The Battle of Jericho by Kristin Garth

The Battle of Jericho 

after Servant and The Old Testament 

The harlot of Jericho welcomes the spies.

First through a womb post six preceding  

tries (blue-capped sticks organized beside 

where husband sleeps, the pink plus sign readings 

in plastic, progeny, keep the name of 

each tragedy close to his heart, marked 

in Sharpie, documenting each start.  Love 

requires some sacrifices sixfold, stark 

observations of urbane wives cajoled 

by the second’s arrival via front door —

puritanical sort you abhor, old 

Testament tropes (madonnas, crosses, whores.)

Angel of judgment, that a harlot lets in,

restores your first born to smite him again. 

Kristin Garth is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream, The Meadow and Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir.  She is the Dollhouse Architect of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and has a weekly sonnet podcast called Kristin Whispers Sonnets.  Visit her site Kristingarth.com and talk to her on Twitter @lolaandjolie

Hello Kitty BAND-AID by Kristin Garth

Hello Kitty BAND-AID

I used to crawl professionally 

a Hello Kitty BAND-AID upon an 

imperiled knee (the other equally 

as sore though I must each night determine 

which one hurts more.)  One, it’s pretend,

a useful accessory in schoolgirl 

fashion to compliment plaid I twirl in

five inch platform heels, mean, green, neon world. 

Two, it means I’m not what I seem — virgin,

newbie to this topless scene but veteran

despite my pigtails, wounded wolf, sheepskinned.

Imagine entrails of many strange men 

to which I weekly, meekly, wounded, crawl

instead of a slightly used naive fuck doll. 

Kristin Garth is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream, The Meadow and Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir.  She is the Dollhouse Architect of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and has a weekly sonnet podcast called Kristin Whispers Sonnets.  Visit her site Kristingarth.com and talk to her on Twitter @lolaandjolie

To Medicate or Self Medicate in Pastels by Kristin Garth

To Medicate or Self Medicate in Pastels 

A dilemma, physician’s office, 

pre-dates a pandemic by just some weeks.

Nervous ass crinkles paper.  Ghost Sophists 

of panic-attacks-past harass what leaks 

through ducts, expelled wet truths upon cheeks, tears 

thin paper, freckled fists attempting to resist

the gravity of pain, its endless drips.  Despair  

you can’t restrain before the blonde internist,

who looks like your Barbie dolls — is that why 

you confess it all — nights you cry yourself 

to sleep, indignities you push inside 

as deep as pastel kitchen knives, bookshelf 

of broken hymen hymns scribbled, first, at five

about sad men who swallow you like pills,

self medicating like you never will. 

Author’s Note:  This is the story of me deciding to take help offered to me from my doctor for my anxiety/depression. It’s changed my life immensely. My abuser did not take medication that he required and it is one more way I’m proud to be different then him. 

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 Twelfth Escape by Kristin Garth

The Twelfth Escape 

in which Gilda Sheen emerges from the tank, Girlarium

 at and imprisons her keeper Joseph Q. Youmans of The

 Aquariums at Anemone.

Clamber up flesh dangling from the high hatch —

his knuckles straighten, only nails catch. Your 

adrenaline spurs — drop him fast.  Spring, scratch

surface, dry — the distance seemed so vast for 

those months marooned beneath his room.

Emerge emboldened from your salt water

tomb.  Looming fleetingly over the doomed 

Svengali swimming savagely, squatter 

in some artificial sea he designed

even its winding lock.  You turn it twice. 

Shake yourself from shock. Servants soon will  find

you here, uncaged inside a paradise 

from which you must disappear with haste—

a twelfth chance for escape you will not waste. 

The Election Games by Kristin Garth

The Election Games 

For Halloween, let us all be Catniss 

Everdeen.  Trump can be Snow — doesn’t need 

to know.  Do it in our own respective districts 

in booths and mail-in ballots, masked like the 

avengers that we are.  Take aim with pens.

Remove misogynistic men, ourselves from 

a dystopian reality show lens,

to which, without consent, we did succumb.  

Be mockingjays, accidental species 

who found its way when displaced, off the grid 

castoffs of society mated with the free,

fringed of a society our voice reclaims. 

It is time to play the election games. 

You Overhear You Are Going To Breed by Kristin Garth

You Overhear

You Are Going To Breed 

When bathroom walls are thin, a gilled girl 

indecent, listens in to workers, loud, 

tunneling toward your tank while you curl

up knees, an ear against the wall, scowl

attempting to hear it all, the lurid 

lyrics men will sing, speech of bodies that 

make cheeks sting like, a podcast, perverted, 

you aren’t supposed to hear inside this vat 

where you have disappeared.  Your secret show 

is spoiled one afternoon, when the chatter 

concerns what is coming soon — a fellow 

that is in part a fish.  It does not matter 

you have neither the desire nor the need. 

You overhear you are going to breed. 

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

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.