Fission

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Chack

Goes the cue ball,

as it breaks

the tenuous structure

at the start of the game.

We collected these balls,

and set them here

for specifically this purpose.

The purposive percussion,

can have unforeseen side effects,

such as scratches,

shouting matches

or, at worst,

the 8-ball finds a way

to lose you the whole affair.

But with precision and care,

the collisions

and chain reactions you hope for,

carry you through.

A game of pool revitalizes the night.

It brings joy and energy,

that escalates,

as each ball finds its way to a pocket,

out of sight

but not out of mind.

All from the predictable instability

at its outset.

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A Limited-Time Offer

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Black and white montages

of your every day

average Joe

miserably failing

at mundane tasks.

Cut to open,

blinding white,

well-lit

studio space-

a prophet enters

to offer liberation.

His promises are grand,

his obligations are reasonable,

he tells you

salvation is yours for the taking;

he shows you

the sacred code

to speak with one of his disciples.

They beckon you

to pay your indulgences,

and enter the promised land

of Convenience.

Judgement day is upon us,

the prophet sweetens the deal,

if you are among the first 200

to accept him,

he will give unto you

a sacred chalice

that is impossible to spill

because of its NASA-inspired design,

but the clock is ticking.

You dial the phone,

but the line is busy.

You cannot live a life

of fear and ignorance

anymore.

When the words of the prophet are with you,

who stands against you?

Once more you dial,

and it rings for 3 minutes,

limbo.

Evil will not prevail today,

you tell yourself,

but you’re not so sure.

You walk in the shadow

of the valley of death,

into the kitchen,

where the reception is better.

One ring begets two,

which begets three

and on the fourth,

Hallelujah!

You have been welcomed

to the pearly gates of Convenience,

where every widget

is yours to order,

for 5 easy payments

of $19.99.

The angel on the other side

Is pleased to inform you,

that you are the 156th caller,

you have earned a sacred chalice

of your own,

what a steal!

Bootlegs

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Thank you for your patronage,

please come back soon!

When time is money,

there’s always something to do,

something new to see,

but only if you’ve already

won the lottery.

Success is timing, position,

some natural talent, skill

and heaps of dumb luck.

Many more

came before you,

with the same big dreams

playing in their minds,

but few have seen

their designs

pan out.

It feels like stealing,

but we can’t blame people

for doing what works,

and won’t put a stop to it

any time soon.

Shutting down a kiosk,

selling off-brand handbags,

t-shirts and shoes

is cutting down one bamboo stalk

in a vast forest,

hightailing it out

and congratulating yourself,

only to return again tomorrow

to do it all over.

They, like you, are also the little guy

and we all have big dreams here,

but there are bills to pay

and time is money-

there’s only so much

to be made and spent

in a day.

Imitation is flattery,

and in an uncertain world,

I’d be honored to be called

a safe bet.

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Reflections From the Wind Tunnel

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The abyss looked through me,

and I had no answers for it.

But I couldn’t just walk away,

avert my gaze,

throw my hands up

and call it quits.

“Assert yourself,”

I commanded,

The wind caught my words

as they left my lips,

and sent them somewhere

No one could hear.

There was only so much I could stand,

So I marched again,

and I marched again,

I marched until I was beaten back

to where I started.

The Ravens croaked above

coasting on rising thermals,

and they looked down on me

holding still.

Someday I’ll be airworthy.

Today the abyss looked back at me,

And I’ll look back on the abyss fondly,

For all it taught me.

Tulip Mania

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You’ve heard of that old saying, right?

“One man’s trash,

Is another man’s,

Economic crash,”

You know?

The humble tulip,

A discovery from the new world,

Became a Dutch sensation,

Overnight.

With this bulb-market,

Came speculation,

Large amounts of liquidity,

And rising valuation,

That sowed a coming disaster.

As quickly as it came,

POP! went the bubble,

Consumers, cultivators,

Merchants, kings and peasants,

All came tumbling down.

One-Sided

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If you’re lucky,

You will see the writing on the wall–

Whether you’re enthralled,

Or feel the scald,

Of the stream of consciousness,

Depends on the context.

But the assymetrical,

Solipsistic nature of feeling,

Will leave you reeling all the same,

If the answer isn’t what you’d hoped.

Whether the graffiti,

Is a firm “no I don’t,”

Or “I wish I could,”

Or the dreaded “once I did.”

That disparity,

Will sting, 

Believe me,

But with time comes clarity,

Do not despair.

To forgo the truth,

To let sleeping dogs lie,

Is to be forever ensnared,

In your most cherished,

Nightmare.

Submersible

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The SONAR tone bounded aimlessly through the massive expanse all around us, but all signs said “nothing to write home about.”

The captain sighed softly while everyone else tried to bury their loneliness in productivity.

The disparity between the nuclear-capable, inescapable, matte-black shell that shielded us was somehow more obvious with a glance through the periscope.

Even if you’re neither agoraphobic nor claustrophobic, being packed sardine-like at the bottom of the ocean can coax both out in short notice.

Ping… ping… ping…

“I see a huge object at 8 o’clock, sir” said the navigator.

So many bloodshot eyes stared in his direction at once.

“Properties,” the captain asked.

“30 feet long, moving toward hostile waters,” the navigator listed.

“Let’s investigate,” said the captain.

The vessel turned slowly, deliberately, to find the object.

“It appears to be diving,” said the navigator.

 The captain commanded coldly “Arm the torpedos,”

We all looked at each other at once itching for something to do, not forgetting that a hole in the hull the size of a quarter would let in a jet of water that could slice a man in two.

Ping… ping… ping… ping…

We were approaching now.

The captain pulled the periscope down.

“On my command,” he said holding his arm up.

Just enough light filtered through from the surface,

To show a sperm whale corpse slowly falling.

“Captain Ishmael?”

“Don’t call me that.” 

The navigator apologized profusely, and asked for information,

“Our worst enemy, another false positive,” the captain said dejectedly.

Each bloodshot eye fell back to its station,

In silent disappointment.