The Contest Artist


I had an art teacher in high school that I was highly suspicious of. She rarely returned pieces that I submitted, and I always wondered what happened to them. Did she hang them on her walls? Did she take student projects and hoard them? Or did she get a thrill from thrashing hours of hard work? I imagined her laughing maniacally as she force fed pigment-soaked canvas and bristol board to a paper shredder.

This flash fiction piece was inspired by similar imaginings. In this particular scenario, I suspect that she used the assignments to pocket a little extra spending cash to supplement her teaching salary.

Poem: I Was Alive



I Was Alive

Can I believe
that what I see
and what I breathe
is anything
but projections of the psyche?

And is there wrong or right
or just axons and dendrites?

I wanted to file away everything
I know

but when you open the drawer,

it’s empty.
Except for one form, it reads:

“There was you, there was me,
we were standing there
on the street
some day of the week.”

I was alive.
Just wish for some way to prove that you are
alive too.


Above is the poem translated into an acoustic song. I was most likely contemplating solipsism when I wrote this one.

Poem: The Fin Harvester

I felt inspired to write this poem after reading an article about shark fin soup and the terrifying process involved in its creation. Considering the name, I’m not  sure what else I expected. Perhaps a humane death for the unfortunate sharks involved? Their fate is something a little more sadistic.

It seems the delicacy’s main ingredient is sliced from the shark while the body is left to die, immobilized. I couldn’t really wrap my head around such a harrowing and painful end to life for a creature, and how a life can be reduced to a vessel simply housing a commodity.


The Fin Harvester


God can be frivolous at packaging sometimes.

For example, the shark’s fin—

Sea flesh in its finest form—

Has excess material below:

Some eyes, a mouth, a body—

What’s this for?

Or the rhino’s horn,

Zenith of smooth symmetry, sensually curved calcium

Carefully pinched at the tip,

Has a face attached, a belly, a tail—

Mere stowaways barnacled to the prize.

What are these growths that mock

Such sacred fruit?


If I should happen upon a forest

Of horn bushes

Or straight crops of fins,

I would know that the moral compass exists.

That there is right, and there is wrong.