A selection of two poems by Dustin Hoffman

Fiction, Fresh

Pretend Everything’s Pretend

How am I supposed to succeed
In a world so fake
Obsessed with cheap antics
Made to persuade
Another worthless product
Another dollar to be made
Sold to fickle people
As way to evade
Away from their lives
Away from their problems
A shiny piece of plastic
To maintain a bubble-wrapped life
That you can go hide in
You can bury your head in
Pretend everything is okay
Pretend everything’s pretend

But I’m just a whiner
In an unscrupulous fashion
I bought a lighter
So I could set blaze to this contention
I want to burn this town down
To get rid of these ghosts
All they do is linger
Disparaging my hopes
I walked for hours
Pacing in circles
Trying to find an answer
For why I’m imperfect
Maybe I’m sick
Maybe I’m defected
Maybe I’m different
Maybe it’s not worth it
Maybe my problem
Has been all along
The moral perspectives
And these societal walls
Acting as a barricade
Another way to separate
To keep us divided
To keep us all lost
Trying find reason
For why we feel this hate

Torn from ambition
Torn from my ribcage
The essence I held on to
That I used as motivation
Pretend everything’s pretend
Because that’s the only thing I’m good at
Ignore the explosions
Going off in the distance
The warning signs
Flashing red lights
The hidden lies
The trail of betrayal
Maybe my father was right
When he said I was a failure
Finding ways to distract
From my compulsive behavior
Enduring bad electronic music
Echoing through a club
So I can find a girl
To fuck in the bathroom stall
The concept of love
Has no meaning
When no one knows
Or understands what they’re feeling
It’s easy to forget
If you can’t even remember
Take another sedative
To drift into the nether
To forget this place
To forget this hole
When I leave I’m never coming back
To this place that I called home


The Great Inventor

Toiling in the remains of old ruins
Grasping to salvage something of value
The great inventor
Who never built a thing
Except ideals
Sold for nothing
His ego
His stubbornness
His pride
Has only
Led him astray
Along the wayside
He still believes
That a great invention can redeem
If only he could find a way
To make reality out of dreams
So he finds distractions
To occupy his mind
Because the pain he feels
Is too strong to subside
So he fumbles with gadgets
And other broken devices
Hoping that something
Will be worthy and entices
Anyone who cared
Are all long gone
They all declared him mad
When he couldn’t find the one
That one thing
That one spark
That was apparent
That set itself apart
Desperately scrambling
To hurry up the pace
As if the speed he goes
Will alter the stakes
He looks around
Sees he’s shackled to the deed
As if his need was to build
But it’s really to be freed
Freed from expectations
Freed from the results
Freed from the desire
And the urge to never stop
His tired bones ache
His hands are rough and scraped
He sees he wasn’t creating at all
But digging himself a grave
A larger hole to fall down
A money pit
Exhausted and distraught
All his energy is lost
Except his ability to think
To come up with new ideas
And that’s how it started
That’s when it showed
That his greatest invention
Was learning to let go


Black tri-dot

Photo by Thomas Hawk/ flickr