Just Look Away

Abtract pattern with some day-glo colors against a black-and-white background.

by Caleb Hogan

You shower in your self pity
when you look in your mirror
at your fucked up teeth,
the ones that never got the braces they needed.
The longer you look,
The more it becomes self hatred,
you want to punch yourself in the mouth as hard as you can
until your snaggle fangs pop back.
You can’t escape the feeling when you leave.
After you curse your reflection,
you turn on your TV
and see actors with manufactured perfect smiles
in between advertisements for Invisalign.

You couldn’t repair your broken air conditioner
for nearly a full summer.
Spending many nights sleeping on the floor,
because you think it’ll cool you off
but you wake up drenched in sweat,
with fleas biting your legs.
You give up on sleep and turn on your TV,
to watch an episode of The Simpsons
where the family buys a pool during a hot summer
in between ads for Orkin.
And you finally throw your remote
when you see an ad for a new kind of mattress.
It supposedly reduces excess body heat

It’s the end of the month
you’re staying up until midnight
waiting for your Link card to refill.
You’ve been making peanut butter sandwiches
out of stale crackers all week.
11:50 rolls around and you head to the store
When you get there, you’re too hungry to think straight.
You’ve waited too long to eat,
while watching ads for junk food.
It’s all you can think about.
You blow most of your food stamps on chips, soda, and TV dinners.

One day you finally lost it.
Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue is on Fox News
talking about people like you
in some fucked up analogy,
“They only feed a military dog at night
because a hungry dog is an obedient dog”.
Your veins pump hatred instead of blood.
tremors of pure rage control your reaction
You pick up a hammer and smash his head.
First your screen turns white,
then it loses all signal.
Shards of glass spew from the demon
like fragments of skull.
They cut you, but you can’t feel it.
You rip it from the entertainment stand, toss it to the floor,
and animalistically bash it to death
like you’ve been waiting your whole life for this moment.
By the time you stop
you finally feel sane again,
but the blood and shards of glass
cover your floor
like a violent piñata party.
It looks like a murder scene.
You barely even remember why you did it.

Caleb Hogan dreams of writing/developing an indie Neo-noir Horror game, and is currently experimenting with poetry and flash fictions in an attempt to develop his writing style. Though not a fan of poetry, he accepted the challenge of writing it anyway because he found that the ideas acquired by experimenting with the medium could be useful for future projects.