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Aug 2018 · 233
jerard gartlin Aug 2018
i dream about you
when i'm standing up
waiting in line at the grocery store
your freckles are there
dancing circles around my pupils
your laugh echoing
down the ethnic food aisle
& when i get to the checkout
i've subconsciously slipped
a small bag of your favorite candy
into my basket

& it's like the other day
when a ladybug landed
on my enormous ugly nose
& the projector in my head
coughed up your windowsill
covered in those tiny spotted
good luck charms
& my drive that morning
was dedicated to other memories of ours...
barreling down the highway
with your singing voice
spilling from the speakers
& driving blind
with your smile stretched
across the windshield,
billboards blasting past
plastered with ads
about your ankles
as i travel through the tunnels
you are flowing through my veins

& work is worse
oh look
this customer's pinky toe
is about the same size as yours
oh & her name!
it starts with the same letter as yours!
wow what are the odds
you've got ahold of my whole heart
each of the four chambers
is labeled with the letters
of your last name

i'm ******* losing it.
Nov 2017 · 280
a secret
jerard gartlin Nov 2017
i am nothing
in the morning
a yawning representation
of a person pretending to be
facing out a window
sipping on a bitter cup
gripping onto the unraveling sanity
that is last night's dreams
you were there
some smiling
short blur of long hair & happiness
you flowed past me like water
& i was damp with sweat
when i awoke
without you
we are nothing
you keep telling me
we'll never be anything because we can't be
you keep saying
with so much emphasis
on the can't
your jaw clicks like
when you're having those nightmares
i wonder if i'm in them
while you thrash
beside me
i wonder who else
you're trying not to love
right now
Nov 2017 · 220
jerard gartlin Nov 2017
i just don't understand
how such a tiny
dainty thing
could take up SO MUCH space
inside  my  mind  &  even  come
flooding clumsily into my ugly heart...
your ringed
                    fingers forming bridges
across the tread marks
left behind
by earlier attempts to find you
((by other women i mistook for you)),
tiny smoldering campsites
& a persistent rhythm
marking the remnants of relationships
that your eyes help me forget...
when i stretch out on your retinas
the others don't exist
when i fixate on your freckles
        there's     no       echo o o
                    in             my head.
you've filled it up entirely &
my eyelids keep the image in....
imagine what the ending is
if the beginning blows my mind like this!
we are simply freckles
                      on the face
                          of god
& you won't stick around for long
so i'll just be yours until you're gone.
Feb 2016 · 526
a play
jerard gartlin Feb 2016
two months ago
when i tried to kiss you
under the street lamp
like we were under a spotlight
on a stage
the center of the universe
you & i
you wiggled away
to the next scene so swiftly
you left me bathing
in the breath you left behind
& i swear the light followed you
as i lingered
trying to remember
if that was in the script

last month
after some awkward costume changes
another act with a background adjustment
new years eve
we're confessing to our characters
on a side stage
how long we've longed for the other
the inevitable intimacy we equally ache for
& i SAY:
(that line i always forget)
but this time you lean into me
& i don't wiggle
i don't waver
i've been waiting
& it's better than the dress rehearsals
my lips wet from yours
& the rain
anxious to unravel your costume
& bowing for an audience
we never meant to entertain
Feb 2016 · 470
jerard gartlin Feb 2016
just so you know,
i know that you're not alone
in those pictures you post
  ((a table decorated
     by two half-empty
     glasses in a bar
     in the city where we met))
as it slides past my screen
amongst other photos i don't care about.
because you never did anything alone,
not like me
the man you met,
  ((who went to movies alone
     long before he loved you,
     who spent nights scribbling
     over a tiny desk
     in a ***-soaked bedroom))
the man you changed
& then wondered aloud
what the hell happened to him...

