You ask the identity of my fantasy man

Hardly hesitating, I reply:

I am his canvas of fecund fields

Pierced by passionate suns

Van Gogh impressions of yellow and green

I am his guitar strings

Played by his tongue

Set on fire and worshiped

As only Hendrix’s music could careen

Along scales never before heard or seen

I am his epic poem of alliterative lines

That old Pagan Beowulf poet

Writer, reciter, loving me


These three

As one

Someday you will come…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)




OK, OK, This is for fun.  My first video.  A silly video of me reciting my poem Unconsummated Guitar.  Hate my voice.  It’s a South Philly nasal whine (South Philadelphia, a neighborhood in Pennsylvania, USA).  Can’t believe I forgot to take off my glasses.  Never take pictures with my regular glasses.  Oh, well, it’s New Year’s Eve so this is for a laugh 🙂  Wishing us all fun and good health and happiness for 2017!




Too much

The world

When once

I refused to read

A newspaper

Watch the news

Now bombarded

By social media

Too much

Can I wish myself

Into a wisp of

Perfumed air

And disappear

Down the sound hole

Of a wood

Or even laminate

Ukulele, guitar

Stay far far away

From the world today

And think of ways

To habitate in my new

Fortress of Solitude

Hoping the strong wind

Will pluck the strings

In minor keys

To bring me peace

From the looming faces

And voices

Of the world

That are just too much for me

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Inside A Guitar, Classic FM


Broke up with the guitar
Yeah, consummated
As predicted in my previous poem
Unconsummated Guitar *
But he’s not my type
Begged ukulele to take me back
He did,  so I upgraded him today
Must admit I fell in love with a banjolele
Played it but hey, only temporary madness
Somehow couldn’t imagine playing, well, Lennon’s Imagine
On a banjolele
Okay, I do have four ukuleles hanging on my wall
But I dragged one on the train for two days
And gave it to my granddaughter
Hoping someday she will play
Hoping she’s not like her grandma: flirty, flighty
Hoping she falls in love with the ukulele and never leaves him
Me? I went through terrible withdrawal this week
After giving mine away I was unable to play
For three days
Just HAD to buy this one
But I promise I won’t stray
It’s a ukulele all the way
And I won’t buy anymore
I’m happy
Right ?



(c) 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: my new and improved ukulele



(scroll down for YouTube video)


Began my love affair with you

A twenty-five dollar acoustic guitar

Gifted for my sixteenth birthday

Six wild months of passion followed

As I learned all my favorites in a

Peter, Paul and Mary song book

But like many flighty teens

It was merely a flirtation

And I met a twenty-five cent kazoo

Who was not as high maintenance

As you

Requiring no lengthy practice time

Just blow and hum

Eventually, gave him up too

Stuck to the radio until MTV entered my life

But just didn’t get the videos

And the music, well,

No real Janis or Jimi-worthy singers

By the 90s

I was buying 60s and 70s CDs

Screw trying to stay current with music


Fifteen years into the new century

Began a new love affair

His name is ukulele

Oh, the excitement!

And after a full year

I’m still in love!

Playing every day

Writing silly songs

Singing off-key

My ukulele and me

We’re one

But no,

Under the sign of Virgo

I’ll be traveling 1000 miles

To see my sons

How will I part from my

Long-term lover ukulele?

He’s too much to drag

Along with a suitcase, back pack

Laptop, phone, kindle, and two

Pairs of black boots


Doesn’t my son own a guitar?

Tremblingly, I ask via phone

May I borrow it while you’re at work

The full week I’m alone in the home?

Yes, yes he says!

And this feeling

That I kept secret for a week

But am now confessing on social media

This shocking feeling is called LUST!

I’m LUSTING for my old lover

Willing to cheat on ukulele

Throwing it under the bus

To have one last dance with guitar

But I will pay for my sin

I’m a die-hard acoustic-lover

Once booed Dylan at a folk festival

When he hauled out his electric guitar

Oh, how can I play one?

But I will

I will play my son’s electric guitar

I will probably pretend to be Joan Jett

Singing, “I Love Rock N Roll…”

(Oh, wish I was skinny like her)

And I don’t care that I’m hurting ukulele

I don’t care that I’m selling out my principles

Trading wood for plastic

I can feel guitar

As we embrace

I can hear guitar as we duet

My heart is racing

Consummation at last…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  B.C. Rich Warlock Metal Master  Joan Jett, I Love Rock N Roll (YouTube video)



SACRED SIXTIES SONG: Phil Ochs’ “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

(Another poem in celebration of Phil Ochs’ 75th birthday)

phil ochs i aint marching anymore

Phil’s voice echoing in my mind

As I learn to play

My new ukulele

Here are the chords

No riff, but couldn’t do justice

To the memorable, musical phrase

That always gave me chills when a teen

Listening to him on late-night weekend FM

No commercials in the sixties

Bought the album

Saw him countless times at folk festivals

And Philly coffee houses

Spoke to him twice

Well, in my ultra-shy way

Went through a period of

Perverting his song

As I tired from marching

Although it was to prevent the type of marching

Phil Ochs meant

Anti-war but also voting rights, Women’s Lib

War just kept coming

Voters got rights but stopped voting

Women didn’t want equality if it meant

Sharing a bathroom with men

In frustration I invoked the words of

Phil Ochs

Silently shouting:

“I Ain’t Marching Anymore”!

But got through that phase

An activist works for the common good

Not for the individuals who may pervert the act

So here I am

Almost a quarter of the way into

The twenty-first century

Voice scratchy

The pressing of frets slow

Giggling attitude toward my ineptitude

But playing and singing

Phil Ochs’ call to war

Against war

So here I am

Daring to replicate the sacred chords

Of I Ain’t Marching Anymore

What a high…

© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Here’s a Youtube link to the song:



What are the pleasures of old age?

Worse, what will go first: Hearing? Eyesight?

Sitting cross-legged in the dark, eyes closed

Demitasse of espresso

Close by, on the floor

Placing the ear buds and blasting the R&R

From my iPOD Shuffle

Clicking through each beginning riff

Here is Heart’s riff going crazy on me


Here is Clapton’s riff as he gets down on his knees


Here is Hendrix’s riff as he spins a Dylan song into musical history


Here is Ronstadt’s riff wondering when she will be loved


Here is Joplin’s riff with nothing left to lose


Here is Jim Morrison’s riff, anagrammed Mr. Mojo Rising


Here is Deep Purple’s riff as the smoke engulfs the water




❤ Music and coffee, the pleasures of old age ❤

© 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Maiden, Mother and Mage: A Day of Poetry