Claudia Gary

Song of the Earworm

Though the jukebox effuses
its glow through glass beads,
this man never chooses
the music he needs.

Believing delight
resides in a dream,
he peers through the night
till memories gleam.

If I am the song
that sticks in his head
and strings him along
on silvery thread,

please pour him some water.
Block out the moon.
Hand him a quarter
to pick a new tune.
Humpty Dumpty Redux

I know, although I’ve tried
to balance extra well:
a whole yolk

cannot be both inside
and outside of the shell
that just broke.

Its peril
is there along the edge.
Division neither clean

nor sterile,
it slips over the ledge
and makes a messy scene.

Claudia Gary lives near Washington DC and teaches workshops on Villanelle, Sonnet, Natural Meter, Poetry vs. Trauma, etc., at The Writer’s Center (, currently via Zoom. Her poems are internationally published and anthologized; she has been a semifinalist for the Anthony Hecht Prize (Waywiser) and received Honorable Mention in the 2021 Able Muse book contest.  She has chaired panels at the West Chester University (Pa.) and the Robert Frost Farm poetry conferences. Author of Humor Me (2006) and several chapbooks, most recently Genetic Revisionism (2019), she is also a health science writer, visual artist, and composer of tonal chamber music and art songs. For more information, see and follow her on Twitter at @claudiagary.