& yeah you don't tag anyone
& yeah there's no one even in the photo
but i know
you know
he ******* probably knows
exactly what you're trying to say
  ((he paid for
     the whole thing))
with the dim lighting
& tablecloths
& glasses that aren't mason jars,
this is how you deserve to be treated,
Jul 2014 · 548
the struggle
jerard gartlin Jul 2014
i'm in love with
the air inside your lungs
& the taste buds on your tongue
& the redness of your blood
& a ton of other stuff
but your brain just isn't one.
wrote this god knows how long ago, just found it buried on my computer & thought i would add it. because i like it.
Sep 2012 · 1.8k
jerard gartlin Sep 2012
i'm sorry you find it necessary
to put other people's body parts
inside your mouth
like you're some teething mental infant,
or maybe you're trying to take the place
of the baby we're pretending never happened…
…****.  i need a moment. .. …. …

******* got you into this
so you think ******* will get you out?
it's ******* funny i have to flee the ******* country
to get free from your fingers' guilty grip
on a sad mind that can't ******* forgive himself,
on a mind muddied with so many mistakes
i get light-headed every ******* morning trying to decide
which regret to let ruin my day today,
but thank god you've always been there to remind me.
i thank that great guy in the sky
that you're always there
willing & ready
to rub it in.
maybe i just loved you too much,
i guess,
& you loved me just enough
so i'd still do favors for you
& god isn't that what Shakespeare was talking about?
we were rarely a well-written romance
but we ******* NAILED tragedy.
& i told you that first night
as we talked over
some movie i didn't care about
in some language i'll never learn,
that i ******* hated musicals….well
you must've read my subtitles
because you still sing inside my head sometimes.
Sep 2012 · 1.1k
jerard gartlin Sep 2012
now i know why twenty-seven
is the age where
people bleed out in bathtubs,
or asphyxiate in the attic
swaying from an angry beam
with a face as blue as
the gown their mother wore
when she introduced them to misery
in a hospital,
or put a bullet to their busy brain
leaving a red Rorschach reminder
of their final moments
on the hotel room wall
that will only be seen
by a 42 year old maid
amidst a guilty type of jealousy
she doesn't understand,
or standing with shaky hands in a kitchen
emptying a bottle of aspirin on the counter
& greedily swallowing the little white teeth
following by gulps of water that feel like boulders
tumbling down a throat
with nothing left to say,
or even spreading their arms wide
like jesus on the cross or like a relative
at the airport waiting for a delayed hug
& jumping from the highest bridge or building
they can find so they can feel weightless,
Jun 2012 · 897
books, authors.
jerard gartlin Jun 2012
it's funny how you pretend i was never there
so quickly...
i was a transparent terror
in the tale of your existence.
a dog-eared page stained
with paper-cut streaks of blood
& smeared ink between quotation marks.
once you made it to
the back cover you tossed it
into the fireplace like it was a bookshelf,
like it was always meant to be there.
but i hope it turned to smoke so quickly
& found a new home in your lungs
& i hope you coughed those little bursts
that i fell in love with at the beginning of every summer
when your allergies kicked in.
i want to write another book
with you.
no sequels.  this is not a trilogy.
a brand new branching plot where we
just love relentlessly & forget religiously
those other volumes us young authors
hastily rushed to print.
we know what people want to read now
& we can be best sellers.
Jun 2012 · 1.4k
jerard gartlin Jun 2012
so you've got a heartache in your belly.
& as you casually told me
" it's about the size of a thumbnail
right now "
i looked down & realized
i needed to clip mine.
your eyes dimmed like theatre lights
when i closed the curtain
on your monologue
about motherhood
to tell you we couldn't keep it.
& i probably never loved you more
than those days where we would sit
in silence,
thinking about how empty we were about to become --
you literally,
& me….desperately.
& we went to that sterile building
with the bulletproof glass windows
& the chubby old woman,
using a blue blouse as a veil to cover the layers of
stress & years underneath.
she spoke to us through an echoing intercom
in a grave attempt to keep her distance
from our fingernail problem.
we got buzzed in & we waited &
we sat close but god you were so far away
& i reached out & grabbed your hand to pull you back in
& you looked over at me --
overpassed me --
& the ghost of a smile haunted your lips for a second….
they called your name, well
not your name…not the name i call you,
but the one your dad gave you,
& they told me i couldn't go back there with you
& i said i understood but i never will.
the waiting room filled with somber souls,
& we all pretended like it was just a normal doctor's office
but it was obvious who the better actors were
as some randomly burst into tears
like confetti poppers at a birthday party.
we all knew we were at a funeral but
they turned up the volume on the TV
like the quiche that Rachel Ray was baking
would make us forget the mistakes we were burying
& i remembered the picture you showed me
that looked like an x-ray of a jelly bean & said
" that's it.
that's what it looks like. "
& you stared at my face like you were trying to
memorize my expression in that exact moment
so you could dig it up whenever you needed to hate me again,
but then you came out of that door holding your belly
& i knew you wouldn't need to dig that up
because you would have no problem hating me
Feb 2012 · 1.2k
accept, tense.
jerard gartlin Feb 2012
i need to start falling in love
less often.
stop idolizing every brave girl
who shows me the part of her skin
that rarely sees the sun &
waits patiently for my response………..
…..& i always inflate her ego
like a carnival balloon,
& in the coming weeks
i twist it into different animals.
a lion when i'm lonely,
a mouse to mimic misery,
but one day when i'm twisting up
the closed fists of some
metaphor of a memory
it pops & she's suddenly aware
of the clown.

but love is a dish best served
not at all.
skip the meal
& lose the weight of love
& the world seems so much bigger
& instantly you fit into places
you had never even tried before.
the feet that used to make those
distinct etchings in mud
like a tiny topographical map,
hauling that love around
like a bowling ball in a backpack,
those feet don't even touch the trees anymore
& the clouds envy your freedom
as they whisper pick up lines to the moon.
Jan 2012 · 768
jerard gartlin Jan 2012
it makes me so sad
that you're alive & not in love with me.
that your existence persists
despite your ocean waves of interest,
foaming on the shores
of my subconscious.
but it's not like you SAY
you don't love me.
no, those tiny words would never squirt
from your bursting lips,
pink like a ripe grapefruit
that i've forgotten the taste of.
no, you've never uttered it
but i see it when i dive
into those brown cups of coffee
you call your eyes,
there's someone else's sugar.
someone else has sweetened them,
& you just expect me to drink from the same cup??
no.  i have burnt my tongue too many times,
but the other orbs were blue,
like glasses of water,
& i could see through them,
i thought.
& i knew you were a more muddy concoction,
like the blue transparency
of other women's water
gave me false confidence,
& with you i wanted some
& *******,
you got me good….
i didn't see all the lies crouched behind the couch,
that deceit with a lampshade on its head in the corner,
the fabrications pressed flat to the wall trying to blend in,
or even
the dishonesty hidden behind the door
that all JUMPED out at me
one day when i came home from work
like some birthday party from hell.
not a very good write, but i needed to get it the **** out of me.
doesn't feel complete, but i had to get rid of it.
Jan 2012 · 1.1k
shopping trip
jerard gartlin Jan 2012
i took a corpse
to the mall
(it was a religious experience)
& the weird thing is
she drove.
& when i got into her
or casket
or whatever
we hugged & kissed (like relatives)
but that was it
then she went stiff
a tattooed statue at the wheel
& me
coughing up embalming fluid
amongst the cigarette smoke
i whispered out the window.
& you winced as we wiggled
between winnebagos & station wagons,
like pallbearers
                a box,
or like a mother
                 placing an infant
                                         in a crib,
hand behind its head.
& she understated the overture
so i sort of never understood
we were ending
up as enemies
all before the engine
& it was winter but i was overheating
smoky breathing &
the words i couldn't reach &
the heaviness of my chest,
the weight of waiting.
but she never said another word
as we walked through the mall
& i floated next to her
like a ghost
or a balloon she was holding
& she grasped
at something new to try on
& let go of me
& i floated
& floated...
Dec 2011 · 1.3k
jerard gartlin Dec 2011
i still think about you
every ******* day.
feet flat on the tile floor
eyes locked with myself in the mirror
foamy lips and the bristles of my tooth brush
methodically scraping memories of you,
residue of our relationship,
white plaque off white teeth
like it makes a ******* difference.
i grind the back ones down
each night
in an attempt to forget you, i think.
hopefully one day i'll wake up
just gums.
but now, as i gargle
i can see the face you would make
as i rubbed the head of my ****
against the inside of your belly button
trying to get it
to come out the other side
and sometimes i would
press on your belly
to see if i was close to breaking through
and your eyes would disappear
and you would open your mouth
s  o      w  i  d  e
i could see you still had your tonsils
and i would go to kiss that
gasping mouth of yours
and you'd act like
i wasn't there
at all.
so i spit that ghost into the sink
and watch it linger there before
it has a chance to spill down
the pipes clogged with your hair
and i think..
...i'm gonna go ahead
and take down all the mirrors
in this apartment.. i blink at my reflection.
Jun 2011 · 1.3k
solar rape
jerard gartlin Jun 2011
you're so gorgeous
in the morning
the sun can't even
stay away,
spreading itself evenly
across your sleepy skin
in a way i can't even
get peanut butter to...
& i let the sun have you
every morning
& i watch you,
like a pervert wearing sunglasses,
as it kisses
i mean i knew you were into older men
but Jesus...
he's more aged & damaged
than the planet that we're dancing on,
or drowning on,
& i'm jealous of his yellow fingers
lighting up the white
hairs on your belly
like his mourning dew defeats the dandelions,
but when i scramble
for your eyes' yolks,
you're already gone!
that--i--can--catch--the--theif---- --- -- -
but he sets ablaze my plastic wings
& i come crashing
trophy cases that i place you in
because i'm so afraid to touch you
in those moments
you're awake,
so i just whisper
in your ear
when your eyes are put away...
Oct 2010 · 825
jerard gartlin Oct 2010
i've been having trouble holding sleep
since she slowly fell in front of me
like the golden autumn leaves
but i couldn't rake her up
quite quick enough
her season change was make believe
because she found a more familiar tree

