Plasticity by Kristin Garth

Plasticity 

Pliable arms you pose us for prayer,

high collared dress, veil pinned to hair, lifelike

bend synthetic submissive knees, back blares

a voice box of holes:  “yes, sir” and “please.” Night

widens our thighs, shortens our memories 

of the paradoxical uses of

our plasticity.  Poised before ASB 

plastic pelvis, pretense of cock, true love 

with Ken dolls has rituals of which we 

must never talk.  Anoint our flexible 

joints with pearls, purchased accessory seed 

because sex, religion are extort-able

needs to heed or ignore judiciously.

We were procured for our plasticity. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

Stakes For Sea Creatures Replaced By Something New by Kristin Garth

Stakes For Sea Creatures Replaced By Something New

Shake off the escort who pulls you away 

returning from the pool on a maybe

Saturday.  Locked bedroom makes of days 

already a blur until shark suspended, you see,

in canvas transferred, from a hallway tank 

hatch, held aloft for a magician’s strait-

jacket dance.  Laddered zippering men flank

this fish, who has no chance now to escape.

To fate he’s lowered, coffin-sized box — next to 

others departing; nobody talks — stakes

for sea creatures replaced by something new.

Mistake believing it won’t happen to you —

another gilled creature men will subdue. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

The Drowning Season by Kristin Garth

The Drowning Season 

After the flood, the stuffed animals smell.

Peter Rabbit fell from bed as you fled.

8 am, when the bay, waves, fishes, shells

well into lawn, bedroom past your bedspread 

into the den when you run out the door

in water deeper than ever before, winds 

because the hurricane has come ashore 

and will remain the afternoon, lives in 

mementos that seep through your hands,

a painting gifted by a dead man whose 

disintegration is more than you can 

stand.  Pink plastic house and Barbies suffused 

with torrents who leave you layered in mud. 

You drown for a season after the flood. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

The Creature by Kristin Garth

The Creature 

Science defines her by what she would hide —

two swaths of skin, her neck, either side.  Small

fraction of flesh just a few inches wide

requires new nomenclature, protocol,

it has yet to provide.  For now, amidst others, 

when you think it won’t hear, you refer to

“the creature.  Fill hearts with fear.  Your druthers? 

They never investigate, workers you 

pay to renovate the aquariums 

connect and expand.  Giving this creature as 

much as you can of your land.  Yes, still some  

restrictions for security.  Creatures have 

hidden dangers.  In water they might twirl — 

resembling even a trapped teenage girl. 

The Marriage of Beauty and Beast by Kristin Garth

The Marriage of Beauty and Beast 

Paddle to skylight.  It opens each night —

imbues moonlit waters artificial

light.  Chandelier constellation to tie 

up your own crystal boat — interstitial

ritual, stories afloat.   Misfortunes forgot, 

as you focus — his face obscured by book,

descending tray of bud vase, a teapot 

of milk, pastel petit fours.  Listen, look 

then taste what is yours.  The tales alternate 

between sea beasts and beautiful girls. He 

comprehends you are of two worlds.  Sates

girl and the gills, benthic, in between

with floating fairytales, moveable feasts —

you are the marriage of beauty and beast. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

Handkerchief by Kristin Garth

Handkerchief

When he will offer you his handkerchief,

it exists five states from where you cry 

inside a drawer of pine or make believe

a fairytale that you still grieve.  He buys 

the postage to a place he will not go. 

He is a gentleman you know.  Invites 

your choice of gingham or stripes.  How thorough

the gentle swipes of cotton so you might 

smell love a phone can neither show nor tell.

Unfold it like a parchment spell.  Hold it 

against your lips a spell until scent impels

(he as well, Internet omnipresent,

diction, decorum of your dirty south)

you take what you have of him in your mouth 

Order of Feather and Smoke by Kristin Garth

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Order of Feather and Smoke 

 

Two hush the horses with rubs of their hands.

