Author: August Smith

August Smith lives in Somerville, MA. He was previously published in theNewerYork, Banango Street, and other places. He runs Cool Skull Press. View his work here.

4 Can’t-Miss Lifehacks That Will Change Your Life!

If you want to increase your circle of friends—
              because, honestly?, who doesn’t?—

simply widen your definition of the word “friend”.

Keeeeep going. Widen it all the way. Swallow 

the world in an awesome tidal wave of friendship 

definition. Ravage the continents with

your circumstantial connections, particles

of unrequited love vibrating invisibly across the universe 

like in string theory, which incidentally

was discovered and theorized by a bunch 

of my genius physicist friends, 

those crazy fellas!

If you want to have a building named after you—
              because, again, this appears to be 

              a desirable thing universally—

all you have to do is change your name

to that of a preexisting building. This is advice coming

directly from me, Mr. Space Needle Eiffel Tower,

the most prominent poet-slash-tourist attraction

this side of Robert Frost’s dusty old barn in


or where ever it is.

Okay, follow me on this one:
something only exists if you have a word for it.

Logically, it follows that if you mentally replace

negative, hurtful words—
              for example, death, depression, war,

with brighter, more colorful words—
              e.g., rainbows, candy canes, disco balls,

              the October light streaming through a window

              and resting gingerly on your dearest lover’s 

              silken shoulder blades—
then those original concepts stop existing entirely,

becoming like a linguistic blindspot of brilliantly white


This is my own method of coping.

I never feel very candy canes anymore,

and I certainly haven’t noticed anything in the news 

about disco balls in the Middle East.


Now that I think about it,

let’s do away with language altogether.

Syntax and meaning offer no shelter

to the sparrow who takes flight

through the breaking light of October.

There is no pleasure there, 

but likewise, no definable pain.

There are no friends 

and no enemies, no naming

and no subjective comparisons.

There is only song and stimuli,

breathing and reactions,

candy canes and disco balls,

birthday cakes and;;;; emptiness

              the game of rest and time 

                           —            eyes with of this it,

              merry words with           out any

 truth tongue                    going 

happi’’’ness tree               gargle ham ocean
Screen shot 2014-11-14 at 9.10.58 AM

Spectral Shift / Sine Wave

The most profoundly alone thing in the universe is subjective.
This is knowledge gained from the transdimensional hypercube
that I communicate with on a daily basis.

The hypercube and I are in lockstep.
I perceive it only inwardly, like everyone else.
I bounce ideas off it. I project what I can muster.

By our very composition we agree on everything:
the hologram-like nature of existence and
how it all feels deceivingly “beyond”, as if with great focus

I could phase my everything into another’s,
converging and absorbing memories and passwords,
data clusters, emotive equations, vortices, ideas.

We agree that the outer self is like a laser:
straight-forward, halted by the physical,
blindingly pure, great at a party,

but victim to spectral shift from the distances
between gridlocked subjectives,
as the sine wave warps even the most distilled message.

When two lasers intersect nothing significant happens.
Two ships passing in the night on separate planets,
antenna-tuned to different dimensions:
profoundly alone.