Claudia Serea







Useless things


Let’s invent useless things,

the ultimate freedom.


I’ll make marble eggs,

headless dolls,

and stringless violins.


I’ll write poems

that don’t put food on the table

with words that no one understands:





I’ll buy dream bags

and wrinkles with pockets

and shepherd on 5th Avenue

a camelostrich herd.


Or is it a gaggle

of ostrichcamels?


I’ll chain the night and day

to the sidewalk

and feed them live



Around me, the world tilts, rocks, spills,

burns, crashes, cooks,

dies, laughs, cries.


And I plant thunderseeds,

steep tea in a wooden tea pot,


and hold my marble egg carefully


like a mother cat

carrying her newborn kitten

in her mouth.



About languages


In what language

does the house painter paint?


Does the wind in Chile

speak Spanish to the trees?


Do the gulls over the Hudson River cry

Whitman’s verse?


And what about

the Statue of Liberty?


In what language does she

keep silent?




The city pulls us apart


With the outstretched arms

of the mannequins at Macy’s,

with 34th Street

and 7th Ave,


with intersections

and millipedes

of feet on sidewalks,


the city pulls us apart.


It forks ahead

and zips up on our heels.


We join in bedrooms,

in restaurants and bars,

in The New Yorker

and The Hound,


and part in Bloomingdale’s

and in Penn Station,


come back together

in cinemas and Bryant Park,


and step away at work,

in public bathrooms,


in languages

and tongues,


on trains, further away,

in Lincoln Tunnel,

and more work.


It’s not your fault,

or mine

that JFK pulls us apart,

that life pulls us apart.


And then we’re back again


on Skype.


I have to go now, bye.


The city pulls us apart,

the city pulls us,

the city pulls.











Claudia Serea’s poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Gravel, Prairie Schooner, and many others. An eight-time Pushcart Prize and four-time Best of the Net nominee, she is the author of Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, 2012), A Dirt Road Hangs From the Sky (8th House Publishing, 2013), To Part Is to Die a Little (Cervena Barva Press, 2015) and Nothing Important Happened Today (Broadstone Books, 2016). Serea is a founding editor of National Translation Month, and she co-hosts The Williams Poetry Readings in Rutherford, NJ. Her latest project is Twoxism, a poetry-photography collaboration blog.



Articles similaires