Projection

Boast and brag through
false modesty;
post and paste images on your profile
accompanied by hashing tags
in your attempt to influence.

Dragged down by my jealousy,
I am no better.
While I wish your life was as
fulfilling as you’d have us believe, it is
only through spite.

We project ourselves onto others;
the aspects we wish and want,
whether to hide or flaunt.

by Erik Shinker

Heartbeat

I am a cliché,
I have pined after
the loss I have heard
sung as a lover’s lament.

I once felt that pain’s sharpness,
but now it is gone from me;
dulled to a numbing ache, a
vibration through my being
barely registered amid my breathing.

All I can do is tilt my head to
tip out the tears, and
tap my toe to the
heartbeat pulse of another
sad love song.

by Erik Shinker

Data, Mine

A built-in search bar for manipulated memories;
interconnected social media
producing profiles easily uncovered
(with the right information).

Digging through the past, with
digital shovel at hand, seeking to
uncover through the upset pixels:
are the pictures current?
Do we have mutual “connections”?
What do they choose to show the world?

But that isn’t the whole truth.

Hoping to find
something
that reveals whether
this is worth going through with;
if this is time well spent.

But that isn’t the whole truth.

Looking for some reason to drop the conversation;
I cowardly cup the possibility of off-putting
or contradictory information to my chest.

Hoping to find
something
to make it easier when
I lose interest and
decide to disappear.

by Erik Shinker

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