Poetry: Selections from Andy Gehlsen

The Event

The men gather on the courts,
the sidewalks, the streets,
the massive empty lots of unused factories.
They yell and throw their
currencies down, strike the pavement
as if it were their last time,
curse and cheer on
the wriggling worms making
their uneventful slug across the finish line.


This one tries not to recede,
Even though that is what waves do.
Crashes forever like Normandy, ever and ever after,
Eating the edge of the world away.
It hinges for a while like a removing jaw,
Sifting into the ether.
A seismic crevasse is its legacy.
It births death, raises it till it knows what it does,
And yet doesn’t stop. It scrapes till the sound of it fades.
Till it dies..

The Donkephant Kings

As one is ready to take over,
Previous one
cannot let go.
It will not,
and it pushes
other one away.
Calls the next one
superficial—a true phony,
and weak for showing its emotions,
for communicating in a manner
that only desires attention
or some appeasement,
that the way to speak
is as it has always been.
Under the rule of true
Donkephant kings,
we tip the iconic kettle
from which pours lukewarm
butter chunks
out of their assholes.
Express sorrow and gentility
these the mornings of our soggy toast.
A reflection of older times:
Predators do not floss out the
hunks of flesh in our gardens,
but feed in the darkness.
They are rendered unreal
because all that is real has to be seen.

The Elixir

Hair of the dog
Rises up the throat,
Scratches, calls out
As veins strangle
The parched eyes
Like a cloud pulled inside-out
Wisps are veins
Patterning out holes in the wall
Where stars smolder  
Put themselves out like
Cigarette butts,
And little bodies crawl,
Echoing cries
From former lives
Whose hearts,
Severed from all ventricles
And plugs, now
Trample with little feet
Pulsating along little rugs
Thump thump thump thump
They grin, knowing
What we do not yet
And they smash
Themselves into
Cherry skins, sweet
And delicate massacres
A shell on a beach from
Someone with too
Much hostility and fear
Did the turtle
Get far without it
Gas station prices spiked
Seventeen cents in a day
The shells on the signs
Clam up, unchanged,
There are just some
Measures some won’t take
You can never not rely
On quote-unquote enemies
In war, the memory of a
Quote-unquote spunky character
Glows on our televisions
To let us know
We’ll never be tired of winning
Our hearts spew
Stiff petals bloom into
Brokenness as our
Younger cries whose older lives
Course through the night
Like another lightning ice storm
Our voices describe surfaces
At parties
We no longer care for
So we all trudge out in exhaustion
Greeting and grieving
Those just arriving.

The Ashen Death and a New Sound

Ridding the dead
Awake in my bed
Telling them to stop with a pull
As their bleeding young faces
Gnarl elegant traces
Along the bloody sheets and the walls.
And beneath these blood murals:
Between my thighs
Where their fluid eyes
Wade like lively stars
Birthed out of the ashen
matter of a former blaze.
I grow tired from
Their energies burned out in my skin
Like cigarette embers
Warbling softly inside the tray
As our dead bodies nest around
A burning table
Wasted, recollecting,
Referring, and recording:
Old acts in new waves again.

The Stash

He laughs
And they all
Surround him
As he absorbs
The energy
Of getting high
Off his own stash.
They leave as he
Cackles just as much,
Snapping a match head
Into combustion to
Glow a deeper, brighter radiance.
And brighter he flows
But no deeper he goes
As they no longer watch
Him burn into
A smoldering,

Andy Gehlsen studied writing and film in college while working at a library. He also helped develop scripts and wrote reviews for the college radio station. He has since worked jobs at all hours and has been published under the pseudonym Eli Dawson in Iron Doves anthology and Andrew Christian in Dark Entries Journal, Wrought Journal, and Tales from the Moonlit Path. He has work forthcoming in State of Matter and is grateful for weird friends and a steady diet of horror movies growing up.


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