The Nightmare Center (a short story)

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” – Sigmund Freud

I.

Dylan yawned, leaned back in his chair. It was another late night at the Nightmare Center, but at least he was collecting overtime. The entire year had been full of late nights, for obvious reasons. The election had peoples’ unconscious selves falling apart at the seams.

“Still here?” Amari asked, bags under her eyes.

“Unfortunately,” Dylan said. “I’m working a double.”

“It never ends.”

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Dead Garden (a poem)

watching from the fire escape

I breathe in daylight, fresh air

a blue jay lands in a dead garden

her colors brilliant & offensive

dried leaves rustling like

fading nightmares

an urge to suck in colors before me

& vomit them back out

like the Destroyer God who

crushes galaxies in his hands

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

Book Review: Amerika by Franz Kafka

After reading Franz Kafka’s complete short stories last year, I was determined to read the three novels that were published posthumously. I find Kafka to be a tremendously interesting writer and literary figure, and after reading most of his work, the recurrent themes became evident.

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The Faceless Woman (a poem)

The faceless woman chases me through vacant city streets –

lights on in every home, but no one’s there,

just us, running in dreadful silence

my heart beats so fast it feels as if it’ll burst

from my sunken chest, plop on black concrete +

continue to beat to the rhythm of the pulsing ground,

as a brilliant moon looms above, hangs over us,

shines blinding light on my ghostly skin –

I’m living in sin + if the woman catches me,

I’ll surely suffocate + gurgle black blood

from a wicked mouth –

No! my mouth is gone, covered by slimy skin,

+ I’m gone, in her cold grasp at last,

the world collapses inside of me +

I wake as a newborn in some

distant jungle landscape.

(Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash)

Escaping from the Nightmare (a poem)

Thank you for helping me escape from the nightmare –

I thought I’d never be free from the cold cell in my mind,

where the warden stood silent outside – where yellow-eyed

rats scurried from dark corners and ate my supper – where

every day was a dark winter’s afternoon, and drifts of cold air

blew through barred windows, and I shivered in rags on the

dirt floor. Thank you: I have my freedom now, and I will march

the city streets, demanding freedom for the others, the ones

also imprisoned by the nightmare.

(Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash)