Information Dump

From the collection And Don’t Come Back, published in 2021.

Information Dump

OK, so we were
capriciously hustling a calorie burn we ended up
erroneously stockpiling lactic acid and at the cost of
irretrievably affiliating ourselves with
arduously dirtied pants, shirts, and socks
in other words we hiked in the state park
got lost fell down a ravine and crawled back to the car
haphazardly nibbled by bored mosquitoes
intermittently crying (us, not the mosquitoes)
under a full moon. Is that enough detail for you?


Tanka 212, Tanka 213, Shadorma 329

From the poetry collection published in 2021 containing poems written in 2020, The Immediate and No Sooner.

Tanka 212

The orange twist-cap.
The rounded contoured body.
The bottle of glue
and how well it fits my hand.
I squeeze. Watch the first drops fall.

Tanka 213

His rounded shoulders.
His jaunty orange ribbed cap.
Friend since my childhood.
My sticky fingers grasp tight.
I squeeze him in affection.

Shadorma 329

spool of white
unwinds its last turns
The machine
pulls the thread
the greedy needle consumes
beyond the last inch

Timely Spin of the Wheel

From the collection And Don’t Come Back, published in 2021.

Timely Spin of the Wheel

When it happened
it was an aw shucks-defying eureka moment
a great big moment all right
and right away it tossed around our fake modesty
came near swamping us in the wake when it sped off
like a big-engine motorboat painted neon yellow
going flat out and with the current.
But we’re too good of water-skiers
not to hang on to the rope
we got our balance
stayed on our feet and
rode the whole thing into shore
not quite knowing what had happened
but that it had happened and, well,
that was good enough for us

Serendipity, mmmh!
I blow you a kiss
and wave.


How It Came to Be

From the poetry collection published in 2021 containing poems written in 2020, The Immediate and No Sooner.

How It Came to Be

cotton cloth
where threads intersect
gray and white
columns cross
gray and white rows. The colors
flow through the fabric

endless grids
yards and yards of it
a fabric
to be cut
sewn hemmed wrapped sold and defined:
gray checked dish towel.

shadorma chain

Perplexing Recollections in Search of Resolution

From the collection And Don’t Come Back, published in 2021.

Perplexing Recollections in Search of Resolution

You mention
the mythic calico of the apron I wore
the ulcerous permanence of the memory of
my omnivorous scheming that came to nothing
my addled impromptu attempts to remedy
the dispirited results. You remember that summer
and that kitchen? I am surprised.

Yes. I may have added the spices
with more enthusiasm than the recipe directed:
very gingerly
can mean more than one thing in cooking
can’t it? No?
And now I learn
take a grain of salt and take it with a grain of salt
are not the same thing. In any case
here is what I need to know:
has it changed your mind about the taste
of the cake I baked you
so long ago?


Little Vines 10/15/21

This week’s selection of LIttle Vines.

The naysaying dollar bills warned me
you don’t want to spend us on that no you don’t
but I did. Want to. And did. And wished
I had more to go the same way. So there.

And yippee yi yo hi ho
to the Roaming Potato
riding roughshod through my digestive tract

You never count much on the future
when you know the imperfect bounce of time
and how it ricochets expectations off each other

Gazing into the sky, all I wanted to know was
Are there any more of them left to hatch?
Because the legend exists for a reason.

With each smaller task he’s given
the outraged incompetent
rants and fails in ever more spectacular fashion

Secrets spilled like poisoned sugar cubes in tea
not your own. Yes, you know what I mean.
Best advice: act confused and apologize while you still can.

A taxi dies on the road
The beating heart of the highway
circulates a tow truck threads the artery
homes in on the honking extricates the clot

the pretentious doctor the good-hearted nurse
the wisecracking pooch who runs the pharmacy?
I hope this hospital drama hasn’t fatally mixed up its clichés

I’ll see you tonight
and she slammed the bedspread over the pugnacious pillow

get in get out the rainstorm mutters
the clouds carry out their own oblivion
the aggressive horizon pursues sunshine
the rainbow makes it all as it should be

Uncle Lou’s starch root paste pie with raisins:
the family chews
but never takes a bite

with a minimum of dilemma
the couple in the downstairs apartment
assembled their flat-pack romance
and lived happily ever after

I watched a flake of white paint
fall from the ceiling of the garage
into a small pool of oil on the concrete floor

A hindsight reverses itself into the present
and you realize that things may change
Backwards. Are you ready for that?

Here at Blight Manor the skeletons in our closets
like to rattle their knee bones and guffaw
just to remind us who’s the boss

he climbed in through the study window
I surprised him rifling the desk drawers –
snot bubble hanging from his nose

Family holiday dinner.
Auntie starts one of her stories –
the tactful radiator rattles extra loud extra long
before the very paint begins to peel from the walls

Haiku 865, Tanka 211, Haiku 866, Haiku 867

From the poetry collection published in 2021 containing poems written in 2020, The Immediate and No Sooner.

Haiku 865

The patterned pillow
tells off the cool gray sofa
The romance breaks up

Tanka 211

byzantine plot twists
hectic loves and wild intrigues
the book you’ve hidden
under the sofa cushion
quick! when your mother walks in

Haiku 866

one bite of the pear
the fall-in-love spell is cast
a crisp sweet voice speaks

Haiku 867

the orange ridged cap
great traction for my fingers
twisting out glue drops

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Where It’s Better to Be

You may know that in addition to my poetry I also do art, posted on my blog Claudia McGill and Her Art World. For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Where It’s Better to Be

no it’s over shreds of and one other thing
just more cloud like in this romantic
just saying it the piece of how it feels
dream my night fossil solves the problem all right
never going to dissolve a second for me to think
you pay you back and a nasty cold to boot

Oh, I got lost in my thoughts for a moment
What did you say again, dear?

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 22

A few new: Sleek White Sneak; Eye Exam at the End of September

How about a couple of recent poems? The first one, well, it’s a cat poem. The second one, it is an eye poem. These are two subjects that are often on my mind these days. And that’s why these poems were written. Enough said! Thank you for reading.

Sleek White Sneak

air glides the baseboard
southsides the door frame
cross slides the dining room
low tides the table leg
skew-eyes the end chair
kick strides the jump up
topside and stop

this ample cat
joyrides a fast nap
you catch him out cold
sprawled on place mat
king of the household
lullibied and lazy fat
sleeping big and dreaming bold



Eye Exam at the End of September

Ten or so of us
we sit in the plastic chairs
pupils dilating.
We wait. The doctor will trace
sight’s path into our brains when

squinting, one by one
we are led off to rooms where
we sit in the dark
a pencil of light shines in –
To glimpse thoughts? To sense visions?

tanka chain

Shadorma 326, 327, 328

From the poetry collection published in 2021 containing poems written in 2020, The Immediate and No Sooner.

Shadorma 326

cream blouse and
tan-white patterned-dot
pencil skirt
your face young
painfully eager to please.
Sketch: first job first day

Shadorma 327

Cake batter
Mixer whirls the bowl
Flour sashays
butter skips
Sugar hops! Cake in oven –
Let’s lick the beaters!

Shadorma 328

The ranks of
tall skinny and short
stubby and
the ones that
fall in between – who will be
the mediator?