poetics unleashed: mark gaudet


dinner prep

Not sure why I named him

He was at least 1 ? pounds
Bright blue rubber bands
on his claws

His tail was flopping about
He was ready for a fight

Harold would of ripped my fingers off
If it weren’t for the bands

I put the knife in front of him
and dared him to pick it up

It was a showdown
between crustacean and man

“Come you bastard, Draw!!”
Harold seemed very still
Almost comatose

I planted that fucker in the head
sliced him down the middle
removed his claws
and boiled him for about seven minutes

It seemed more humane
and painless

For him
and me


early retirement

A local auto plant is closing
And some of the workers from
The plant talk about it—
This morning, as I wait in line
At the bank

Some of the workers can move with the plant
Or take an early retirement
And nearly all the ones at the bank
Are taking the early retirement

They speak with the old wisdom
Of everyday people—
People who have endured long days
And are eager to enjoy
Some of their remaining days:
They are in their late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s
They own their own cars and houses in
Blue collar neighborhoods,
They know what younger workers do not know—
Workers like myself

“Thirty years just flies by—I hardly
Know were it all went; one day you wake up and
You got all this gray hair on your head”

“You look pretty young to be retiring, you must
Have started right out of high school”

“Yep started right after high school—been there
Thirty years”

“Yeah, I might is well retire, after thirty years,
I’m hardly working anyway”

Some of the workers don’t recognize those from
The second shift

“You mean we’ve been workin in that place for all
These years—and never seen each other”

“By the time we start, yawl would be already gone”

There’s quite a bit of giddiness in the air
And the workers speak as if they have survived
Some kind of war
But everyone is glad to be receiving a paycheck this
Morning—including myself

I feel ashamed of my youth and getting my
Paltry paycheck; as I leave, I salute the
Workers and smile, even though their pay check
Will be much larger than mine


Originally published:
Issue Thirty-Nine
October 2005


“I was first published at the age of 15. I mainly write to empty out my head. Usually whatever is on my mind comes out on paper.Two major influences for me are Charles Bukowski and William Carlos Williams.I love free verse.

My poetry has appeared in journals in the US, Canada, and Europe including Fauquier Poetry Journal, Fledgling, The Plowman, Poetic License Poetry Magazine, S.S.O. Press, The Poet’s Haven, The Persistent Mirage, Talväipivänseisaus Specials, 3Cup Morning, Zygote in My Coffee, Children, Churches and Daddies Poetic Hours, Remark, Thieves Jargon, The Moon, Magpie’s Nest, and TMP Irregular” — Mark Gaudet.

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