Poetry Blog by Robert C Gaulke

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

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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...

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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...

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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 
...

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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...

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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

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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...

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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...

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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

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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...

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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

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Capitalism

Capitalism

Shut up

We're making money

Shit 

Everyone's dead

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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
...

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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 ...

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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 

...

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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...

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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...

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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

...

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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

...

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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 ...

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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 

...

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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

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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...

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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

...

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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...

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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...

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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 

...

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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

...

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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

 

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Meeting People Upside Down

 

I pull her shoe off 

into the dessert

she compliments me

on my tape playing

 

starting the evening 

with an altercation 

that leads to a lovely

working day 

 

sky turns burnt orange 

at midnight 

people emerge from

their somnambulant ways

 

violence always excites us

we return to bed

for tomorrow 

to be replayed 

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New

We woke everything was new

We tried to hold on to the feeling 

We thought of everything to do

The world pregnant with possibility  

Nothing would ever be the same

As much as we tried to imagine 

The moment was here we changed

The difference measured in seconds 

We found ourselves full of gratitude 

We felt a shift in attitude 

Energy was flowing with abundance 

The...

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Archive


Recent Comments

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)

Patricio LG on Emanuelle Can’t (Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:40 pm)

Douglas MacGowan on Pink Money (Tue, 9 Jan 2018 01:37 am)

Douglas MacGowan on Rare (Sun, 7 Jan 2018 11:47 pm)

Sidra Shahid on I was the wife (Sun, 24 Dec 2017 12:02 pm)

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