By Emily Butler 

Self Talk

Looks like somebody forgot to take their Dylar this morning.

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the tracks?

Got a bad case of the un-days? The end times?

Don’t you dare rhyme. You’re very clever.

How’s that working out for you?

Quit playing with your words already and eat them.

Modern Sins

To check Facebook in the middle of a bright, insect-filled field
is a kind of blasphemy .

Is challenge a core component of religion?

If so, I may have created an adequate faith:

            Resist the sins of technology (jealousy, hubris) and reality
            will set you free.

This is not unlike advice I was once given
which encouraged me to focus on concrete

Concrete as in tangible    
(“concrete” is more “concrete” than “tangible” is “tangible”
because of concrete’s material connotation)

not as in a mixture of cement, water, sand, stone.

The challenge of attention. The split self of addiction.
I can’t hear the birds over my words.

Just now! God played a joke on me.

So distracted by jerking off my mind, I did not see the fuzzy caterpillar crawling up my leg and when I finally noticed, I flicked it with my pen, startled.

Humans are comically cowardly giants.

Just when I am too busy to notice the world, the caterpillar crawls up to remind me that nature is frightening even when it isn’t.

I’d rather stay in the artificial place
we have created.

The place where we pretend we aren’t prey.

About the Author:

Emily Butler

Emily F. Butler is a high school librarian by day, stand-up comedian and musician by night. Their work has appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, Moonglasses, Eunoia Review, This Zine Will Change Your Life, and Bone Parade. They live in western Massachusetts and write book reviews for School Library Journal. You can follow them on Twitter @EBetcetera.