Tony Hawk. and four more by Michael Naghten Shanks

i watched as you turned
two-and-a-half
times in the
air after

you had failed and
failed and failed and
failed and failed and
failed and failed and
failed and failed and
failed

fourteen years later
they still sell your video games in shops
and i question your motivations
and what i learnt


telescopic blackness
in the 16th
floor flat you live in with
your mother is a telescope
looking at nothing but blackness

when you said
“the universe is so vast you are always
looking at something even
if you don’t know what to call it”

i wanted to cry and be honest
but i couldn’t sneeze


Kanye West/West Kenya
what we
have
looks so similar
to what
we want we
convince ourselves
it is
the same

but even
when something is of
the same kind
and contains
the same elements
it does not mean it
is the same


Chow Mein
i am wandering through the streets and side alleys of the city
looking for the Chinese restaurant whose name i can’t remember
when i see a girl wearing a neon patterned dress
seeing this girl reminds me of another whose name i can’t forget
but who lives in a different city, in a different country
the restaurant i'm looking for serves the best chow mein in the city
i ask the girl in the neon dress if she knows where i can get the best chow mein in the city
she starts kissing me, which either means she doesn’t know or
she's misinterpreted my question
her mouth tastes like garlic sauce
i am standing in the middle of a traffic island kissing a girl in a neon dress whose mouth tastes like garlic sauce
i am still thinking about eating chow mein


passwords
every time i create a new
account on the internet
i use a different password
but they're not different
in the sense that they're always
a variation of my name
i use myself
to gain access to the world
and let the world see the version of me
i want it to see
i have so many passwords
that i spend the first week
after opening a new account
just signing in with my password
to remind myself
this is how i can access
the different accounts and the world
i hope that answers your question
about why i say i love you so often


Michael Naghten Shanks, 26, is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from Dublin. His writing has featured variously, online and in print, in publications such as Boyne Berries, the Bohemyth, the South Circular, theNewerYork, Number Eleven Magazine, and in multiple issues of wordlegs.

He is one of the featured writers in the
wordlegs anthology 30 under 30, published by Doire Press. He will also feature in the forthcoming anthology New Planet Cabaret, published by New Island Books in association with RTE ARENA. He was shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2013, and was a finalist in the Uniquely Dublin competition. He has read his work at events including Shore Writers’ Festival, Big Smoke Writing Factory Presents: FLASH BULBS, and the 10 Days in Dublin festival. He is a consultant editor for the Bohemyth. Follow him @MichaelNShanks.