FOUR POEMS by CARL GERCAR

Self Love

I watched a snake shed its skin once,
they start at the face and
there’s this moment where
the old skin and the new are separating
the snake is neither and both
and the three join only at the eyes
it reminded me of where fire meets the tree
you can see it clinging but you can’t say how
until the eyes deliquesced
and the snake became a whole again
and the old skin was now an empty Thing
but I could still see how it used to twist and flex and live
maybe I could keep those embers glowing
if I kept staring
but my skin grew itchy and anxious
tight around my eyes,
so I scratched myself and left to get coffee
and the barista had bright green eyes
and she smiled at me, but I didn’t feel any different
so I was walking down the street drinking coffee
not feeling any different
when I thought the snake must not have known
his skin was shed until it was,
no sooner than I had watching,
and as I got on the bus and other people
snatched glances, I sipped my coffee and
felt like I belonged.

 

Bananas and Grapefruit

He was a grocer, and I think he might have been a bit eccentric.
He talked a lot about how fruits
are genitals.
“Plant cocks and pussies,”
and grabbed at the air for them,
“Big
swollen
mutated
plastic bag preserved
pussies, and cocks!”
and he thought it was so funny
and I laughed, too
then he got very serious and said,
“But you’ll never see us doing that to people,
just plants and animals.”
and sank into his beer.
I patted his back and told him he was
interesting, individual
and he told me to follow him to his car
and he opened the trunk
to a cooler full of pussies and cocks.
“They’re actually good,” he  was smiling
and he grabbed one and took a bite
handed it to me.
Now I’m looking at this banana, holding it,
big and swollen and dead and
I think he had it right.

 

True Statements

I keep a machete and Bowie knife next to where I sleep.
These are all true statements.
I really think that someone will figure out how to make money out of nothing, or already has, so I’m not too worried about my job.
Cocaine starts off fun but usually ends up as a problem, like every meaningful relationship I’ve  ever had.
We are all dying and everybody knows it.
Pursuing the immaterial is loads of fun but you can’t pay for a hamburger with poetry.
Or maybe you can, I haven’t tried, because you’d look pretty silly offering crumpled scribbles in exchange for a hot meal.
I am attracted to dozens of people a day, hundreds of people a week, thousands of people a year, but I have had sex with less than ten people in my life.
I still talk to one of them.
She told me she masturbated wearing noise canceling headphones and it was the best orgasm she’ll ever have.
I have been in love with one person in my life.
I’m starting to forget what she looked like, but I can Google her whenever.
I think I had a drinking problem, but I’m slowing it down now.
That one was a lie.
I’m eating spoonfuls of peanut butter to stay drunk.
The rest is all true, though.
You can trust me.

 

Salvation

My father told me
hangovers are a punishment
from God for our sins.
He was hungover when he said it,
so I don’t know how true that is.
I live and sleep in sin,
but this morning I felt great.
I kicked the empty cans
off my bed and stood to
cascading aluminum applause,
whistled motown in the shower,
told a set of thighs and amazing eyes
that I loved her, or at least cared a little,
told my boss I was sick,
told my friends I was busy,
told my family I left town,
told my girlfriend I was dead,
opened a beer and
kicked up my feet and
reveled in myself.

  • Devon Olzewski

    The noise canceling headphones is a lie and the cascade of cans is amazing- you have a gift