she left me W I D E awake
but god, i ******* dream.
for 3 never-ending days
we soared to heaven's reaches
but she collapsed into an early grave
& was buried by the weekend
so she could sleep amongst the roots
the devil keeps beneath him
wrote this a while ago but just now put her up here.
Oct 2010 · 871
jerard gartlin Oct 2010
i'm in love with a ******* ghost
or a ******* corpse
or a ******* warped distortion of a woman
& that *****'s omnipotent rhythm,
twisted with the weight of weeks
i've been distanced from her face & cheeks,
a scrambled, vintage, simple image
of feelings that did not exist.
a transparent carcass of her heart
with ****** valves & unchanged chambers
haunts my every aching body part
but leaves my lips to whisper prayers
& everytime i reach 'amen'
i'm attacked by that apparition.
it stalks me like an awful habit
she wants me with her in the casket...
Oct 2010 · 799
high hopes
jerard gartlin Oct 2010
since we've broken up
i've been loaded up
getting drunk & throwing up
swollen head all bloated up
from doses of the finest drugs
but it's never quite high enough
to forget your type of tired love
it keeps me anchored as i'm flying up
as i'm crowd surfing
on a cloud's surface
my head is drowning in the dirt
i'm ground to grains & feeling worthless
clay for brains & muddy urges
lead to vacant veins & vapor verses
a rehearsal for a solemn song
sedating the invading fog
while praying for the haze to stop
Sep 2010 · 778
jerard gartlin Sep 2010
we both set the earth ablaze
from a different place
& the seas of trees
made ashy rain
& right where the equator lays
we licked eachother's flames
until we left the earth a charcoal marble
lost in outer space.

but spinning there
in burning air
& the awkward silence of despair
i think that we both realized
the oceans don't ignite.
Sep 2010 · 739
jerard gartlin Sep 2010
i'm plowing through the crowded plains
all yellow grass & open veins
& belly laughs at better days
because i finally made a clean escape.

& i can pack a MEAN suitcase
stuffed with photos of your ******* face
& i'll abandon you in every state
leaving a polaroid in every place:
an image for each bridge & lake
that gives me visions of your lips & legs.

& by the time i reach those western beaches
my bags have lost a lot of weight
& i've erased all ******* trace
of the comfort of your fake embrace.
Sep 2010 · 1.5k
eavesdropping. . .
jerard gartlin Sep 2010
(( Joshua walks into the small diner by himself & stands obediently next to the "WAIT TO BE SEATED" sign.  His eyes are casting shadows down his cheeks that blend into the subtle stubble that his long day created.  Eventually a waitress comes over to him & he holds up one finger.  They walk like a somber funeral procession to his booth, his grave, & he descends into it like a rigid corpse.  He comes here because it is one of the few places left in the city to smoke, & he gets right down to business.  The flick of his lighter is muted by the bickering coming from the booth behind him. ))

WOMAN: so do you still love me?

MAN: yes, but not really.

WOMAN: what does that mean?

MAN: well, it means i do, but not as much as i used to.

WOMAN: when did this happen?

MAN: yesterday...last week...

WOMAN: when, specifically?  you still say "love" a lot.

MAN: i can't say, really.  it's like waking up from a dream, covered in sweat and unfamiliar with your surroundings.

WOMAN: why are you sweating?

MAN: because of the dream.

