Short Story: Another Failing Artist.

Short Story: Another Failing Artist.

(441 words) 28 August 2018

By Steven R.A. Markin

Most of his time in the spring had been spent walking trails and enjoying the outdoors after a long Canadian winter of school and a rough breakup. The paths where his refuge, walking meditation is what he would tell people who stopped him to chat quickly. He was friendly and nice, and many people seemed to enjoy chatting with him, but he didn’t care to talk too long. He often wanted to keep moving. Keep the thoughts going and experience as much of the environment as he could.

The hikes came to an abrupt end one morning.

And nearly three months later, he still can’t seem to ease his mind, even after getting back to the gym, eating healthy and sleeping on schedule, speaking with counsellors, and enjoying conversations with his family and friends again. But unable to go back, and unable to feel like himself, even during a walk throughout the day as the helicopter would often fly overhead, just as it flys above, over and over again throughout the days, the early mornings, afternoons and late nights, and even slowed down on his way from school, as if stopping above to look down on him, reminding him and making him feel even worse of a person, like he is someone who is not.

He was told to regain his life back, he thought. To live again. He knows it deep down that he must live again because they don’t know him as his friends and family do. They only go off of assumptions. Maybe trying to ruin him just like the media so easily did without any evidence, with two broadcastings, in the newspaper, and a goddamn tweet. But of course, the news moves on to the next. Everyone does, but only him, he is left to walk with these thoughts of desecration feeling like he is a nobody in a city until his case is resolved. Resolved, he repeated to himself. Then what? Maybe he’ll get to go to school in the fall. Perhaps he won’t, he thought. Maybe bankruptcy will be enough to finally create the art that had so wonderfully graced his depression. But who creates art to make money, he thought. Money, he laughed saying to himself. Money is all that they are interested in. He told the truth, and now the truth is, he would rather be another failing artist who escapes in his paintings, a recluse, than someone who makes others feel like shit. And maybe one day, someone will hang one of his paintings with a smile instead of the tears and heartbreak it took for him to colour the blank canvas.


his paintings

poem: your new screensaver

poem: your new screensaver

(171 words) July 2018

by Steven R.A. Markin

paint covers the black canvas.
blotches on the side of my hands
underarm,
and fingers.
supplies scattered throughout my room,
my fat cat sleeps in the corner
on a bed sheet,
snoring,
and the music plays low.
the products have yet to be painted,
the book has yet to be completed,
the skills have yet to be improved,
money invested,
and all nights,
i paint, and i write,
to 4 or 5 a.m.
and when i sleep,
i dream in colours
mixed, brushed
and illustrated.
the banks aren’t kind,
the bills don’t stop,
interest rates increase,
fees,
and student loans,
and no word from the lawyer.
you tell me about your new screen saver,
a painting,
i painted
and sent you.
if this world wants to ruin me,
i will paint the bleak canvas,
i will write on the walls,
and i will be the one
no matter what,
slouched over,
broken to pieces,
and old,
crying,
with pride.
do your best,
i will not give up
for you
and you.


My acrylic paintings for sale

poem: uncle george

poem: uncle george

(339 words) July 2018

by Steven R.A. Markin

my photo album knocked over, and pictures fell to the ground
memories scattered on the floor,
and one stood out
that I haven’t seen in years,
and sadly,
I haven’t thought of you in a long time.
It is from ’88,
i was two-years-old sitting next to uncle George.
You had both of your legs in the picture,
a large gut,
and you were looking at me smiling.
I am smiling and looking away.
My hoods up,
and your jackets not done up,
we were in Edmonton
on a bench.
You use to take me to the falls
we would feel the water mist,
and hike,
and climb,
as high as we could.
sometimes we would take my cousin, Candice,
but we know you loved me the most.
Did I tell you that she nearly killed me
by kicking a boulder down the mountain,
well, it bounced over my head,
she bought me bags of candy to keep quiet.
whoops.
don’t worry,
she also tried to teach me karate
to fight off my bullies.
honestly, though,
I can’t seem to remember much,
I remember each time you visited,
you went from a cane with one leg,
then to a wheelchair,
with no legs.
I recall you being lively with your words,
fun and energetic when I was around.
Dad says that you were a bullshiter,
who lied, but meant well.
I think you owe him 20$.
I remember us getting the phone call,
and we got in the van and drove to Edmonton
from Calgary that very day.
We didn’t do that for grandpa,
Ray,
or Grandma.
I remember the room being dim,
Auntie stood next to the bed,
and Candice.
I was young, but they all said you haven’t spoken,
not a word from your mouth.
You looked at me, and Auntie said
that was the happiest you have looked.
I walked over
and you spoke.
I never heard what you said,
and it has bothered me.
But maybe Uncle George,
that was the point:
now I listen.

 


my acrylic paintings for sale

poem: purple

poem: purple

(132 words) 25 June 2018

by Steven R.A. Markin

i was told that purple represents passion
i respond by saying, once it goes purple
you know you have been passionate.

passion resonates deep within
an energy that needs to be attended to
properly.
an inclusion to the world
an intra-
and inter-
connection.
we would be so much better off
than having more than just a month,
June
to celebrate.
the streets are celebrated,
the lives are celebrated,
the lives matter; they have always mattered
and will always matter.
there is more to life than what we have been told
allow the energy deep within
be proud,
be bold,
and celebrate
each and every day
much like in June,
allow the passion
not hate
to pave the way
like rainbows to gold.
so each and every person
can walk,
dance,
and be included.
there are more colours than just purple.

poem: kaili – a college crush

poem: kaili – a college crush

(233 words) 25 Jun 2018

by S.R.A. Markin

i recall the silence between us
after being friends for a while,
many years back.

we would find comfy spots,
go for coffee, and chat in between classes.
you were upgrading to be in kinesiology,
and oddly, that is what i ended up doing.
you spoke a lot about your son and your
love for rugby, and how much you like
beards and plaid.
i mostly listened and made jokes,
which is probably what made it work.
at home, my girlfriend was accusing me
going on that i am cheating on her.
she didn’t know about you,
until one day i told her that i have a friend,
you.
you talked about Goon being hilarious
so you lent it to me,
and guess what,
after two-years,
and a lot of fighting,
that is what got us to break up.
i got my shit, my dad helped
and we got the fuck out.
the next day, you waited by my locker
because that Russian boy was hitting
on you. i told you that i just broke up
with my girlfriend
you got upset
and started hanging out with the Russian.
we stopped talking.
and the year after, you were in my math class,
we both got there early most days,
and stood,
not saying a word.
we never talked again.
but i thought of you when watching Goon
with my most recent, now ex-girlfriend.

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poem: a lonely man

poem: a lonely man

(81 words) 23 Jun 2018

by S.R.A. Markin

this man would take pictures of
nearly everything
and hold onto anything
he would worry
and worry
and hold tightly to his worries
even during the best of times

because he once had someone
who touched him with kindness
and showed him happiness in being himself
he takes another photo
although there is nothing
and she no longer stands starring
so, this man takes a picture of
his broken smile

and there were no more pictures taken from this lonely man.

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poem: alien

poem: alien

(100 words) Originally written 3 Jan. 2018

By S.R.A Markin

i lay in my bed
staring at the wall with a blanket over my head
i wouldn’t dare look the other way
they can sense these things
i won’t get out of bed
and walk either
they will only try to grasp my ankles
and pull me under.
drapes cover my closed window
my night-light shines the corner of my room
and casts shadows elsewhere
they play tricks on me.
i lay here for most of the night
trying all kinds of ways to sleep
mom says that my friend is an alien
from the United States.

 

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