Deadheading Despair

the early lake still
the call of loons

a fishing boat trolls
the far shore

footprints of ghost foxes

geese wilding above
white wings wheeling

sweet cinnamon tea

my sleepy son
drags Paddington Bear

onto the porch
fetal-curls on my lap

it’s all kind of amazing

 

 

About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam, New Ohio Review and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

EMOJI

Is there an emoji for the too-muchness of life?
Moments visibility is less than two feet
rats scuttle through crawlspaces
toilets overflow
a crumpled Honda lies in the driveway.

Moments impossible to drag out of bed
heater broken, house at forty degrees
husband on a business trip, really?
A message: so-sorry-your test-was-positive-
please-call.

I can’t find an emoji for what’s-the-fucking-point
a grab-a-bottle-of-scotch-and-swig emoji
a put-your-head-in-the-oven-why-not emoji.

If you find one, please forward it
to claire@clobberedbylife.com.

 

 

About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

Pay Phone

first you need to find a pay phone
which isn’t all that easy
since you just arrived yesterday &
can’t see very well what with all this soot & smoke
& heat, OMG the heat
then you have to wait in a long line
there is plenty of time
snaking around the fire pits
every now and then tapping
the one in front of you with a bony finger
hurry up
there is no hurry here
you hope you have a few coins left
that your quarters didn’t slip out of
your pocket into last night’s putrid river
that Charon didn’t steal them
when you were dozing
you shove the skeleton in front of you
hurry up
there is no hurry here
finally it is your turn/you dial the number
the number you have engraved on your heart/
or what is left of your heart
you wait for her to pick up
longing: to hear her voice
eager: to tell of your journey
missing her: terribly even though it has
been only a few hours since her cool hand
since her pleading eyes
what’s that I can’t hear you who is this must be a bad connection try again
she hangs up
you shuffle to the end of the line
hollow bones clacking

 

 

About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

A Small Wooden Box

dated with death sits on my mantel
          it has been there for twenty-two years

I keep meaning to scatter her ashes in the park or on the street
          or simply toss them in the trash

but I continue to continue to keep them on the mantle
          next to photos of my children she rarely visited

next to my award-winning book she never read
          next to the translucent scallop shells we collected in Bali

the cousins romping on the beach, rollicking in the surf
          she cancelling at the last minute: too busy, too tired

always, always promising to visit, to read, to join
          & I believed her & believed her

I made up her bed, I mailed her my book, I bought her
          special suntan lotion for the tropics

maybe I keep the small wooden box as a reminder that
         dead mothers don’t disappoint

 

 

About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enzagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

Algebra 101

1. Jane spent $42 for shoes. This was $14 less than twice what she spent for a blouse.  How much was the blouse?

Really? Who thinks like this? Why not just enjoy the green shoes and sexy blouse? And by the way the answer is $28. Maybe not such a great blouse after all.

***

2. Two cyclists start at the same time from opposite ends of a course that is 45 miles long. One cyclist is riding at 14 mph and the second at 16 mph. How long after they begin will they meet?

Don’t these guys like each other? They will meet in an hour and a half and probably not speak a word. What a bummer of a Sunday afternoon. They must hate their wives.

***

3. Carol spent $1200 on an evening dress to wear to the opening night of Tosca. Harvey is livid and returns the dress. What price will Harvey pay? Who goes to Tosca?

Extra credit: Carol yelled 10 minutes more than twice the amount Harvey spent on lunch at Chez Panisse. The sum of three times the amount of time Carol yelled plus eight times the amount Harvey spent on lunch less the sales tax on the dress was not enough for the first session with an attorney.  What did the attorney charge?

 

 

About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enzagam and Healing Muse among others. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

No One Remembers My Name

HE: gets all the credit, headlines in The New York Times
Blustering Noah with his thick beard and thicker skull
Slopping wine while I steer animals onto the ark
The cattle stampeding, the lions eying the antelope
My muscles burn, sweat steams my glasses

HE: snorting and wheezing as I lug
Buckets of food and water, carefully
Calculating how much each animal will need
From bees to buffalos, mice to mammoths
Pellets, persimmons, mangos and dried meat

For forty days and nights

I guard the ark so a third buffalo
Or lemming or carpenter ant
Doesn’t sneak aboard, word having gotten round
That god was in a wrathful mood
Stomping around his heavens, throwing thunder bolts

At the creatures he wished he’d never created
And the rains will start he warned

And they did

HE: gets all the credit, the cover of Time magazine
Noah at nine hundred years
Barely able get out of bed, griping about
Arthritic knees, nagging back, pulsing head    
Grumbling about hardtack, warm water, no wine

The rain pouring and pounding on our thin roof

I lie next to HIM at night my body lonely, longing
For touch, for release, but not from HIM
A withered man with matted
Hair and the sour stink of onions
My tears spill on my pillow 

Sighs and sobs and drawn out screams
Drown in driving rains

I tend the animals’ sores and sicknesses
I feed them cautiously, keeping tigers apart
From badgers and barn owls
I comb their manes, stroke their fur
Straighten crooked quills 

And no one remembers my name

Let the rains cease
Let the dove land with an olive branch
Then I will leave HIM on the nearest shore
I don’t need Time or The New York Times 
To tell my story, praise my work, but please

Before my life unspools into nameless night
Let me be remembered
Not as Noah’s wife, but simply as Naamah
The woman who tended animals and
Steered the ark to safety

 

 

About the Poet: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. She was also a semi-finalist for the Pangaea Prize and the Atlantis Award. Claire was the grand prize winner of The Maine Review’s 2015 White Pine Writing Contest. Her first book of poetry, Waiting to be Called, was published in 2015. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

Ventriloquist

I am my Father’s dummy
perched on his lap
a paper maché puppet
top hat, painted face
unblinking eyes
a mouth only he can open
choosing my words
carefully
to be sure
I am just
like him

No sugar
no wine
no caffeine
up at six
tired or not
the early bird
run a mile
no gain without pain
each day
stopwatch ticking
sweat streaming

No Nordstrom’s
or Bloomingdales
a penny saved
only thrift stores
discount stores
second hand stores
I parrot his rules
and march through
life just like him

sometimes I see
children laughing
tickling spinning whirling
racing rushing
balloons of pink skirts
like parachutes
caramel ice cream
cotton candy
cupcakes with
colored sprinkles

and I wonder

But now he is dead
the dummy limp on his lap
top hat askew
red grin grinning
black eyes staring

But the worst is
I have no voice
not a bleat or a mewl
when my Father died
he took it with him
after all it belonged to him