WOMAN: no, your face right now.  you look like you went swimming.

MAN: i know.  could you hand me a napkin?

WOMAN: you still haven't answered my question.

MAN: another napkin.

WOMAN: you probably need a sponge.

MAN: i didn't see it on the menu...

WOMAN: so why didn't you tell me?

MAN: i didn't want to break your heart.

WOMAN: so you decided to stretch it out until it cracked under the pressure?

MAN: is it hot in here?

WOMAN: that's not your decision to make.  it is MY heart.

MAN: well, you have to admit i had it on loan for a while...


(( A loud thud.  Joshua looks up from the smoky haze to find a coughing waitress. ))

WAITRESS: to drink?

JOSH: an ashtray.


JOSH: there's no ashtray here.

WAITRESS: sure.  and what to drink?

JOSH: coffee, black.

WAITRESS: and what to eat?

JOSH: i could use a bit more time.

WAITRESS: we all could.

(( The waitress disappears. ))

MAN: look, i never said i was right.

WOMAN: neither did i.

MAN: at least i am telling you now.

WOMAN: now is later than it should have been.

MAN: i said i was sorry.

WOMAN: no, you didn't.

MAN: well, i meant to.

(( A long period of silence & clinking plates. ))

MAN: i should probably go.

WOMAN: i am pretty sure you left a long time ago.

MAN:  i'm sorry.

WOMAN: is there another?

MAN: another what?

WOMAN: if you don't love me, then your love must be somewhere else.  you have to love something.

MAN: no, there's not.  i've never been so alone.

WOMAN: that sounds terrible.

MAN: you will know the feeling soon.

WOMAN: jesus, the man behind us is smoking like a chimney...

(( Joshua puts his cigarette out.  The waitress appears amidst the smoke again. ))

WAITRESS: have you decided?

JOSH: i don't think anyone has.
Aug 2010 · 631
spring eyes
jerard gartlin Aug 2010
she has tear drops like treetops
& i'm breaking her branches
climbing her limp limbs
as they collapse in small splashes.
her tear ducts grow tree trunks
with roots tangled in eyelashes
& she counts every ring
so she knows when a year passes.
i am her magnifying lens
turning water to ashes
i help forget her forests
with fingers like matchsticks.
i burn her leaves like memories
& heat up all her habits
she hinders hope religiously
while i evaporate the damage.
her trees use words as fertilizer
stretching arms to freckled clouds
her buoyant bark a wet reminder
that gently decorates her mouth.
Jul 2010 · 731
jerard gartlin Jul 2010
baby birds collapsed on concrete
i wonder if she gave them names
before they fell & became jelly
drenched in their own **** & shame
with limbs bent like accordions
after bursting from a broken egg
their infancy spread evenly
across the sidewalk's face.

& when the flies came floating in
to feast on bloated intestines
filled with food undigested
exploding out of rubber ribs
i wonder if the mother sits
watching from a skyward limb
mourning for her fallen kids
or if she's flirting with the worms
& already forgotten them.
Jul 2010 · 1.3k
jerard gartlin Jul 2010
2 years of separation
leads to reunions & dissections
of the shared heart we once betrayed
split symmetric down the chamber veins
& drained into a vacant maze
of muscle-coated misdirection:
from a gory war of self-destruction
to a boring morning-long discussion
on the proper functions of affection,
a lecture on the subtle pressure
of stitching missing years together.

