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

Scars

Branching like tributaries of the
living river; they show signs of a
life lived,
though, perhaps not in the
healthiest of ways.

Some through accident,
others by intent,
tissue sewn together concerns itself
only with the healing process; not
the harm.

Markers of a moment;
skin tearing,
bloodletting,
release and loss.

We have a choice:
wear our scars like
the reminders they truly are,
or
deny ourselves in the lament for
a cleaner canvas.

by Erik Shinker

Reciprocation

Adrift in the wake of
where we were.
A severing by my own hand, but
the wound continues to
turn toward infection.

I reached out when you were grasping, and
pulled with all my strength
(or so I tell myself)
until I realized your gasping was
simply seeking attention,
awaiting the first to come along.

Sweat from the effort of keeping you aloft
soon ran through my palms,
breaking the bond I thought was blessed.
Again, I was
wrong.

Your rasping entreaty for help,
a well-practiced wheeze,
drew me into those welcoming arms.
If only I had seen your talons,
maybe then we could have
avoided all the
violence.

I poured myself into you,
made you feel whole again.
My warmth pulsed through parched arteries
as your succubus lips
drained and leeched my
Truth.

Were you ever real; or was
this just some imaginary muse
I conjured while
distraught in my delirium?

I only wish I could pay back all that
you stole from me.

by Erik Shinker

Pathways

Ours may not converge, but
we are each given one to walk;
patchwork wanderers lost in
their own way.

Some go hand-in-hand, while
others pad along

alone.

It comes easily for some,
something more like labor for most,
and even still there are those oblivious to
the universe’s guiding hand.

Buffeted between invisible walls;
yet,
how could I complain?
There is no other path to tread.

Even if an alternative existed,
would I truly trust to
something so significant?

by Erik Shinker

Power

With words unspoken,
we communicate through text.
Writing, typing, messaging.

A notification could lift the spirit,
a digital chime causes a
quickening heart and
releases adrenaline in a rush.

The hope of a
connection, a
companion, a
match.

Idle
with attention always
slightly
diverted;
waiting for
another chance at
love, or
lust, or
just something
to pass the time.

Relishing the possibility with
no thought
of reality.
Wishing away boredom with
daylight hallucinations
we would incorrectly call
fantasy.

We allow the
other
end of a chat to
determine our worth, while
the imagination runs
rampant
with the worst scenarios.

She holds the power,
and I both
hate and love
every second of waiting,
as I both
hate and love
myself.

And I check
and there is nothing
and I hate myself a
little more
and I love myself a
little less.

by Erik Shinker

Cumulonimbus Draconis

As a child I looked skyward
and saw the
dragons dancing in their
frightful fury.
Majestic, marble monstrosities
among the inverted sea
flashing in opalescent splendor

Such visions revealed the
magic in the world;
the Shape, and the
possibility.

The dragons are still there and
I see their silhouettes
(for a few seconds)
aged, emaciated mists
fading into a forgotten fog.

The memories mislaid remain,
familiar paths laid and trodden
But the visions belong to
the new generation;
the wyrms are theirs to tame.

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