Poetry Blog by Robert C Gaulke

Flatiron District

Flatiron District

 

sober 

we run against ourselves 

 

against our natures 

we face the velocities of others

 

in our interrupting 

in our getting it wrong 

 

we learn too late about

the easy way to go

 

sober we run out

screaming of our homes

 

into the city where girls

once jumped out of flaming windows

 

one hundred years ago

or las...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (1)

I Take Things Too Far

 

Create

Creature

Creationism

 

Object 

Objective

Objectify

 

Real

Relax

Re-laxative

 

Subject

Subjective

Subjugate

 

Take

Taken

Taken out

Read and leave comments (1)

Acknowledgements

acknowledgments

the audience would like to thank the performer
for doing all the heavy-lifting in her corner

we offer these tokens as an acknowledgement
of the price the performer’s manic obsessions have cost her

As we return to our warm lives and cold children
the audience hopes these said tokens

will allow the performer to travel
deeper into her subjectivities

enabling the aud...

Read and leave comments (1)

taurocacophagy

 

I swallow your bullshit

because I love you

 

all your pathetic attempts

at money or art

 

all your petty recriminations

I second with enthusiasm

 

I’ve even skewered a few

of my friends for you

 

I dip your lies in chocolate

when we’re together

 

pressing into each other

with our own form of vigilantism 

 

we take all that badness

use i...

Read and leave comments (2)

🌷 (2)

The Exile

 

All at once the mask falls off

He's shaking everyone in the room

 

You can't be serious 

Your ideas are ridiculous

 

You have no idea 

What you do

 

Taking the wrong bus 

Getting off at the wrong stop

 

The technology 

Doesn't work

 

Then she comes home

And the meal is cooked

 

A sense of calm

Returns

 

They continue 

The dialo...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (3)

The Quality of Our Solitude

 

after you scrape the ads

swipe off the phone

dial down the sugar,

fat, and tobacco 

 

stop worrying about bills

department manager

to-do list and

tiny revenge scenarios

 

how's it going in there

how's the quality of your solitude

 

forgetting the music

voice to exercise

pornographic Gifs

translations unrealized

 

what frequencies do you he...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (2)

In difference

 

I could love you 

for what I’m not 

I don’t pretend to know 

what that is 

 

but I’ve rubbed my face

in its consequences 

and I’m crazy 

for its smell 

 

I’ve traced the 

cake trail back 

to a very

arrogant kid 

 

encouragement

lost at a point 

where extra hands

could have tied up threads

 

It’s gotten a bit late

the ingenues have...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Dividing The Bed

 

I think we should remain

One nation apart

If we get any closer

Our images dissolve

 

We can't remain behind 

Photos, poses, and stances 

That explode upon meanings

Revealed in romance 

 

You can have Germany

I'll take Russia

We can meet in Italy

Make lunch in Yugoslavia 

 

We shouldn't always remain 

One nation apart

Translation gets heavy

...

Read and leave comments (2)

🌷 (1)

Heart of the Empire

Heart of the Empire

 

Under concrete and glass

Trucks whizzing past

In a booth at the bar

She sits at the heart of the empire

 

Picking at her salad

Reading Perec 

Keeping phones vibrating 

She can't take your call

 

Tracing plans against the window

Forecast is for chaos, clearing later

Tv ads for the medication

Used by the dudes at the bar 

 

Whe...

Read and leave comments (0)

Problems Curated

 

everything's been curated

everyone demands

 

that you enter the space 

on their terms 

 

I'm open to negotiation

before the dialogue begins

 

but don't feel I can be 

a character in your film

 

the salary is problematic

and there's 

 

a lot of work to do 

on the script

 

I'm problematic

I can admit to that

 

maybe we can

do som...

Read and leave comments (0)

Insomnia

Insomnia

 

scratched on the walls 

of this insomnia

 

are faithful transcriptions

of every failed romantic conversation I’ve had

 

its cumulative effects 

are breath-taking 

 

the stalactites attract 

emotional tourists from the world over

 

there will be always be 

another tragic accident

 

bookish type wonders

too close to the edge 

 

s...

