Options of Escape

It was always an option;
the chance of escape from the everyday,
the routine, the mundane.
An epiphany of wanderlust and
the ideals of those post-grad, 20-somethings
still clinging to their
divinely endowed potential.

The lie of being content now revealed;
that surrogate stories were all the travel necessary
was a fool’s fantasy;
that imagination and
the ability to translate the stories of others,
manifest their magnificence,
were enough.

Things lost that were never owned,
ideals implanted from media and music.
The cowl of adulthood lies heavy with
the knowledge that the
past has passed and
there is no going back.

We fall, warriors cut apart by
time’s rusty blade, learning nothing;
faux-philosophers who cling to clichés and
parrot the same concerns that add
not wisdom, but
exhaustion.

by Erik Shinker

A Human Construct

I once took time
by the burning of a cigarette;
ash fell in lieu of sand to fill my hourglass.
The immortality of youth led me to
scoff through my coughing as
I would joke of my
elongated suicide.

I kept time in the hours between
classes and marching band practice;
wasting my wonder at why I
seemed to have such a hard time while
all my my friends around found
lovers like their lives depended on it.

Time stayed at bay while I
lazed laconic in my indecision.
“If only”
would be the epitaph
upon my tombstone.

But I no longer
track time’s passing as I once did;
I measure it by
the length of songs that soothe and
ease my muddled mind.
They comfort me through my meandering;
though they still tend to taunt in
their ability to
restart, to
rewind.

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