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

Trey Harris

Six Poems

  • Sad Debt
  • An Indulgence
  • Eraser Beam
  • Every Movie I Watch is My Favorite
  • Guilt Moth (Win/Lose)

Sad Debt

Everything that makes me happy makes me happy
for an hour. Everything that makes me sad
makes me sad for a year. In my new home
everyone I hate is far away, but wow
I still hate them. You know what
is making my brain a little longer. I thank God
every day I wasn't driving when the cattle
lost their legs. A talisman to repel witches
repels me only a little. A talisman to repel me—
ingredients listed within. Honey runs
from my eyes and fingernails. When you said
luxury I imagined something different. I tell
ten lies and expect results. I drown every night
with your hand in my hair. I can't afford
to offer more, but you've seen my commitment
to debt. Speak, and behold blood
in the breakfast milk—little flowering dogwood
blossoms curving where you set your lips. Tell me
about a time you failed, then a river
runs from my mouth. You're so sick
of the Exodus account. If the promised land
is anywhere it's in the impressive square footage
of the empty lot across the street. The empty
lot getting its fog on: your childhood fog, a fog
in which everything becomes unmarked,
a fog that hangs out in the empty lot like a man
with nothing left to lose, welcoming back old friends
come to play the knife game again.

An Indulgence

Your skyline makes me
sick. Your smile makes me
hungry. I'll do anything to vanish
my responsibility. A spider lives
in my hair. I name him Night
Terror. He sleeps on my tongue
when I cry. He makes me look
at photographs. I don't
want to be reduced
to my desires, but this is a great picture
of you. I can really tell
the temperature is perfect. I can really
tell no minions of hell
are crawling out of fresh pits to ruin
your perfectly nice party. I can
trace a procession of bones
resurgent. I wonder
what you're up to. Curiosity
is my fundamental violence.
I am the human prototype.
Spots are marked
to be pierced nightly:
liver, kidney, neck.
O, I lost my healing factor
several issues back

Eraser Beam

I brought this dry spell with me. I drove
a tractor into the void. I drove the void
into my gut—now everything I drink
runs down my face. When the procedure
is complete I will be entirely fictional.
I hold still and know my face
looks dumb and sad. If you want
to touch me when I'm wearing that shirt
you like: ok, do it. Run your hand
down a drawn face and tell me
what it means to you. I'm filling jacket pockets
with loose peanuts. I'm trying to get something
back. I can't tell who is a bigger shithead—
me or the cat. We are both extremely
wicked. A man by the sea says creation
is permanent. I can make a thing small, but I can't
make it go away. Some days I relax
in the most beautiful zone and hope
to be struck down, to be disappeared
by an unexpected special attack, but erasure
can't be summoned so easily. I've learned death
is not a body to be bargained with—
death is a wage, and I'll earn it.

Every Movie I Watch is My Favorite

I've given you the wrong impression&emdash;
I'm pleased with
what I've done to you. I'm twelve
feet tall and I speak
mainly in crow calls. I try not to worry.
I value this time
between transmissions. Orders from the general:
I'm evil
and invincible, a crueler curve
of steel―I label
all my body parts Mark II, I vomit
on Tucson
from an airplane window―next time
I'm in town
you won't even hear my name―
I'll be looking
at pictures of every endangered species,
I'll be nostalgic
for my old morality, embarrassing myself
in the churchyard.
After we were together
the stars didn't come out for two days―
had the night ended there I might not be
so troubled. I'm trying to love everything
in my childish way:
if I continue to interrupt myself
this sentence won't end,
and if this sentence doesn't end
I will never not be talking to you.

Guilt Moth (Win/Lose)

We both know what
day it is. It won't be Sunday
again in this story. I've been trying
to control you since season one.
I've been practicing impulse
denial. I've been seeing bare skulls
in likely scenarios. Chances are
you're breaking up. Take the pieces,
rub them together, see what
gets warm. See what demands
I make of you. See what commands
I give: Commit yourself to this
luchador mask, to this pain. I keep death about me. I heal
no wounds. I will find your pulse
and hold it where I want it. I don't
cut. I don't win. I am nobody's
handsome god. Nothing is neat
like you. And now what you've all
been waiting for: a moth
dies graphically before its time.
This is everything there is
to know about me and I am
so sorry. The search for another's
destruction is such an old sin
but there's no denying it is really
cool. You're interested in new
technology, but I'm going to show you
the old way. I teach you a method
of calming down. You get very wet
in the rain. Someone spray paints
your name into the department
store's history. It's simple: call
something a new kind
and you win. Behave incorrectly
and you lose. A yes/no question
and a countdown from 10.
Do you wish to continue?
I'm in love with my missing
emotions and with my imaginary
versions. I imagine I say I love you
and you say I love you too. I make
new teeth from your bones. Now watch
as I eat the sickness from you. When I try
to remember our anniversary I have to
start at the very beginning. I turned four
in 1994 and from this, everything else.

Trey Harris

Trey Jordan Harris lives in Rhode Island. Other poems have appeared in Twelfth House, Sixth Finch, Diagram, the Nashville Review, and elsewhere.