Read and leave comments (0)

Content

Content

in this city you're always meeting

people working in content 

 

serving deeply stupid morbidly 

obese racist viewers programs

 

these people are charming

go to their parties 

 

meeting their vacations, 

wives, children 

 

eating while talking

about side projects

 

and what they want 

to be doing, ideally

 

how their ideas are making

...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (2)

Teeth

Teeth

Teeth like cities 

Teeth with buildings

Buildings with an apartment

You'll be renting

 

Teeth flossed

Brushed and sharpened 

Into my neck

Like a graveyard

 

Teeth with tongues

Slithering over them

Teeth with seductive words

Breathing through them

 

Vampires disguised as

Doctors and dentists

If we only knew

How we’d be examined 

Read and leave comments (0)

Your Hair

entry picture

 

Your Hair

is it long in front like a seventies teenager

tied in a bun like a crabby teacher's

done in waves gold in the sun

spread in the sand on the lap of someone                                            

between your fingers twirled mindlessly

brushed in anger when you think of me

cut short talking to your mother

sticking straight up, a barometer of pleasure

 

...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Between

between

automatic tellers 

opioid addiction

 

sushi proliferation 

species annihilation 

 

data-driven instruction 

driverless delivery

 

social media

invasions of privacy

 

organic hypermarkets

global starvation 

 

latest science

current president

 

I create 

space for myself

 

few microns 

round my head 

 

enough for 

...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (2)

The Other Guy

The other guy

I always thought I was the other guy
It took some weight off when I tightened the tie

vanity never knows limits
the technology gave up in a pool of spit and sweat

he looks like me 

but with hairier lips

if I had a jeep instead of a bicycle
I too’d want a thing like that to go with it

never understood your cat now I know why 

he was being fed lot of crap 

un...

Read and leave comments (0)

Let's Pass Over It Again

 

memories  

crumpled on the floor

 

animate 

she paces with the mug

 

dog logic 

watching over 

 

problems

of another decade 

 

smokestack 

trumpet valves signal 

 

triangulate

with moods to produce

 

many beautiful songs

Read and leave comments (0)

States matter

States matter

 

Reach out and I'll be there

Texting on my phone 

Head full of ambitions

Fears I barely share

 

We pass through one another

Always in phases

Although we look solid

We're dense with gas

 

If I could bond with you

Even for a short time 

Something greater 

Could happen

 

Something we can't 

Fully appreciate 

In our current 

In...

Read and leave comments (0)

Drunk in the Museum

Drunk in the museum

 

the floor moves us

hors d'oeuvres; snails

18th century chandeliers 

hang from nails

 

all this jewelry on 

mummified bodies

a spirit drinks us in

where appetites fail

 

at a social function 

strutting like a lemon chicken 

lost in reverberations

drunk in the museum

 

history means nothing

without a kiss

missing hints ab...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Shots

Shots

 

shots break the calm 

pierce your thoughts

what you think about 

don’t matter what 

 

you could pretend 

nothing’s connected

then again 

you could be dead

 

hear the kids

think about children 

what happens next

no one says 

 

listening to students 

rapping through phones 

safe in your classroom 

lockdowns as jokes

 

shots ar...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

When the logic breaks

When the logic breaks

put your logic away
it’ll break 
use their logic instead 
they feel comfortable like that

can’t get anything to work
head is starting to hurt
go back to what you meant
everything is burnt

put your logic away 
become fluent in theirs 
to the point where you can translate
exactly what they said

lot of extra work 
many migraines 
few minutes to yourself on...

Read and leave comments (0)

Buried Things

Buried Things

We forgot the plan
But still followed it

We didn’t recognize 
That particular stress

To a man we thought about
The opposite 

And how what we were told to do
Rarely made sense

Before we could give up
Before we could let go

It came back to us
Light through a broken window

And we found
The strength to continue

Read and leave comments (0)

Selective Compassion

 

Without selective compassion

We’d go mad in the streets

Outside of bubbles

Things get deadly

 

Well-designed products

Reassuring labelling

Consumed without drama

H&M, IKEA, Aldi’s

 

But the Guardian’s front page

The NPR story

The man on the corner

Doubts go on hiding

 

I see you tomorrow

I hold you closely

While that figure in the window

G...

Read and leave comments (0)

Blue Sun

Blue Sun

We come in like the rain
Splashing over stones
On our holiday
Dreaming far from home

Wanting to taste something
We can’t have everyday
Wanting to feel something
To carry us away

Itinerant explorers
Homeless shoppers
Cheeses with holes
Heads full of images

Tiny dreams 
Flutter then escape
Under a blue sun
Between drops of rain

You remind me of so many people
Loo...

Read and leave comments (1)

Break

 

English teachers on vacation
imagine the furthest point from the classroom 

dream of inspiring indifferent students 
with exploits they won’t give many fucks about

ordering coffee with indistinct accents pretending they’re not American

yet insisting on knowing 
exactly where the cheese is from 

tipping generously 
to offset the perception 

that they’ve had too big a hand 
...

