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

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

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

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

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

Posturing

Edit.

Show only what elevates and
discard the real.

Tell others how to live, but
call it “leading by example”.
Coach a life,
whatever that means.

Be the envy;
picturesque products of our
wants and desire.

Hide the snot, and
shit, and
refuse of
who you are;
spew the aesthetic
you would have others
perceive.

Sell yourself, and a
life; if only there was a
Devil to take your soul, but
even he would balk
at your narcissism.

by Erik Shinker