Poetry Blog by Robert C Gaulke

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Robert Johnson

start more stories 

than I can finish


love more women 

than I can sleep with


intentions misplaced 

plans mislaid

savings decimated 

faiths betrayed


I burn decades 

like paper


cutting out lives 

for later


I don’t claim to understand

what I’ve done it doesn’t matter


I guess I never thought 

I could hold onto something so elus...

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The science

he studied collected 



researched experimented 

found proof


observed hunted captured



was confronted attacked 



bound captured

let loose 


and everything he learned 

flowed from him into her

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All having had the same idea

As we plunged deeper into these subjectivities monks sworn 
to orders

we emerged into a reality characterized by 
the sweet familiar 

guided by an inner voice zealously held 
in confidence

feeling empowered by the sense 
of our own significance  

arriving too late for the introduction
too late for the fanfare

we comforted ourselves with sounds of their climaxes
from the bottom...

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We’re not that different you and I

We don’t stand still we constantly try


To reach to grow to evolve

We never say no it never stops


Want to be global we want to intimate

Want your attention want you to sing it


If we don’t get our ways we fantasize

Destruction that’s what makes us


Different it doesn’t


A lust for life competing against


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Our great achievement 

As a species
Doesn’t seem to help

In most circumstances
Making us clumsy 

Insecure and lowering 
Our esteem to the point 

Where we’re forced 
To become artistic

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Before the world came in

we were immaculate so clean 

before the world came in 


directing our own dreams 

wrapped up in skin 


could hear the moment’s beat 

feel everything begin


now we’re on our knees  

begging forgiveness


I was a tailor 

you were a cop


she was a sailor 

we never got caught  


now we’re in jail 

for god knows how long 


scraping pl...

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when I was a child 

I was high strung 


as a teen I 

thought too much 


maybe later a 

sensitive soul 


now that we’re alone

what do we got


rooms to play in 

places to imagine 


shades of mystery 

light and dark 


this interior life 

keeps us alive 


when everything outside

ain't looking up 



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Quiet Contemplation


I’m in love with you 

only from certain angles


If we are to 

be together


we’ll have to rearrange 

the furniture


and spend a fortune 

on lights

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The family you don't have

one day you started to care 

for the family you don’t have 

it hit you all at once 

you saw them everywhere


saw her face in his face

saw yours in theirs 

started to read her expressions

couldn’t stop connecting 


and in your solitude 

something started to bend 

started to crack 

where the light came in 


and the family you don’t have

saw themselv...

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things called you

opinions are changing

demands remaining

inside it’s raining

clouds in your eyes


little voice says

I’ve got a better idea

body snaps to attention

with a buzz in the mind


these things called you

are all around me

they’ve gotten inside me

there’s one thing to do


I can make you happy

I make it snappy

there’s more energy

held in reserve



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You make a poor scientist
Conducting experiments 

On your own nature
You almost get yourself killed

Then as a politician
Trading in deception

She can’t live with yourself 
While you mostly can 

Graced with a third act
Without friends to hold you back

You meet on the edge of who you are 
Without looking down or back

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Our dog years

It just occurred to me
Nobody told me this

I think you should know
I’m secretly fantastic

Wanted to keep it hidden
But couldn’t resist

The world has caught up to me
Living like I do

Eating the wrong things
Finding solidarity in solitude

Only somewhat 
Believing in itself

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You're so expensive

I check my bank account

The robots are spending

Over my amount

I buy generic brands

When I see you

I blow it all over again

The weather inside is delightful

The paintings are in bloom

The sofa becomes a jungle

When you enter the room

I’m left dealing with

these same feelings

In contexts

that don’t make sense

Years later memories return

imprinted on our ...

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I lose everything

The sock wandered off
Before it was hung

Chocolate disappears
Without a sound

The money uses a
More delicate touch

You ghost me
Without a second thought

I lose everything
It must be a lesson

That somehow
I’m not learning

I wait
With an empty bowl

For an eternity

The honest man
Strung up last night

Our last chance
Taking flight

Merge with ...

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Your Gong

And we’ll never do 
Anything together

Why does that 
Turn me on

To know we
Can be so close

And be 
As good as gone 

We’ll live these possibilities forever
Without taking the plunge 
In this way I can always say
Nothing ever went wrong

You’re perfect 
Bunch of tricks
Poses attitudes
Good lighting 

You’re studied
Knowing what 
Makes me tick 

Evoking some 
Deep print...

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The 26

Most every morning
On the 26 bus 

She tells us 
About Jesus 

And the way 
She knows him

Sounds so much
Like the love she never had

The husband 
That's dead

The sweetness of a childhood
In Manley’s Jamaica

And it allows me
To stop fixating 

On Satan
For a few moments

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isolated tracks


listening to alain souchon 

while taking out the garbage 

seeing mom in my face 

thinking of this loneliness


apps and what you’re doing

and I’m not calling 

imaging another night 

a different body 


some promise 

of escape 

in the tightness 

of someone else  


there’s pizza left 

friends missing 

and that promise about 

yoga and starti...

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lost through a hole in our pockets

not sure where we went

just when we’d started to feel 

we were everyone else


we go back to the drink 

to records and cassettes 

to all the things that make us 

feel sheveled and kempt 


pressing ourselves into times 

needing proof to feel alive

I touch you now

I need just to check 

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Lunch with Tomorrow

Her eyes left her phone
Only to scrutinize apologies

I said they were jokes
She said oh please

I asked her about her books
They’re not for you I’m told

I understood and the more
She turned away the more

I confessed my secret fantasies
She put them on tic-toc

Maybe you could be an Ed meme
She said

I said she could do
Anything she liked

Running my cards
Through a swiper


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