Horror Story

I’ll tell you a story,
about a man and a woman,
whose souls never met despite
their complete surrender to each other.

They spoke every day,
slept entangled in one another;
their bodies pantomiming
what they were told by
their parents,
their culture,
and their society was
the ultimate goal.

Intimacy, forced through expectation.
He bragged to his friends about his
erotic escapades;
she doted over her lover’s ligaments
to lady and lummox alike.

They routinely posted online and
kept to a schedule; spreading their
manicured manure in search
of influence.
Tagging pictures of filtered flirtation,
they checked into hot-spots and date nights;
alert to become
the envy of all their
connections and
followers and
“friends”.

But they knew it was hollow.
They lived in fear of losing the game,
the race to the finish line of perfection.
They continued to feed on the
ugliest of emotions;
vampires leeching from
any unlucky enough to
come into contact.

These magnificent monsters
parade and display their
selfishness in a way  to
justify.
Don’t mislabel something
horrible as love.
Fear these creatures;
there is nothing
human
about them.

by Erik Shinker

Sainthood

Dealing in absolutes with
no thought of
humanity’s hypocrisy.

The daydreams of our
heroic yesterday have become
corrupted memories of
what was
never true.

Whose hand holds the
elevating pen while
simultaneously swiping through the
ugliness of ourselves
with the other?

Create an idol and
deny, deny, deny
when the reality would
contradict what our hearts
most want to be true.

Deify those we would see succeed, and
demonize those who oppose.
Lay the mantle of sainthood
upon the undeserving.

by Erik Shinker

Instagram Poetry

Do we truly bleed upon that page?
Since there is no page, is
our digitized blood
just as phony? Pixelated poems,
scorched sunspots on
a bleached field find
no truth for lack of trying.

Simple sentiments of
a universal disorientation
feigned as
profundity.
The sure-shock, formulaic
tripe placed with
an ideal image to
influence.

We all sell ourselves,
some of us are just in
#denial.

Type nonsense for all to read.
Remain vague to
leave little slots for
the displaced, depressed
community to deposit
self-fulfilling fallacies.
Tell others how to
live their lives and
hope it goes
#viral.

I would not remove,
or disparage,
the words of anyone writing
their truth, but
I wish for those who read to be
more discerning.
Stop emulating
mediocrity;
it gets far too much
attention as is.

by Erik Shinker

Phonetics

Sownd ih towt, won sillabull attay tym
Led durs leeding tool urning and comprehenshun
Fynd tha rithum, meening, nd rime
deestroyeeng awl fee rand apprehenshun

Tayk ay mowment, dew nawt rush
Tew dew sow wood ownlee end in payn
Embare-assmint dew tew ay dezire tew push
Lewsing tha thred and rime awl tha saym.

One step forward, and tew stehps bak
Slolee sea ying the patturn and trend
Tha werds now start to may-cup for the lack
And now the poem comes to annend.

by Erik Shinker

Blame

Where does the fault lie?

When all our fault lines crash and
burrow against one another;
who is the victim and
the culprit?

Was it the money, spent
so freely on
topical trifles
intended to increase
self-worth?

Was it the intimacy; a
physical necessity forced
upon the other through a
yielded yearning misled?

Was it the fear that
brought them together? Fear of
loss, loneliness, and
the promised price
all
must pay?

Piecemeal crust cracks and reshapes,
creating as it destroys; but
when the upset dust and detritus
finally find fractured
settlement in sediment, was
something built
or simply
broken?

by Erik Shinker

Broken Promises

What is a promise? Is it
simply a wish one believes
will come true? Is there
any certainty?

What is it to be certain? Is it
to convince ourselves that we have
some knowledge of truth? Is there
any such thing?

What is faith? Is it
the whispered resistance of
a childless voice in the face of
all-consuming circumstance
despite the apparent knowledge that
providence
only foresees
misery?

What is the point when
well-wishes and
prayers for protection
f
a
l
l
short of
any reassurance?

What is a promise but
a lie laughed in the
face of
the deserving?

It was never a
promise; only ever
a fool’s hope.

by Erik Shinker

A Song for Marilyn and George

It has been ten years since my grandfather passed, and I cannot help but wonder at what he would think about how far I have come. So much has changed since I last saw him, and I can only hope I have walked a path similar to that which he wanted for me.

Perpetually Past Due

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

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