so we descended through the memories
of manipulation tendencies
& our blended lungs breathed in relief
at our splendid self-discovery:
you're a different you & i'm no longer me;
thick skin grafts & habit transplants
transformed us to an image abstract
from a former siamese attachment,
our blurry split from commitment
carried independence infinite
& we soared more weightless through the clouds
with our orphaned organs on the ground
Jun 2010 · 1.3k
alienated majesty
jerard gartlin Jun 2010
complex moveable pulley systems
consisting of rope
had hardened his heart:
that moveable block
a native of rocks
a kernel of nourishing corn
pumping starch to starving veins.
his naïve nerves reborn,
new to nature
where nothing is known
but the trumpets of judgement.
a society of contemporaries
with a common condition:
speak your latent conviction
while avoiding exhaustion by speech
(know the limit of the lungs),
so we accept the same transcendent destiny
of intense despair while it lasts
but not for nothing.
when we end up in the ground
do we still dream of the sky?
May 2010 · 917
flesh vacation
jerard gartlin May 2010
sometimes i get so alone in my loneliness--
an island in the dancing waves,
a dirtclod in a diamond cave--
i search for solace in your sagging *******,
some purpose in your imperfection.
i use the ridges of your ribs' recesses
as momentary misdirection,
i indulge in the dimples of your lower back with
all intents of intense distraction.
but i'm sorry for my feelings fleeting
& my love not lasting past the weekend,
if i'm not tangled in your skin's dimensions
i'm in the trenches dispensing demons
(i ****** habits like they're heathens).
& when it's time to wash my hands,
i rinse them in your innocence
& raid you like the villages
i plunder in the daylight hours.
i'm stunned at how your heart devours
what i run from like a coward.
May 2010 · 719
the rain
jerard gartlin May 2010
in the warmth of winter's afterglow
that humid calm before the storm
our bodies felt the lightning form
& in your eyes a spark absorbed...
i kissed you with the timing of
a kindergartner finding love
& the timid hands
of past romance
that never measured up...
so you became the frightening thunder
& i became the windy breeze
you battled with the lightning's wonder
i fiddled with the spinning leaves
you roared across the blinding tundra
i whistled while spreading seeds...
calm returns with a violent burst
i'm climbing clouds & counting birds
& measuring the mountain's curves
just to watch you mouth the words
my starving ears have never heard.... .. .
May 2010 · 1.7k
phone surgery
jerard gartlin May 2010
the day you called me
i could hear that tin can tear drop echo
in the midst of my happy hello,
but my hopes crashed faster than my ego
as you recited those rehearsed lines of let go,
& the words were wet with sobs & sweat
& love wasn't mentioned amidst the mess
of apologies & idle threats.
& i listened with my full attention
until you ran out of breath,
& i responded cautiously
with tiny verbal tip-toed steps.
& while your eyes ***** dishonesty,
your heart hunts for a better chest
because you're aware of it so sparingly
it's just a ribcage ornament.
& i felt empathetic as you wept
because your valves were finally thawed & thumping
& i wonder if you felt the weight
on your breastplate
as it was shocked into a waking state,
& made up for missed decades
by pounding at a rapid pace
& revitalizing vapid veins.
& as i listened to you come alive
over that claustrophobic cell phone line
it floods my ears & drains my eyes
& makes my heart divide...
Mar 2010 · 908
jerard gartlin Mar 2010
i'm always working for the weekend
& weakened from always working
& feeling worthless for returning
every morning
(bright & early)
& i wonder why my ribs are hurting
because my little felon heart
is rioting in his ivory prison
restless with the repetition
of this life that i call "living"
Mar 2010 · 1.1k
jerard gartlin Mar 2010
i'm anxious for an early grave
an expressway to the pearly gates
or a laundry chute to the furnace flames
any burning faith that i can claim-
like yearning for a puppet string,
i'm addicted to the dangling-
salivating for that suspension
heaven help me make these hard decisions
because the aimlessness of atheism
is weighing down my weakened limbs
as it beats me til i'm bedridden
or confines me to the casket's grip.
Mar 2010 · 1.2k
organ donor
jerard gartlin Mar 2010
i tried forgetting you so hard
my liver's collapsing
& i've got these bruises & cuts -
contusions & concussions -
from my aggravation, concentrated
on the wrong people in crowded places
but we all need ventilation.
so i spilled out abuse
on whoever was willing to take it,
combining fists with faces -
call it distraction or entertainment,
whichever way you phrase it,
i won't remember...i was wasted -
i was swimming in liquid sentiments
the backstroke of the blind
as i'm blacking out my mind,
turning off the lights
on the portion of my life
you partially defined.
Feb 2010 · 1.5k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
oh how the coward counts his cards
blackjack entrapment habits
at least there's free drinks!
what a time saver:
enabling 2 addictions at once,
maybe i'll save some money this way...
hit hit hit stay, embrace
hug my hands around the chips
my multicolor relatives
i'm betting on embellishments,
time to double up or split
my hand's as steady as my faith in god
so i'm shaking like an epileptic
seizing with the scenery
blinking with the burning lights
knee-deep in unending debt
i'll go all in on my hesitance
& sleep on this abandoned bench
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
you say i’m long gone
but i wasn’t gone long
you just lost interest swiftly
when I stopped dispensing attention
not to mention the distance:
Ohhh it accumulates endlessly
when you’re not here with me.
every second you’re not tangled in me
i can feel your resentment building
& it’s not a very fulfilling feeling
dealing with your fading needs,
wrestling with empty memories
& their durable permanence.
if only i had the courage to cremate those corpses
but you’ve currently buried them deep in my cortex,
& now they have rooted like religious convictions
& even if i don’t live them, i’ll never forget them.
Feb 2010 · 807
ant clouds
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
tell me
what the planet looks like
floating up there on the clouds
are the oceans bluer with a cottonmouth &
can you count the countries as you cut them out?
is the forest greener from the ground or
are the branches blinding looking down?
i guess you're reassured somehow
that i'm just a face amongst the crowd or
just an ant atop the mound
transporting ten tons of regret in
an attempt to make my queen content
Feb 2010 · 919
bore tide
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
the boar tide's tusks
are rustling the leaves
wetting their own depth perception
& thrusting through
the stony home
where water's never meant to go,
rushing to extend its reach
****** the supposed beach
& BUSTING belly-first beyond these gravel streets.