Side saddle riders seek to understand hitch

of carriage, belts into hooks, driving demands,

brake levers from library books of which

they are shown by the Siren of Smoke. Stoke

requisite flame, port de bras coax the spot,

equestrianism, on shelves where they stroke

parchment until their pluck is provoked.  Brought

by Crow Carriage so they shall leave, maidens

who drive, sisters who believe what is taught

to them by feathers, smoke.  The cadence

of crow wings above their carriage resounds

in subconscious minds returned to hometowns.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

 

Murder Is A Promise That Must Be Kept by Kristin Garth

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Murder Is  A Promise That Must Be Kept 

 

Sash into sill then you are sealed to sounds

of sisterhood found you once thought extinct, 

surreal reverie in satin nightgowns. 

You take a young hand.  Fingers fall down. Pink

feverish, wet, two rosettes round her cheeks.

Everyone whimpers.  Nobody peeks 

from nightmares, too weak to awake.  You sneak

about bedchamber, grinding a new beak,

affectation, trying to think — wannest

skin, punctures in veins, cannot lead them away 

until laudanum wanes. Murder is a promise

that must be kept.  It will happen today 

amidst collected unconscious kidnapped.

You lie in wait once you ready a trap. 

Two Crow Carriage Sonnets by Kristin Garth

Bibliotheque

Illustration by Amy Suzanne

 

Siren of Smoke

 

At library table, button back chair,

scoot close to examine the volumes laid

bare.  One illuminated by her flare

in midair, Siren of Smoke, who glissades

somewhere.  Abandons candlestick.  Forfeits

the flame.  First tome opens wide.  Pictures

explain, specters diagrammed, recorded

peculiarities.  Ghosts have strictures,

a host of species.  Notation by one

with dripping red lips, mother it says,

below lunar eclipse, spells some have done

for selective mortality, for eyes

that water, mouths that feed – at which you choke.

Consequence of enlightenment is smoke.

 

Phantosmia

 

Haunted by mere molecules, stifling air,

smoldering scent, September fare, a pile

of leaves someone made to burn amidst rare

volumes, lessons unlearned.  Candlestick child

once kept upstairs, in bell sleeves, liquefied

pink nightmares, lit by a taper she

one day will be to waft here alongside

a tragedy.  Incandescent only

so very few nights with so many truths

to bring to light.  Bright black beeswax she could

conserve; her flames finite as answers, proof

undeserved.  How could any subject trust

an accomplice to this experiment?

Light for a life, you could choke on its scent.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Siren of Smoke and Phantosmia both introduce a new character in Crow Carriage known as the Siren of Smoke.  The Siren of Smoke is a ghost of a subject who killed herself by drinking a bottle of laudanum left too close at hand in the room of the subjects.  The subjects are adolescent captives of the evil Doctor who is attempting to cure Addison’s Disease by producing and extracting cortisol in young women he keeps in a perpetual nightmare state.

 

The leaving of laudanum close to the young subjects was a mistake not repeated by The Doctor and his staff. After the girl ingests the bottle and dies, though her body escapes Willowbee Manor, her soul does not.  She hides herself in a boiler pot of beeswax for candles.  Her soul is distributed among fifteen tapers.  Each time one burns, she appears in the smoke, dancing as was her great passion.  When the candles are all used, her haunting will also be extinguished.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

 

Adventuress by Kristin Garth

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Adventuress 

 

You will awake in your very own bed

a fuzzy blue caterpillar still in

your head. Aloft upon a speckled red

mushroom above, he asks you two questions:

who are you? What do you love? You mutter

but buttercups bloom from your lips. The words

you would utter all gibberish.  Putter

with buttons until you are bare, bluebirds

beside you, mums in your hair like they were

in the meadow where you wandered one day—

ever inside though you can’t stay. Adventures

remembered with fingertips, you trace

their touches—  monarchs, mad men, memoirists

who educated an adventuress.