Scream Unconciousness / by Michael Stahl

Last night the lights were so bright
and flickering so fast I had a seizure.
In the moments of clarity,
a retro flipbook of Polaroids wiggled themselves—
It was comic anxiety waiting for them all to turn,
But it was worth the wait.

From out of the past, in the past,
I saw you and her and him and her
with the same clothes on,
symbolizing for me that little had changed.
Though I thought that impossible,
it was true.

In these pictures, there was no fear.
Who takes these?
Besides the ones you buy after rides
to ridicule yourself and others.

But in these, the shared and the liked,
there was happiness and booze,
       birthdays and cake,
       no rain, but rainbows.
There’s an app for that
and it’s called “No Regrets.”

Unabashedly apathetic to the grinding of anything but coffee,
we’ll grow up one day–
Our ancestors revealed the number 
not to be trusted.
However, that has been inflated by freedom
that has been quietly expanding,
with some benefitting more than others in their pockets.

And though the collective can be bogged down by
the critically bombastic detractors
of what our mission is supposed to be,
getting closer to manufacturing cynics, but not Model T’s,
if you look closely, you’ll see hearts of resiliency—
Red and pink artichokes overstuffed with goodness.

You see 
history repeats itself.
And that, my friends, is a great thing.
For if we are destined to make the same mistakes,
then we might as well smile while we go ahead and make them.


Michael Stahl is a journalist, writer & editor born, raised & living in Astoria, New York. His work has appeared in several publications, both in print & online. Follow him on Twitter & read more of his work on