so we find new ways to walk
new walkways made of taller rocks,
& softer steps in soggy socks,
because oftentimes the tidal clock is off:
a salmon holocaust with just
a solemn, hollow cough
as the waves are burped & swallowed
& lost among the blue disease...
Feb 2010 · 2.8k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
your heart pumps kerosene
to your matchstick veins,
& maybe i imagined things,
but i remember your eyes as ember rings
& i can't wipe my memory clean
of the dingy debris--
the delicacies of your legs & knees--
this fire's not extinguishing!!
those ashes you disguise as eyelids
won't keep me from the iris
i know i'll find inside them

& i'll skim past your skin grafts
to your smoke-smothered stomach
then plummet to your flame-engraved pancreas
((scarred from swallowed promises)).
these propane x-rays
can't scan the barcodes
on the charcoals
that the holes in your heart hold
Feb 2010 · 846
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
craters created constantly
((dents in my design))
comets crash into my confidence
until my ego has evaporated
in an awful orbit
worshiping an orphan star
ignorant of my existance
but i'm greedy for her gravity...
grasping for her geography,
but she's already forgotten me
Feb 2010 · 5.0k
moving on
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
so i see now you're with someone else,
& finally now i'm free:
you left no excess residue
as you exit me.

i expected to express regrets
as your final vapors left my vents
but now your vacancy sustains me:
i have aptitude in lacking you
& your absence accents my best attributes
because i'm no longer attached to you.

& each step weighs a little less
sans you stealing half my breath,
& when i'm bathing in her flesh
she'll find comfort in my cleanliness,
& she can finally drown inside my depth
as i love her like there's nothing left.
Feb 2010 · 1.2k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
craSH land ing in your
hand or
somepalm or plane
your fingers figured
in theirange

