Hamlet in 15 Seconds

Every once in a while,
imagine life as a hard, rigid,
inflexible caramel center.

If you can help it,
make your way through
a swirling maelstrom
of volatile surprises.

And by all that is holy,
practice a death-defying leap
through a flaming hoop
while reciting Hamlet

in under 15 seconds
when nobody’s around.

People always clap
for the wrong reasons.

Shloka Shankar, 2017

Remixed works:
Chaos Theory: A Unified Theory of Muppet Types, by Dahlia Lithwick
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.


I saw a black mass of smoke.
I felt the fire touching me through my window.
I heard a snap or a crackle.
I saw the flames rising.
A bird gave this to me because I freed her wing
from a tangle of balloons.

Stranded between one act and another,
jump, turn clockwise,
cut with the kitchen knife
through the beer belly of the Republic.
The more a visitor is willing
to play in my nightmare,
the more all of us will receive.
The island sinks now, but it’s still there
just beneath the waves.

They came and knocked on the door.
Why didn’t you open the door?
My daughter could have been in there bleeding.
I can’t keep doing this.
The bridge is going to collapse.
They’re saying I have to walk,
but it’s raining and dark.

Whatever happened here,
it was at the wrong time, wrong place.
This place is very dangerous.
I imagined that there might be someone with a gun.
Crowded places, we try to avoid.
Malls, we try to avoid.
So much is coming at us.
It’s like watching your heart outside your body.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Hyperallergic article
AJC article
ABC News article
New York Times 1 article
New York Times 2 article

You Are Here

What are you supposed to be?

Quiet anticipation or cosmic boredom?

The arrow on the map or strange place names?

A door locked from the inside, or a master key?

Thoughts left just as they were-

fading rapidly from your awareness-

or a series of jolting epiphanies,

itching for a chance to leap headlong into reality?

An out of focus aftertaste

or still somehow alive and unfinished,

even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair,

even if you wish you could slowly dissolve?

What are you supposed to be?

Maybe, your own adventure;

fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Garima Behal, 2017

Remixed work:
Thought Catalog, by Brianna Wiest

Under Shadows

In a Rhythm of blurred silences,

The lights and shadows stopped


the noises of the city receded.


As I stepped inside,

this fever of departure

overlooked     the natural right

that this river swallowed.

How easily a crime could be committed here.

Jonathan Butcher, 2017

Remixed work:
Houseboat, by Anaïs Nin

How the Heart Hardens

You move around like a fish,
searching for possibilities.

You should invest in failing.
Invest in losing. You should

create a room to get lost in,
a room where you lose names.

Don’t ask why something meant
something to you. That’s actually

not such a nice way to grow up.
If you go to bed with French fries,

you will lie there, thinking about
what it means. You have to be

the beast. There is a child world
that needs to be destroyed.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Hyperallergic article