Distractions

Ringing inconsistency,
switch.
Lost loves lamented,
switch.
Discontent and disillusion,
switch.
Manic soaring,
switch.
A plateau parallel to yesterday,
switch.
Static white-noise,
switch.
A perfected pretense in ideal,
switch.
Chronic pain and horror at one’s end,
switch.
Playlist on shuffle,
switch.
Update spreadsheets and status trackers,
switch.
A sultry redhead with freckles.
Switch.
Begin next task,
switch.
Repetition in flux.
Switch.

by Erik Shinker

Reading Tally for 2019

Happy New Year!

It is time again to tally up the thousands of pages, and dozens of books, while looking back at what I read over the last year. I find it intriguing to reflect on what I read, especially when I see a title and go, “Oh yeah, I did read that!”.

You will find below the total number of novels, fiction books, nonfiction books, and graphic novels I read in 2019, in addition to the total amount of pages, and what I read each month; the type of book is listed before the title and the authors are in parentheses.

I look forward to what 2020 has to offer and, as always, thank you for reading!

Novels (Nov): 26
Graphic Novels (GN): 4
Fiction (Fic): 8
Non-Fiction (NF): 10

Total Books: 44
Overall Total: 48
Page Total:
14,848
Continue reading “Reading Tally for 2019”

Overcome

(A realization)
The weight of emotions,
more than any scale could measure,
dropped upon shoulders unprepared.

Tapping into the well of reserved emotion;
catharsis flooding as tears carve
lazy rivers over
cracked, dry skin.
The trials and difficulties of
the past,
brought into being under in
stark spotlight by a song.

The contemplation of something hopeful,
something that needs to be protected, but
not hidden from reality.

Sometimes, kind words cause
the tears;
the simplicity of
a kind act witnessed renews faith.
Sincerity, cutting through the
facade of daily apathy,
can be incredibly disarming.

(A request)
Do not discount the
weight of your words, or
the effect you have on this earth and the
people around you.
You don’t know how much
you mean to everyone.

by Erik Shinker

With Me?

Impatience drives my mind through
paranoid possibilities; burdened by
radio silence.
Reaching out, only to
recoil at the thought of
your touch.

What I think of myself
doesn’t matter;
positive and negative are negated.
Stuck in my self-prescribed safe zone,
restrained by my own misgivings and
lack of experience.

What
does she think of me?
If she thinks of me at all.
And, if she did, how would she feel
about spending her time…

by Erik Shinker

Charity

I had fifty dollars burning a
hole in my wallet, and
an infinite list of wants.
During a common commute,
after a (relatively) long day,
I passed the panhandler.

My optimism wanted to believe in
that sign; that I could bring some
relief to a man who had served
our country
and paid a price with his
brace-enclosed leg.
It wanted to believe I could
help him and his wife, whose
existence he not only noted on the sign, but
underlined;
expending a little more of that precious
ink to show her importance.

My cynicism assumed this was all a ploy;
no guarantee that the money would help
this man in any other way than to
procure his next fix.
Even if this was just my
fanciful imagination, it told me that if
I helped this man and felt any sense of
self satisfaction, my charity would be
tainted with selfishness.

Maybe it was all a lie.
He wasn’t a veteran;
there was no wife.;
the leg brace was scavenged from
a back-alley dumpster and appropriated
for this part he was playing.
I was just another
middle-class mark
headed toward the
heated guarantee of home.

I had fifty dollars burning a
hole in my wallet, and
an infinite list of wants.
But in the chill of that
Minnesota cold, he looked
like he needed the warmth.

by Erik Shinker