What You Bring

Creation,
whether done for
oneself or another,
should be shared;
however,
what we make is part of a
conversation across
time and space.

The closest we may come to actual time travel;
I write this, on a gray, January morning, but
who knows when you are reading it? Or where?
I sit on a rusty folding chair that has been
on this earth
longer than me;
a blanket placed between it and myself to
provide some semblance of comfort.

The type of blanket will vary by reader;
does it have a pattern? Is it
geometric? Is the name of my alma mater sewn
into the corner?
Is it an afghan? A quilt?
Is it threadbare, fluffy, or or thin?
It all depends on how much I choose to tell, and
what is left for you to fill.

Once we hand it off, whether by
posting online, or
publishing on paper, or
speaking into the universe,
only one part of this
transcendental transaction between
creator and consumer is complete.

The creation itself exists between
our intention and
what you bring;
read into it what you will, but
know that the mirror of Art reflects
more than the artist.

by Erik Shinker

Seer

A read receipt through
no fault of my own other than the wish to
clear another nosy notification.
A daily deluge,
the multitude of messages unwarranted
and unsought,
from more than I care to count;
all claiming to be different than the rest with
their choice of synonyms being the
only difference.

Click an “X” and close the chat,
your entreaty for “friendship” left in languor.
A sigh of frustration, the folly of believing a
social network could ever be beneficial.

There are actual stresses in my life, so
I do my best to minimize what I can.
Sure, you were nice to meet, but
don’t read anymore into what wasn’t there;
that book’s pages are blank, and will remain so.
the only one who is responsible for your
interminable imagination is yourself.

Yes,
you have been “Seen“;
what more do you want?

by Erik Shinker

Seen

The Seer leaves
a check mark;
read receipt and acknowledgement despite your
wish to remain silent.
A shoulder no colder than those
received and perceived rude in person.

Slumping, staring blank and
worrisome; wont to read too much
into something trifling.
A shrieking emptiness
allowing my imagination to do what it will.

Thoughts meander and find my
worst fears fruitful in their
delusional search for an excuse.
All the practical, reasonable, logical explanations became
too far-fetched to arrest this
terminal spiral.

I have been “Seen”;
dismissed.

by Erik Shinker

Self-esteem

Beaver teeth, pushed forward
by a tongue cracking in crevices.
A forest of fur covers knuckles, backhanded scars,
and freckling moles which emerge from a
desert of translucent skin.

Stomach bulging post-binge;
an ever-expanding
tumorous gut
bloated despite
half-hearted attempts at loss through
diet and exercise.

Each ache increases with
days gone by.
Thinning tissue stretched along
hips and handles labeled as
“for love”;
tiger stripes of a
less than attractive nature.

Sweat saturated palms and feet
destroy the soles of shoes by the pair and
create clammy handshakes.

Seen in all its disgusting “glory” by
only one
in adulthood;
a handful as a babe.
There is no need to point out my flaws;
I am woefully aware.

by Erik Shinker

Spiraling

Is it really companionship I want?
When I start to sit and
contemplate what a relationship
entails, I feel myself lilt.

Being responsible for my own
emotional well-being can be overbearing at times;
watching over another’s could be too much.

Is this the male cowardice we hear so much about?
Unable to commit, worrying
too much
about things that
haven’t even happened?

Why do I continue this fruitless
endeavor? If I really met my
“dream woman”, would I have to courage?

Or would I simply sit and sulk,
masochistic in my love of loneliness;
forever trapped in this cycle of spiraling.
Yet I ask for a chance
as if I would even take it.

by Erik Shinker

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

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