Four Poems and a Dialogue by Carl Gercar

Broken Mirrors

I look better

in broken mirrors

in dirty bathrooms

at loud bars

where the people outside

smoking cigarettes

speak languages I used to know

and there are cars rolling down the street

but I don’t know how they work

like the people

they are noisy,

always talking

about nothing

about themselves

about me.

I Took This Pill

I took this pill to forget

and the doctor

with his fingers in my mouth

said everything would be fine

so I took this pill to forget

like I wipe my ass after a shit

but I don’t think it worked

because I can still

taste you

in my



Lots of people die from heroin
in my hometown.
None have died of heartache yet.
I’m trying to be the first one.
I’ve been walking up to
beautiful women
and telling them
I love them
and watching them
walk away.
It’s very difficult to die this way.
I have to try all the time.
Heroin would be
more romantic
but I can’t afford it
so I walk the streets
breaking my own heart
chasing beautiful women

Something About Other Men

The first boy I kissed
looked a lot like
Franz Kafka.

there isn’t anything clever to that,
he just did.

He taught me that burnt rubber
can suffice as a substitute for


and people don’t care either way
if they can get what they want.

He wanted what
his father never gave

and I wanted
what my father never was

so we found
each other.

it’s sweet and romantic like that,

We met at a bar.

i am always at bars

I think I had a girlfriend at the time

but I don’t really remember
and if I did
she would have understood


If she didn’t I would have broken up with her and she was the one who broke up with me as I recall.

something about other men.

She chased me out of her apartment with a broomhandle yelling in Spanish.

It was hard to pick up on what the reasons were.

It usually is.

So I went to a bar.

i am always at bars
running from women
i can’t understand

I don’t know if his name was Franz or not but I remember it as Franz and that’s all there is to it, I guess.

i had forgotten how to be alive
and it feels very similar
to suffocation
or strangulation
or auto-erotic

Within the span of a few hours I had lost all complacence.


The morning air tastes sweeter
when you have something
to avoid.

Franz left while I was asleep.

I didn’t try to find him.

I got out of bed, naked
and called a taxi.

My ex-girlfriend took me back
with minimal explanation.

something about other men.

Imagined Conversations In The Park

Part I: Three Businessmen Walking Casually Without Briefcases

Businessman 1, very fat, comically so, with tiny fingers like swollen worms stuck in the dirt: …I severed her head myself actually, it was very visceral.

Businessman 2, short and trying to make up for it: I’ve heard about this, performing your own beheadings. It sounds cathartic, and places a further emphasis on ownership.

Businessman 3, skinny, nearly invisible, all in black: I’m sure it is intimate as well?

Businessman 1, jiggling with arousal: Very intimate! So intimate! I had to resist my urges, as I was in front of The Board Itself. The next time I need to dispose of personal trash, I’ll be doing so in the privacy of my own home.

Businessman 3, stretching into the sky, flickering in and out of reality: That was not an option with this one.

Businessman 2, scampering to keep up on rat feet: What did she do, anyway?

Businessman 1, flesh warping and turning grey: Where were you? This has been all over the seer orbs. Did you disconnect your Bluetooth?

Businessman 2, front teeth extending: I was in Corsica with the first wife on a purge, just champagne enemas and raw ground chicken for a whole business week, then two days of anal intercourse. I shut down all distractions.

Businessman 3, sighing into solar flares and licking Jupiter’s Big Red Spot: What a sensual experience, I must try it.

Businessman 1, skin molting: As must I, but to the matter at hand: she declined to give one of the Partners the sexual release he required of her, and furthermore considered approaching Human Resources, so obviously we had to cut off her head. Given that she was my cousin’s daughter, I took responsibility myself.

Businessman 2, nose stretching and whiskers growing and leaning forward to walk with his hands: Ah, well that’s understandable. What release was required of her?

Businessman 1, scales slimy wet like a newborn baby: She was to withdraw all of the money from her account and invest in a startup his nephew had majority ownership of, while nude and wearing tiger face paint.

Businessman 2, squeaking: Well that’s not so bad—

Businessman 1, tongue flicking, rubbing his engorged stomach: Then she was to sign a document stating she was willing to be a bloodbag for any of the elder Partners she matched with. This wasn’t part of the release, I’m sure, but something thrown in under that excuse.

Businessman 3, eternal and incorporeal: That is the best way to get these things done.

Businessman 2, jumping into trash cans for credit information: So she declined to sign the document?

Businessman 1, eating nearby flies: No, she declined the tiger face paint.

Businessman 2, poking out of a dumpster: Really? Why?

Businessman 1, in Texan Reptilian: She didn’t want to be infantilized.


Carl Gercar’s work has appeared in Fluland, Here Comes Everyone, and Occulum. He is based in Chicago, living and working with other artists.

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