She slides her fingers
in mine
it is dark
we breathe
her head
on my shoulder
the previews
make us laugh
Hollywood knows
our funny bone
there is a smell
in our throats
like gasoline fire
a shock of light
a dark
that is with me
even now
my mouth petrifies—

©2015 Clare L. Martin

Written Saturday, July 25th, 2015 in the aftermath of the tragedy at the Grand 16 in my hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana



Moon rooted in wood.
Woman rooted in shadow.
Shadow drapes her nude figure.

The light is as he wants.

Her hands spread on her belly.
Her hands network to her spine.

She arches her back.
Belly to the moon
which wanes in the wood.

Every muscle aches
for the silent cue
to release supine.

Her thoughts unravel.

She gives one
to the maestro
with sable brushes.

He swipes her knee
with cadmium
in his excitement.

Close as breath. Close enough

to hear the tinny heartbeat
tick away in his chest.
Or is it a wheeze?

He mixes a cerulean eye.

A small hammer
beats behind her knee.
He permits her

to slump into pillows.
A brushstroke grows wild.
Something bubbles

in her tummy. The child
in a blood balloon.
The baby’s kick

is a fresh flute of cava.
He tells her to breathe,
hold out her palm.

He gives her a nectarine.
©2015 Clare L. Martin All Rights Reserved

Prayer Poem for Mother

Clare L. Martin:

For the many…

Originally posted on Clare L. Martin:

Mother, the words are coming: grace, strength, devotion, blessed—but these words cannot contain you. You are newborn stars, the very dust of all creation. Now, you are constellations light years away, or all of them—infinite, imperceptible, radiant, every bit of matter and non-matter. You are the exhalations of suns, pristine molecules and all the subatomic reasons for love. You, beloved, sought the wind in our souls; were born of nurturing earth and rain into something holy, and you never turned away. The mind of God knew you before you were you. I cannot touch you any longer, even as I reach, but you know these words before I speak them. You see our myriad paths beyond time and space.  You appointed my still-beating heart. Oh, to tell you what joy you were, are and ever will be! All that matters now is that you are free and that your voice…

View original 45 more words

In Mourning


It is comfortable to be the mourning-ghost (the drowned one), to care for nothing but a petrified sorrow. It is simple to relinquish the will to do anything, weighted by the water above, to be a stone within a stone within a stone.

Again, the dust-man pretends to sleep in his lop-sided chair, with a cat and a dog burrowed in his lap. Again, she is in water. The deep end of a cold bath in a house with blinds closed—slivers of natural light and a life-saving measure of patchouli, almond, verbena and tangerine. Deep in trance and desirous of forever’s ocean of sleep.

How the woman prays! Her kisses brush his hot forehead. She welcomes him to bed—When the world comes again we’ll awaken. And it does and they do. Over and over, though no cycle rules her, she rebirths herself.  Empties her lungs, rises.

© 2015 Clare L. Martin


Photo by Anne Elezabeth Pluto Thank you, Annie, for your beautiful sight. 


The woodpecker’s heart
still as bedrock
blood absent
not a drop on concrete (fingers
of leaves, laced
black metal)

What exists in stasis
like a star exists
out of reach;
close as bone

light lifts
from a seabed
dust in a room stirs
when a woman stirs
to turn her body
from the sleeping lover

his back, a light sheen
of fragrant oil, blue
aura of morning sleep

a blind man innately knows
black wing tips
the deaf man innately knows
the death-song

of each living thing
as they exit
our presence

fall away winter,
become unknowable
no longer penetrates
the eye
when fire
comes to the city

the woman leaves
her lover’s bed
and leaves the man
she loves for he
who makes her volcanic

blood, snow, and mud
unburdened air
vibrant green shoots
entwine carcasses
all over the planet

“Be gone, rust, be gone!”
the woodpecker spoke its trill

such is the mortification of all flesh
and we, too, are mortified
as one
© 2015 Clare L. Martin

I Need a Manifesto


This isn’t the manifesto but I am working on one.  I was a sedentary person with medical issues and joint pain before starting this, so my actions are revolutionary.

Before starting, I had a health exam and got clearance from my physician. That is important to note. I also consulted a registered nurse with a nutritional-education background and we chose a plan that is mainly designed to reduce inflammation in the body and fuel it properly for the life I want to live. My nutrition plan is in check, but I think I must be under-eating, maybe. I plan to re-check with the nutritionist to see what I can do to make sure I am getting enough fuel. I feel good and have lots of energy. I only weigh once a month. I am not as concerned about the numbers, but it is still a distraction for me to think of “how much I weigh.” I know how I feel and how my overall endurance and fitness has increased. Wellness is my goal.

This is the fitness program after three months of what is a *lifetime* commitment. Just a few months ago, I couldn’t walk a city block without stopping and resting, so this, this is *amazing* to me. I owe a great thank you to my friends and family who have been so supportive. You keep me powered up. I share this because you might have additional info or insights and also, maybe someone can be helped by my experiences.

I have to use my Google calendar to figure this all out! And music is mandatory for me to get pumped, except when swimming.

Cardio every day with one rest day in the week.

The NuStep machine was good for me at the beginning to warm up and to gently move my knees to be able to proceed to other things. My joint pain has been relieved, so I don’t use it as often anymore.

I like the treadmill, but I am going to try the elliptical next, too, for cardio. I don’t enjoy the stationary bikes as much, but I am not giving up on them.

Every other day, I do weight training/strength training. On the days that I am not using the free weights and weight machines, I will be swimming because it is low-impact cardio, and will help muscles recover.

I swam for the first time today in over a decade!!

Talking with my brother, he said to stretch *every day*–all seven days, so although I haven’t developed that 7-day pattern yet, I am going to add simple yoga moves to the mix and gentle stretching every day.

All said, there are other activities I want to build up to. Going to bed. Sleep is crucial!! Your questions and comments are welcome!



I have come to respect myself enough to not feel it necessary to explain my choices to anyone. If I do explain, it usually means I care enough to let another know why, or because I want to illuminate others through my own truths, be them struggles or triumphs.

Sometimes true communication is impossible. Sometimes reasons are deep within and I cannot communicate with another, due to the understandable lack of comprehension of my inner life–no matter how clearly or eloquently I phrase my meanings.

I desire to live an authentic life. I desire to do no harm. I desire to be better than myself, learn deeper, and excuse myself from relationships (with or without explanation) that do not serve to empower me.  And, at times, disengage from those whom I sense I cannot empower.

Part of this learning comes from disillusionment with the literary world in which I have experienced rare, but very distasteful, mistreatment. My joy of writing has become somewhat tempered by hollow people and exchanges I have encountered. I am a bit sick of it, but I do not mean to demean anyone who has genuinely touched my heart in this Writing Life.

In order for me to revive my own love/life, cultivate my self and grow as an artist, I have made a choice not to engage in any projects or readings, or to submit work for an indefinite period. I have clearing to do. If I write, I need it to be for myself. If that writing finds an audience (most likely via this blog), I will be grateful, but my needs are far more intrinsic to my “self” at this time.

I care enough for my readers here that I wanted to share this decision with you. Thank you, always, for reading.