Crucifix/The Energy of Exchange/Fall – poems by JOHN KAULDREN

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Let the graphics on the screen blink at me,
wink at me,
leave me high and meek.
Let the trolls tip the tongue
with bloody cheeks
and rats that live on beds
that steal our sofas like mangy dogs.

Shit, the legs are crossed,
fucking legs are crossed,
arms are crossed, and
eyes are crossed.

Jesus be proud,
because I have denied myself
happiness and pleasure.
The slave morality,
as Nietzsche would say:
Give way to the flowering tundra
of insubordinate meaning
and let the eyes drive shut
Oh! let the eyes drive through me
like stakes through the hands and feet,
and cross my soul Jesus, cross my soul please,
Jesus Christ

The Energy of Exchange

crisscross across my cube,
the wheels rumble and squeal beneath my feet.
this chair it moves with incredible speed
when my boss demands there is a need
to record the trade of a service for money.
nothing excites me like exchange,
it creates such energy and force.
i tremble at these dealings, shaking violently
like an atom that is part of this heat.
it is out of my hands, i am only
a small part of the whole.
i have no control


rusted leaves fall to the ground.

i step on each and every one of them.

death makes things crunchy and brittle,

turns life into dust.

i call my friend on the cellphone.

he supports me.

i’ll break up with her once she gets home.

i crush more leaves under my feet,

awaiting her arrival.

that was the evening,

it is night now.

i see her car through the window.

she is beautiful and clumsy,

her feet point inward like duck feet,

but my mind is frozen.

she enters the room—i shut the door.

her parents aren’t home yet.

I’m leaving you. I can’t be here anymore.

no sound, only tears fall from her face.

she sits on her bed—i sit on the chair.

she looks at the ground—i look out the window.

hours pass. three sneaking hours, until

her parents arrive.

they have dinner ready for us,

but the door is shut

and she is silently crying

and my eyes water up

and regret washes out of them

but I hold firm.

I unhook my computer, take my desk—

carry my wares through the kitchen, across her family—

and stuff it all into my car.

this is all I own.

i start the engine and drive away,

the last time i saw her.


***The moment John Kauldren slithered out of his mom (nearly killing her), he knew he was a man of words. Through the years he honed his craft by belittling all his friends and enemies with clever and intricate noises. He has been published nowhere, because the delicate rhythms and nuanced meanings of his words make anyone reading feel stupid by comparison—and editors hate feeling stupid.

He tweets at:  ***

A note from SLM: You’ve been published somewhere now, Mr. Kauldren!

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