the sense olfactory

of synthetic blueberry

soap suds of mauve and

shadow on pillows

raven’s wing

an Elvis thing

old sailor’s ink and

pale skin,

don’t give in

to grey



Photo: Dean Truderung on Unsplash






she’s got an itchy… cee

wants to steal

your pitches




and pee

oh, she notices

your faults and smirks

she lurks

in corners

where you thought

you’d be unseen

picking your nose

or worse

and worst

dirty secrets

she’ll unearth

for everyone

to see

but then

she laughs

holds out a hand

come dance

on podiums

such glee!


rebel sister

burn life down

with me


Pic: Aeon Flux (snatched from https://formerpeople.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/reflections-on-the-avant-garde-in-pop-culture-aeon-fluxs-tides-and-duchamps-fountain/)


it was pink and curved

it was black thick-pile velvet

it had the tacky floor of a Camden boozer

and it smelled like clothes

in the morning


the smoking ban

small enough

to hold in one hand

forearms rest on thighs

an imperfect fleshy sphere

a soggy cosmetic sponge

pink-brown, is that my skintone?

outdated,  like a cord-phone

a soaked-in scent of hangovers

fumes of long ago

mine, tongue-smooth, alone…

lazy, comfortable, like home


Soundcloud recording: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/heartplace

Image: https://unsplash.com/@agebarros


The way the clouds hang

light in a heavy sky

ragged fragments of white

at midday, bluegrey thunderhead

harsh mountains behind

stippled in snow and ice, 


chimney smoke that will never be mine

I fit myself into a crevasse

thinking I’d weather a few more years

unexpected avalanche

tore at the façade

shattered fragments in mud, 

sharp so you cut yourself, 


and I

will never forget the trails I ran alone

although fearful

it’s already a dream

of something left behind

Writing goals 2018 and a question, dear readers…


Welcome to 2018! I’ve found it was useful to talk about writing goals at various points in the past so this is my housekeeping/ looking forward/ looking back blog for the year. Partly for my own reference but I’ve also got a question for you guys!

Housekeeping: I was really pleased to finish #26Cantons52weeks in the allotted time. I made a snazzy (sort of) homepage for it here: https://clairevetica.wordpress.com/26cantons52weeks/

I’ve also updated my About me page and added a new pic.

Taking stock: according to my submissions document, in 2017 I had 32 rejections and 4 acceptances. They say you should aim for 100 rejections per year so I only got a third of the way there. Partly this is because I only have about 6 hours ‘writing time’ per week but mostly because I really slowed down on sending submissions for various reasons, including making a decision not to pay for any submissions/reading fees/competition entries. Three acceptances were short stories, one is a poem that’s still in the pipeline. I love my poems but I guess in general the lit journals don’t? Or maybe I’m too impatient and I just publish all the best ones here 😉

My writing plans for 2017 were as follows

  • have a reasonable first draft of the novel by mid-year to give to early readers to feed back on – Not even close, I’ve barely touched my novel, although I did have a brainwave for a new start the other day, watch this space
  • (self-?) publish a chapbook of poetry and/or publish or contribute to a book of short stories –  The more I think about this, I don’t think I’m ready yet. I need to keep writing poems and consider themes etc.  before I go there.
  • record more poems – let’s say 6. At least one every two months – I achieved this and more, yay! Check out my soundcloud
  • perform some poetry live to an audience at least once (eek!) – haven’t made much headway here 
  • make a bit of money off my creative writing (ie: non-journalism) – not so far, still hopeful! 
  • get at least five pieces published in places that are not Claire-controlled: journals etc. – I made this target, if I include my upcoming poem and this writeCon writeup I had in The Woolf 
  • And I finished the #26Cantons25Weeks project. Woo hoo! As I say in the Woolf story, it was a valuable lesson to learn from Diccon Bewes about the amount of work it would take to potentially spin a project such as this into a book. Food for thought…

Writing goals 2018

I’m at a point where I really need a paid job. Both for myself and due to family circumstances. So I’ll be focusing on that for the next couple of months, which will mean less blogging. At this stage, I’ve had to be a bit tough with myself and decide I won’t even think about novel writing, short stories or poems too much while I focus on the job-hunt. It’s make or break time.

I’m sure a few poems will pop out, and maybe some travel stuff, but I need to give myself permission not to feel bad about putting my creativity on hold (sob!) to focus on finding work. And unfortunately, due to some travel in April, I won’t be able to participate in GloPoWriMo global poetry month this year either. 😦

Otherwise from that, I guess my goals remain much as above… I will revisit it all in May.


A few other bits and pieces:

  • I have created a Facebook author page if you want to ‘like’ me on there. It is mostly just publicising my blog posts at this stage but hoping to share a few articles and maybe have more writer-type discussions there. https://www.facebook.com/clairedoblewriter/
  • I’ve started using Twitter a bit more and I’m @Carabosse there




I made this poll a while back and never published it. I was going to ask you, my readers, what you would you like to see in the next, say, six to twelve months, from Clairevetica?

Since this is mostly a place for me to write whatever, I don’t promise I’ll actually follow your advice. But it would be nice to know what some of you think!

Please feel free to pm/ speak / email me with your thoughts as well



Thanks for reading!


Cheers, Claire


I clip the coupons

shop the bargains

steel myself

for the feel

of cheap shoes

that sweat up my feet

cheat and lie

that it’s working

I’m saving

the planet?

ha ha

steal some time

from myself

spend some time

on myself





new year, new you?

what about

me, me me!

never keep

the receipts


Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/sale

The Caged Lake

trapped behind bars

and rooms with candelabras

watched over by stone lions

hemmed by iron pylons

you laugh a liquid chuckle

claim your sovereignty

in droplets

human greed encroaches

puts you in a bottle

still you slide away

you are me, you say

I’ll destroy your structures

by the molecule

as you build them

I erode

froth, ozone, fog and puddle

cage me if you wish

I’m the undertow

the overthrow

and more

in every pore

you know

the score


I wanted to use this line ‘the undertow and the overthrow’ since reading it in a poem by Aurora Phoenix, it seemed to fit here on a poem musing about Lake Geneva, how it’s so big and yet people seek to own it and/or make private property of it. How can we own nature? Water is part of us. And yet clean water is a privilege and a commodity. Not sure I entirely captured it (!) but need a few poems to break up the ‘cantons’ … 

 Photo: the fence of a chateau on Lake Geneva (snapped by me!)



my eyeball is scratched or

there’s a filament of lint on it

and I lie here and wonder if

I’ll go blind

a bit melodramatic

more like think if

I’ll still feel it in the morning, if not

will I remember

the ghost of lint past?

contact lenses

I look better but I don’t see better

And my big toe hurts

at the side where

the nail’s cut too short

maybe it’s infected

or my sheet is tucked too tight

maybe it’s cancer

we don’t talk anymore

in bed because

you’re not here


there’s a sort of pride in holding all one’s own problems

inside one’s own head but

oh well

good night.


Photo: https://unsplash.com/@alia_wilhelm



Pack up your bushel in your old kit bag: Spoken word


I think the problems

are the bad things ?

I think the strengths weak

oh, cut the strings


Talk, talk, talk, talk

feels like a beginning

but it’s banter, chatter, nothing-muchof

saying ‘I am’ is not winning


It’s all fused like

a mangled globe of light

don’t hide it under a bushel, love!

but what if/ the bad things/ the bad thoughts/ the bad strengths/ the bad weaks/ the bad weeks/ the bad strings

are right?



Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/recording-125

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@pieschwarzler