by Dominik Slusarczyk (February 2024)

Young Couple, Emil Nolde, 1935


When I walk I talk to
You always you only you.



Oh, Bear Cub

Oh, bear cub.
Why do you cry?

The sound is like falling down a well.
It is so loud, right up there in the atmosphere,
And then it dies away to pebble beaches.
It is like a teething child being patted on the back.
It is almost here but it is almost there too.

Your eyes drown.
The black fur is wet and flat on your cheeks
And the flat expands
Like soup spreading out over a stone floor.
When you blink water is squeezed out
As if from a soaked sponge.

Oh, bear cub.
Why do you cry?




I bowl and roll
Past the outfield
Into the many mistakes of yesterday.

I refuse to run
At paper plastic targets.

I only run
Past my last college.

Forget the times we dined on beer and laughter.
Remember the amount of mischief and mayhem.

I saved the day with great dismay
And we talked of torture and targets
And the marksmen who manage dawn time sunlight.

If I believe in you
You still exist.



Dominik Slusarczyk

I was a child once but I am not a child anymore I am an adult so if I was a child once and I am an adult now will I be an adult or a child tomorrow because based on the evidence I have available to me both are equally likely.

When I was a child I was really small and now I am an adult and I am told I am big but I feel like I am small so am I big or am I small or am I neither and I’m actually normal sized and what is normal if small is normal and big is normal.

If small is normal and big is normal then there is no normal or maybe everything is normal or maybe nothing is normal and we just feel bad telling the truth and telling people that they’re really strange which is what I am.

I wish child came after adult because you would have more fun being a child after being an adult because you would be like ‘this is fucking awesome I’m all small and everything this cracks me up’ whereas what it actually is is when you’re small you think you’re big and when you’re young you think you’re old because you’re like ‘wow I’m 6 that’s so old I was 5 yesterday 5 is so young 6 is old’.

I guess what I’m trying to say is nobody can understand anything outside of themselves which makes art pointless and love impossible but then again maybe art is impossible and love is pointless and maybe love and art are the same thing but if love and art are the same thing then there aren’t any different things and everything is exactly the same and I am you and you are me but isn’t that obviously the case because we have exactly the same name.-


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Michael Shindler is a writer living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in publications including The American Conservative, The American Spectator, National Review Online, New English Review, University Bookman, and Providence. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelShindler.

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