Read and leave comments (0)

All the news

 

Crowds of student protesters 
Were met with trucks of flowers

The president declared
A national sandwich discount

Your doctor recommends 
Several weekends a day

Side effects include
An exhibit at the Tate Gallery

The rebels announced
Their allegiance to open space

The stock market soared
When all shares were given away

The weatherman cried 
At the sight of spring

Y...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (1)

Inappropriate

Inappropriate

you're very inappropriate
in these situations

causing me so much embarrassment 
think about the children

do you want them thinking
the world is a ridiculous place

overrun by pink monkeys 
destroying everything

do you want them feeling 
there's some escape

from a state curriculum 
we're completely dependent on

mr. gaulke, please
act like a professional

Read and leave comments (0)

Thrive

Thrive 

 

what just happened to us

what did we come through

how deep did it cut us

do we still need hospitals

 

clean sheets 

and caring eyes

machines and tubes

to keep us alive

 

out here it’s different

why, I’m not exactly sure

so much is there to hurt us

most of it is beautiful

 

to get ours 

to take mine

to drag it home

for it to thri...

Read and leave comments (0)

come go nowhere with me

 

you caught what you saw in me
gave it space to mate and eat 

now it’s running around 
with its own sense of entitlement 

maybe we can 
never be free of it

It’s going nowhere baby
taking us along

come go nowhere baby
something will happen

I buy everything I don’t need
surround myself with things

time spirals in carpets
surrounding us in cinder blocks

but I’m going n...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (2)

The Codes

The Codes

While that bacon egg and cheese
Works on your stomach
And the empty savings account
Haunts your future

You start your day in earnest
By reciting the launch codes
Telling off your boss colleagues
And customers to their faces

Hopefully that day will never come
But it’s part of the vital defense
Of our nation to keep those words
At the ready on your tongue

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (1)

Thursdays

Thursdays

 

Bring the drugs

I’ll get the beer

Come over

I’ll be here 

 

I want to feel up my solitude with you 

 

We can go out

We can eat something

Talk about people 

Who don’t mean anything

 

I want to feel up my solitude with you 

 

There’s nothing tricky about it 

You don’t have to move around 

Be in the know or even 

Have something to t...

Read and leave comments (0)

Loss Department

Loss Department

She lost her passion
And the world’s upset

Her passion 
She can’t buy it back 

Imagine living like
A ghost on a set

The magic happens
All somewhere else

We remind her there’s 
Work to be done

Her anger burns
Holes in a wall 

There’s a danger
She might hurt someone

I work her double shift
At the sex museum

Read and leave comments (0)

Capitalism

Capitalism

Shut up

We're making money

Shit 

Everyone's dead

Read and leave comments (0)

I just came back from

I just met myself
I wish I could say 

It was pleasant;
It wasn’t

I could admit
Some respect 

For his work, his persistence
But I wouldn’t call him brilliant

And I didn’t like
Being judged

By someone so
Intimate

I couldn’t help think
How fucking pretentious

We went for a beer
Then I ran into him at another function

We exchanged pleasantries
Kept our distance

It goes without saying
...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (2)

Tribulations

Tribulations

 

baby I need you so much

I’d do anything for you

I think of you night and day

spending all my love on you

 

because I can’t think of anything else

with lines from a pop song

we don’t talk about the world

just our own emotions

 

so let’s burn down banks with love

kill administrations with our touch

takeover workspaces with thoughts

torture ...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Over my shoulder

 

They took hammers 

To clock towers

Stuffed wet towels 

Under doors

 

Kept TVs on 

24 hours

And all car 

Doors locked 

 

Used a lot 

of exclamation marks

Felt a strong feeling 

of purpose

 

Tracing the outlines 

of the struggle

In this they wouldn’t 

feel useless 

 

Against the future 

Against the future 

United

In disbelief 

...

Read and leave comments (0)

Your Hair

link to song

 

 

Your Hair

 

is it long in front like a seventies teenager

tied in a bun like a crabby teacher's

done in waves gold in the sun

spread in the sand on the lap of someone                                            

between your fingers twirled mindlessly

brushed in anger when you think of me

cut short talking to your mother

sticking straight up, a b...

Read and leave comments (0)

Cautionary Heads

 

when we lost our sight

we knew we’d be alright

 

when they cut off our arms

we were not without our charms

 

when they lined us up 

knew they had had enough

 

blood from our wounds

would make the sea bloom

 

how hard it is 

not to be human

 

how seductive the money 

and memory kicks

 

to erase the laughter

and what comes after

 

t...

Read and leave comments (0)

That weird year

 

as we tried to put it behind us

It reached out to remind us

 

our grip on reality was tenuously held

just then its tentacles appeared

 

we washed it out with bourbon 

bleached stains of its semen 

 

framed it in our memory behind thick glass 

as it disappeared we couldn’t look back

 

that weird year what was it about

we can almost start breathing out

...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Role Again

Role again

 

Hey you you gotta survive

Like a piece of gum

On a steamroller

Coming for our lives

 

Here comes your 

Role again 

As the world’s 

Nicest policeman

 

Here comes your

Role again

Did you get my order

Hold up those onions

 

Shot by both sides

Somehow crawling 

Through the insides

Of your own thing

 

Imitation is flattery

...

Read and leave comments (0)

Summer of Thinking Too Much

entry picture

goo.gl/RfakKV

 

Summer of Thinking Too Much

 

Summer didn't end                            

It just kept on melting 

We swam in pools of sweat

Licked off sugar coatings

 

We eventually went in

There was air conditioning

But didn't dry ourselves

We were just too thirsty                           

 

In the summer of thinking too much    

I just wanted to ...

Read and leave comments (0)

Pretty Man

 

women warned

cats scorned

 

knew when you 

were born

 

what they were 

in for

 

distractions felt

below the belt 

 

In the battle of sexes

you're a nightingale 

 

problems you’ll never know

outcomes taken on

 

punches felt

wrapped in a tablecloth

 

feelings can’t be reasoned on

when people stare back

 

whispering when 

...

Read and leave comments (0)

Institutional Memory

 

I run up against edges
of your tight reality

 

fluorescent lights
wall-to-wall carpet and concrete

 

I hold it, bend it
rewrite it try to forget it

 

I don't trust my
memories of it

 

yet here I am again
In front of it

 

I start talking back

to the elevator

Read and leave comments (0)

Thoughts in the uber

 

If I left the pan on the burner
People will stay at the emergency shelter

I’d call Ralph Nader
To testify about the burner’s lack of
Safety features

I might get off with SSD
Quit my job with the DOE
Start over as a guitar pick collector

If I left the pan on the burner
I’d have to accept my nature

How I’ve lived without learning
Earned nothing while burning

A hole through...

Read and leave comments (0)

Negotiating Curves

 

some of us are confident

start to accelerate

 

others slow down 

cautiously pumping brakes

 

one or two stop 

pull over for some head 

 

all feel anxiety 

mixed with excitement 

 

negotiating curves

everything works 

 

why does mature 

mean mean and serious

 

each of us take it 

some with a touch of grace

 

it comes with your name

...

Read and leave comments (0)

Childhood in the Woods

 

golden hours stretched 

over cottontails 

 

senses engaged 

without words to say 

 

feelings make marks

in dirt with rubber boots

 

play never leaves us 

we leave this place

 

you decide at once 

you’re an adult

 

you forget these 

pleasures and pains

 

sadness and longings

of childhood 

 

replaced with distaste

for children of...

Read and leave comments (0)

Am Wasser gebaut

 

 

It’s colder by the water

Everything we are

Implores us to move closer

Despite fears and loss

 

I try collecting moisture

Had half a jar

Spilt on your carpet

I wake up thirsty now

 

I’m sixty-five percent water 

Thirty-percent tears

Twenty-percent piss

The rest, blood and beer

 

Built close to the water

I have no fears

Of drowning in drea...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Emanuelle Can’t

 

to escape this loneliness 

there’s only one means 

 

through the origin of the world 

said to be obscene 

 

still figuring it out 

shooting the dark 

 

every beat of the drum 

strum of the heart

 

Emmanuelle can’t 

How could I 

 

reconcile passion and reason

with your lifestyle 

 

Emmanuelle can’t

neither can I 

 

say goodbye 

...

Read and leave comments (2)

Pink Money

 

I'm an artist

You're an 

Industrialist 

 

We're the same

You with your money

Me with my paint

 

We make things happen

You with your factories

Me with my openings

 

I like the dinners 

At your house

My kids like to eat

 

I'll give you validation 

You could

Buy something 

 

I'll put you 

In my work

You could imagine you're me

...

Read and leave comments (1)

Rare

 

I like it rare
not too done
precious
uncommonly put on

 

would you dare
leave things out
make something
by your own hands, untouched

 

contradictions
are the only things
that interest
us

 

in situations designed

to drive us mad
I'd play the eccentric
that's what you'd want

 

you'd play the skeptic
holding
your heart
too close to my chest

 

Read and leave comments (1)

Show more entries …

Archive


Recent Comments

racha chafik on Flatiron District (7 hours ago)

Don Matthews on I Take Things Too Far (1 day ago)

Martin Elder on Acknowledgements (1 day ago)

Pat Hughes on taurocacophagy (2 days ago)

racha chafik on taurocacophagy (2 days ago)

racha chafik on The Exile (3 days ago)

Hannah Collins on The Quality of Our Solitude (4 days ago)

Robert C Gaulke on Dividing The Bed (5 days ago)

Martin Elder on Dividing The Bed (6 days ago)

keith jeffries on Content (10 days ago)

Brian Maryon on Blue Sun (Tue, 3 Apr 2018 06:50 pm)

Hazel ettridge on All the news (Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:14 am)

Anya on come go nowhere with me (Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:29 am)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on The Codes (Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:41 am)

Douglas MacGowan on Emanuelle Can’t (Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:31 pm)

Feeds

RSS feed icon

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message