i NEED the  cement
to   stack   the bric
ks  more  even  [][]
        -she said

like self-construction
is in her-interests:
like she SPOftenKE
of scaf fold & ropes
& renov(icaine)ation????
instead of
numbness, running, & vacations
of r u   n a    w   a    y    s
is suddenly b-come-ing brave!!
Feb 2010 · 1.4k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
my dreams seem so realistic
or my waking life is so surreal
i can never tell the difference
so i treat them both as hopeless jokes.
if the sky falls suddenly
& i get buried underneath
i know soon ill either be
AWAKENING or going back to sleep...
it keeps me calm when the bursting bombs
come crashing in so rapidly:
i'm laughing & know exactly how to handle things
        because its a bland repeat of last night's dream.
& each time my eyelids clasp collapsed,
i just call it practicing
Feb 2010 · 1.8k
retina wrestling
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i loved making you laugh
your clouded eyes like a thousand skies
sewn together, seamlessly
& im floating through them, aimlessly
lost inside them, namelessly
my anonymous exploration
of your pupils' dilation
i wonder how wide eye can make them...
playing with the petty words
your eyelid's optic prisoner
Feb 2010 · 730
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
the future is inevitable
but the present's at least tangible
drowning in the dark debris
of a shadowed past collapsed & shattered
that i pepper now with pleasantries
to pretend that it even mattered that i
waded waist deep in blind mistakes
& preach the lessons i progressed from
but im still entrenched in bad intentions...
my soul is **** but i'm WIDE AWAKE
Feb 2010 · 874
waking life
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
sprinting slow & solemnly
from bottom feeding apologies
from breathing rotten memories
that i'd forgotten entirely
or so i repeat habitually
as the days recycle endlessly
like some explicitly persistent dream
but i'm gripping to this slippery sleep
because its better than remembering
its better than wishing that you miss me
& waking up alive but empty
everyday that you're not with me
Feb 2010 · 1.3k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i ride the wave
of brighter days
hoping hard to find a way
to realize & recreate
that blatant stress
        i was so obsessed with,
that violent mess
        to which i made
                a blind investment.
i looked to you for chest compressions
when my veins prayed for resuscitation lessons
but you're a ******* ugly loveless corpse
absorbed in the self-esteem endorsements
i adorned
              & orphaned
                               on your doorstep...
you adopted it but dropped it quick
the first birth on your
                          abortion list
cut the cord legitimate
so i've gained bleeding fetus freedom
Feb 2010 · 490
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i wonder if she's gorgeous
on purpose
she makes me feel so worthless
her words are so perfect
i became so uncertain
once i had heard them love is just a burden
& i don't want to hurt her
so ill bury myself in the dirt
never to return to the surface
Feb 2010 · 3.8k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i slap my hands together
& point them to the sky
please god if you could
deliver her tonight
jesus what the **** am i doing
praying to clouds when my faith is in ruins
begging every blinking star
please don't keep us far apart
pleading with that black abyss
i need to feel her hands & lips
but she probably forgot i exist...
Feb 2010 · 601
loveless letter
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
DEAR (__),

sorry's a good place to start
i guess?
the lies stacked up like
***** dishes &
i had no intent to rinse them.
the sink was on the brink of breaking
with the weight of pretend plates---
**** im on a distracted...
lets bring it back to the beginning
& strip it bare of poetic dribblings
because theres only one way to break this:

i never, ever, ever loved you
i just......
didn't...want anyone *******.

but i suppose i can't stop everything
err--i know i can't stop anything
i was young, yearning & naive
& still believed in love's disease--
i was so desperate for its infection,
i injected it in every VEIN attempt
at getting you to love me back.
& i know too well that it was selfish
but whats the harm
if neither of us ever felt it?

never yours,
Feb 2010 · 6.9k
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i'm not sure what happened
to those beautiful women
i used & let live in my
shivering veins
synchronized swimming in my circulatory system
sunken eyes brimming
with that chlorine concoction they used to dip in
i dug them & ditched them
but i still recollect their quivering lips
as i dispensed the final kisses
& surrounded the spa with walls & fences
i mean i wonder if they still exist
with no lifeguard there to witness them?
Feb 2010 · 514
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i wondered
if there were others
that submitted to the summer's comfort
smothered in their sunny mother
snuggled under yellow covers
absorbed by that burning orb
of course our skin became golden
& our bones were worn paper thin
by that often hot & rotten oxygen
the air that scarred our hair & hearts
both sun-drenched blonde & clotted dry
by sun spots that dot our blotted eyes
us foster kids got tossed aside
when the rain came in that vacant night
our mom got carried off by clouds!!
persuaded by grey to leave us without...
those sinning cirrus salesmen
stole her with the wailing wind
& convinced us to pray to them
now i am a pardoned pastor
to the precipitation i used to hate
& we don't mention mother's name.
Feb 2010 · 912
jerard gartlin Feb 2010
i remember
when we were younger
& you'd scrape into your arms
searching for bones or soul or something more
than what you thought you had inside
& i would lie about my life
to get you to look into my eyes
but neither ever worked for us
lost causes in the search for trust
& you used to walk with your arms crossed
to make another layer to your heart
or better yet a barrier to keep the two of us apart
& that barrier you learned to build
worked better than the beer & pills
& **** & coke & ecstasy i put between you & me
because i guess we were just afraid
of the weight behind that sacred phrase:
to be in the heavy hand of love's command
& that ambulance that tried to rinse
the toxins from my coughing valves
as you got a ticket coming quickly
to see the extent of my crippled kidneys
i wonder if you understand
i just wanted you to miss me...
& all those many many arguments
so drunk, frustrated & intense
those glass-punching pancake conflicts
a competition with no confidence
that i laugh about now that things are different
now that you've forgotten my existence
& i've gotten used to this division
but at least now i know it's true
i don't think i'll get over you
until my lips are cold & blue
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