I Keep Waking Up In Demolished Beds by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry

I Keep Waking Up In Demolished Beds 

after Palm Springs

I keep waking up in demolished beds. 

Semen stains fade except in my head.  In 

Egyptian cotton of the richest of them, shredded,

discolored, deposited in garbage bins 

decade ago.  Though in my hippocampus,

they feel perpetually new, still rough 

against skin perennially bruised.  Madness 

I medicate, some evenings not enough.

My pink, prudent sheets become black, twisted 

about a torso, cuffed to bed frames, soundtrack 

exact of each degrading name, sadistic 

rituals of men rehab’s maybe redeemed,

left me alone in this darkness it seems. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated stalker.  She is a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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

Choose Your Own Transgression by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry, Torch Songs

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated stalker.  She is a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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

Choose Your Own Transgression 

after Servant

Choose your own transgression— kidnapping with drugs,

the crimes you commit conflating with love. 

Discount earth quaking, bustle of bugs,

electrostatic discharges above,

around each time you speak in platitudes 

inside a brownstone of ineptitude. Cast 

fallen angels in attics to brood. 

God did this once.  Look what ensued. The past 

no professor, even your own. The split 

in your psyche is universally known

but kept from you, secret, illness permitted 

reign, mad monarch mortals lead to a throne.

Choose your transgression like a childhood book —

consequences writ by author you forsook. 

Wish I Had Known You When I Was Able to Watch Mindhunter by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker.  She is a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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

Wish I Had Known You

When I Was Able to

Watch Mindhunter 

and not too altered by grief to get through 

the first suicide, ten minutes I barely 

abide, try because I attempt to do 

anything you suggest.  Though it takes me 

a year to view the rest.  By then you and I 

don’t even speak.  We are friends when you were

weak, Speck’s prison pet who cannot fly,

nurtured by hands who allow another 

to die — in your case metaphorically.

Eventually, same with me.  How many live 

to know you as a ghost? When I’m asleep,

you come nigh, hug me like Ed Kemper did 

the FBI agent who treated him like a friend.

Everyone’s disposable in the end. 

To The Deceased Tree A Hurricane Killed by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry

To The Deceased Tree A Hurricane Killed 

Wait five months for men to take you away. 

My front yard for two seasons your corpse on

display monopolizes my view.  Decay 

everyday.  Limbs forbid my intrusion

on luminous days when a girl might stray 

into the blades with a book and a pen,

a mundanity of yesterday. 

Your exit requires a Bobcat and men, thousands 

of dollars, weekend of work.  Impression 

you leave behind in the dirt arouses 

in me the hope of spring’s sown succession,

but, too, the rude realization I’ll die 

before the next tree fills your hole in the sky. 

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 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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, Barbies and Videotape  by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Noir, Poetry

Murder, Barbies and Videotape 

“Oops, I think I killed her,” Robert Chambers enacting the murder

 of Jennifer Levin with Barbie Dolls on videotape after many

allegations that Levin was the perpetrator

Mimic your victim with a blonde Barbie doll.

Fingers cajole soft PVC to speak

like a puppet, shrieking, soprano drawl.

Pop off a head, mistake of your own strength.

A party pantomime videotape leaks 

by one of your peers you think you have charmed —

eyes and ears you trusted to be discreet.

Look in the camera.  Admit the harm. 

Was it a female who turned over the tape

contradicting your assertions in court? 

Sex diaries, assaults, an attempted rape,

your victimization in police reports?

Do you regret you allowed them to see

that murderers play also with Barbies?

On Stripping / Being Stripped by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry

Once upon a birthday, they unbraid 

your hair.  Coworker strippers push you in 

a chair.  Undulate in a “u” on stage 

around you so the customers see when 

they unbuttoned your Oxford.  Pulled Velcro 

brusquely ripping away socks, mini 

plaid skirt.  To lose control in the peep show 

unquestionably hurts.  Like A Virgin, CD,

and this is the first and last time you will 

disrobe a facade you didn’t design.

The braids, kneesocks, skirt you never will peel

reveal consenting parts you have defined.

This night you learn in a chair, while tears drip, 

the difference in stripping and being stripped. 

The Battle of Jericho by Kristin Garth

Kristin Garth, Poetry

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

Kristin Garth, Poetry

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

Kristin Garth, Poetry

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

Kristin Garth, Poetry

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.