Searching neighborhood grids
Spreading state-to-state
Sectors of the country
Braving mountainous runaway truck ramps
Trekking through petroglyphic canyons
Primeval swamps
Gazing at city cell towers
Pulsing out your locale
Never an intimation
Move on
Over continental shelves
Navigating in Babel-ese
But still
No sign
Move on
Standing on a deserted plain
Observatory open to
Moonlit wind
Telescope probing the aethers
The faintest buzz
Through navy blue
And yellow, too
Across the sky table
Looking like spilled sugar
In spiral glory
Then I hear you
In our milky galaxy
The pulse
The sign
You are mine
As you signal
From a triangular prison
And we whisper
Loneliness, be gone…

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Milky Way, NASA

SCREW YOU UNIVERSE (another memoir apology)


I knew at eighteen

Life would be a struggle

Always too much yin

In with the yang

Maybe a few days good

Then the rest of the month bad

Tried to keep up a good attitude

I still beam out smiles

Laugh at myself

Look for fun things to do

But that pre-dawn

I took the elevator

Up to William Penn’s statue

Atop City Hall

Wrote my name in Magic Marker

On the wall

“CS heart Chaos”

Gazed down at the street grid

That now looked so clean

Showered in pink and blue daybreak

After fleeing Greenwich Village

In a snit

At four in the morning

Because my love life

Was never going to be good

Because of the invisible sign

That only men could see

Those attracted to me

Always the wrong kind

Left New York via

Greyhound bus

Coffee to go

Watched the sun rise

In Philly’s Rittenhouse Square

Hippie male trying to convince me

To come to his pad for breakfast

He was kind, though

As we watched iridescent pigeons flit

He wiped the bird shit out of my hair

With his handkerchief

Do men still carry those white linen squares?

Maybe the Universe was offering me

A good mate for my soul

But I refused both the man and

The Universe’s plan

As I blindly ran down the wrong paths

Time after time after time…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: William Penn statue, Philadelphia City Hall




One space-dark noon

Lumja said adieu

But okay

Because who knew

Whom he was really speaking to

Brilliant words

Tossed out

Then reeling in

The first to bite

By understanding

What he imparted

Even though the hints

Were there for anyone who cared


A few words matching up to the poetry

Of me

And anyone else

Since we

As the poets of Earth

Are limited in scope

While Lumja

Has limitless words

From uncountable galaxies

To choose from


We wannabee bards down here

Rooted to our egos

Cannot rise as high as Lumja

All we can think is

Let it be

That Lumja chose me

That’s not sarcasm

I agree

No one can write like he

But the ego of the Universe

Is a bit much for me

And many others, as I can see

I’m just glad to have the letter “e” to use as a rhyme

See, I’m not really in his class, poetically


Yet, words are not the end-all

It’s not dumbing down to write in

Average vocabulary

Makes poetry more accessible

For those who always misunderstood

Subject, reader-compassion, and dare I say

Love of others

Is important too


But back to you, Lumja

Although you threatened

To no longer expand

As any good universe is expected to do

You will return

For your name contains

Many synonyms

Many disguises

“I know the truth” and understand

I do

When Marina Tsvetaeva wrote those words

Mother Russia punished her

Failing words

The poet answered with a strong noose

Around the neck

Self-silencing, forever more

But I will say it about you


“I know the truth”

And it is all right…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IIMAGE: Nicholas Isabella, Jersey Shore, Milky Way Rising Above Clouds




I treated the Universe

As Cassandra was dealt with


Preceding eye-rolling

Although it has a track record

Of being right—the Universe—

All the time

I still chose to ignore warnings


How many times

Did It conspire

To break apart

A damned, doomed relationship?

But no


I speak and understand the language

Of the Universe

I pretended that the words

“Run! “   or

“Stay put!”

Were gibberish

And I mentally ridiculed

The insistent Voice


Now I’m older and

Truly want advice

But the Universe has flung

Its starry hands

Out into the void

In frustration

I’m sure I hear it whispering

“You are too old to waste time on now”


Mom was going to name me Cassandra

But someone told her it was bad luck

Can’t see that Clarissa is any better

Did you ever read the epistolary tome

By Richardson

Titled “Clarissa”?

The book goes on and on

Until you wish Clarissa would just

Disappear or stop writing letters

The book doesn’t end well


Should have been more sympathetic to

The Universe

I can relate

Despite my name not being Cassandra

No one listens to me either

And some of my useful knowledge

Will be forever lost


But I’ll use the Universe

As a role model

Does the Universe complain

When no one cares?

Does the Universe eat chocolate

When others ignore It?

The Universe goes on and on

Despite the warnings of

Physicists, Astronomers, Mathematicians

Religious leaders and maybe even Astrologers


Survival, I’ve learned,

In spite of not making use of the insight

Starts with a thick skin

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: CASSANDRA, Flower Garden of Kromeríz, Czech Republic