthcoming from New Issues Press in 2017. He is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Wick Poetry Center, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received his MFA. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2014, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, and The Southern Review, among others. You can find him online at matthewminicucci.com.