Antonia Alexandra Klimenko







Foreign Film


We travel between horizons

you and I    in linear e-motion

one word after the other

one space to the next

Upper and lower case berths

wishing they were one


You:  rearranging sentences

on the Titanic

Me:    mopping the decks

You :  the version originale

Me :   with subtitles

running across my forehead


In Truth

we are spiralling through one another


In Reality

we are sinking to new heights


Wherever we are

is somewhere we have never been

Perception is like that

can take you somewhere new

without ever having left


You and I

are somewhere

we have never travelled before–

our random borders opening

to a world of shifting senses

Nothing is as it seems

Nothing is. As it seems.

Arm under arm   leg over leg

we voyage into the unknown

we go diving    into the wreck

of our fluent Ms. Understanding


(All is lost in translation


you read between the lies)


Even now

lipsinking under you

with Webster’s unabridged

I wait for your warm definition

to re-kindle my meaning within

Passion’s tides–

breath’s surging surf–crashing in my head

a viscous rim of moon   glistening

on my breast   The Milky Way

on your native tongue– cosmic ambrosia


Only the blur of our arrival

wave upon wave–

your edited-for-content prepaid departure

left to betray

the depth of our shallow surround sound

the soft moan

of our black       swollen   sea






Irish Whiskey


whiskey”- –of Gaelic and Old Irish descent meaning “water of life”


It’s like the letter you were expecting

but had forgotten

the dream you almost recall

upon waking

One day you are writing to yourself

to prove that you exist

the next day you are talking to someone

who doesn’t


How to talk to oneself

is a language all its own—

a message behind distorted glass

with the swell of the crumbling cork–

the skewed tongue   that no longer fits


I have tried

translating myself into a another language—

a new language that I might better understand

Translations are at best

like well-known paintings rendered

by unknown artists—

Impressionists– every one of them—

always the colors just a little off

always something missing


In the wee green hours of the marnin’

In the pale blue hours of the morning

I weave forth and back   back and forth

doing a poor imitation of me-self—

cutting a rug    set in its own pattern

without a thread of light  to add to my design


Today I received a letter in the mail—

no words, only a blank page in an envelope—

handwriting slurred

a crooked stamp in the corner—

those suspicious wavy lines


No problem

Pas de problem  I say—

reaching for the real thing—100 proof—

my words turning up like drunken sailors

stumbling off the tongue…


I always read my poems sober

I always write my poems drunk




The Moon in Exile


I stare at the white


as it tries to keep its head

above water

then return to

my own sickbed

my own floating island

my now deserted


I   a noun

a sentence in solitaire


without a verb in sight

to spring me from my cell

nor row me to shore


I was bedded   wedded

honeyed   conjugated bliss


by dashing heroes of being

by similes and metaphors

donning colorful capes–

tipping three-cornered alliterations

and other gracious peninsulas


Able to cross the English Channel during commercials

Able to wave from shores I’d never even heard of

Able to move from paragraph to paragraph

shifting my gaze from lower to upper case–

I   a Full Moon

of breadth and vision

jumping over myself

and other bright continents–

eclipsing half-dangling participles

semi-colons   periods    and question marks


(able to write the poem that cannot write itself)


i am like the flower– startled

from its shoot—beheaded   absent

for my own coronation

Words are a language unto themselves

My own naked page– the story of my life












Antonia Alexandra Klimenko‘s work is widely published. Her poems have appeared in XXI Century World Literature (in which she represents France) CounterPunch, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, The Rumpus, Big Bridge, Occupy Poetry (in whichshe is distinguised as an American Poet) and Maintenant: Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art archived at the Smithsonian Institution and in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.


She is the Writer/Poet in Residence for SpokenWord Paris.


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