Popular Music

As hands grasp hips in swaying sensation,
singers spew supposed sincerity in what is
mistake for intellectual integrity.

Neo-new wave heartthrobs
popping tunes from gummy bubbles.
Over-sized sweaters droop at the shoulder atop
skinny jeans, crowned by asymmetrical hairstyles;
we’ve seen this all before when
video killed the radio star.

But, hey, the girls love ’em, and
they’re dancing all the way to the bank;
our voices raised and coaxing them forward because
we can’t stop singing along.
If this is their expression of truth,
and it happens to sell well,
where is the harm?

Art as performance,
branded to influence online,
curated by quasi-intellectuals seeking
the truth behind a major label.
An aesthetic determined
in tandem with the fandom.
Recycling to synthesize in
meta self-referential drivel.
Put down the thesaurus, fellas.

I rose, once, in defense of my genres, and
lowered my gaze down upon those who
relished and revered radio stars.
But I’d rather change the station or
put on one of my playlists.
Their music may very well have
saved someone’s life
as the art of others saved mine.
Live and let listen to pop music.

by Erik Shinker

Music Monday: “Mandala” by The Dear Hunter

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme, created by Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek, where I focus on a song I absolutely love and feel needs to be shared.

Song: “Mandala”
Artist: The Dear Hunter
Album: The Color Spectrum: Indigo (2011)

Continue reading “Music Monday: “Mandala” by The Dear Hunter”

Meaning

Capable of carrying weight and power, but
only when allowed by the
speaker, the
receiver.

A thump to the chest, the
sinking feeling as
the world rises to crush with
gripping tentacles that drag down to drown.
The decision of whether words drip like venom, or
become a soothing salve for
cracking hearts is
yours, and yours alone.

Words are not inherently infallible,
just sounds and symbols in which we place
meaning.
But don’t over-analyze;
they’re all made up anyway.

by Erik Shinker

Futility

Gnawing maggots crunch and bite through
sinew and socket; their advance gained by
terminal termites whose mandibles made
short work of a mahogany coffin.
Tearing amid stagnant flesh and rot, their survival is
assured through our consumption;
we die so that they may live.

Is this the sacrifice preached from
countless pulpits? Is it a
maggot messiah who will rise on
the third day?
This is my flesh, my blood;
eat, drink and be filled.

Or are we losing our resolve at the
futility of trying to make sense of it all before
we, too, turn into
fuel for the feeding end?

by Erik Shinker

As If

I dream of sticky lips
in poised and yearning embrace.
Tongues teased to taste
a single drop of splendor.

Palms gliding in soft,
urgent pressure.
Hard and soft, diametrically opposed yet
natural in their coupling.

The words themselves causing excitement
from nipple to navel, through
thigh and ascended, blushing cheeks.

An ideal of intimacy with
partnership past the simplicity of
laying lovers.

As if such things could
be made manifest simply by my
wishing.

by Erik Shinker

Protect(Her)

Charmed by
some smiling swine, his
true intentions hidden behind a
wall of white veneer.

Drawn in by his
attentions, affection, the
simple fact that he
pays attention.

She ignores what they have said
about his past;
a liar,
a glutton,
a man who speaks freely with
the back of his hand.

But things can’t really be
as bad as
they all say.
The dirtiest hands, even when scrubbed,
show evidence of their eccentricities;
his spotless palms must signal the chance
for redemption.

She believes she can fix him,
bring forth the man she knows he can be;
his apologies have to have some truth.
He says some lessons have to be
learned the hard way;
this isn’t one.

Let her know she deserves
so much better.

Speak.

Remind her that
she is not alone, and
we will always care.

by Erik Shinker

 

If you, or someone you love, is a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out.

National Domestic Violence Hotline