City Static

Nathan Mackouse, from Bucks County, PA, is double majoring in Chemistry and Math at Temple and plans to graduate in 2022. "City Static" was a finalist in Temple's Creative Writing Contest, summer 2020.

Image of Short Fiction Contest - 2020
Image of Poetry

       —jection! —section

inter— 1900 North 13th

world's got a noise infection

poison currents crashing through the streets.


"HUSHhh this is a library... please lower your voice."

[simultaneously] "Sorry, I'm only—"


 —ruption. Krakatoa's voice was carried three thousand miles away

rippling our minds persisting through time, but with nothing to say




not poison, but passion!

open your mind, open your heart

Open your ears, ‘cause listening gears the soul to confront all of the

sadness, cataclysmic madness, cymbals crashing, volcanic creation,

bursting limitations, revolution rising into


Listen closely ‘fore the sound disappears

when you cannot hear 

the... [breathe in deeply]

things fall apart

life returns to stasis it's the natural way

settling to order clenching tightly to the right to remain

Seated, silent, restrained, compliant, part of the system


Can't breathe can't sleep can't work can't eat can't even muster one

good bit of wisdom

disrup-ted  Circadian    prison


How many dreams deferred 

will never be heard? 

pointlessly splattered on the pavement,

Built up to a premature combustion

thrown in like grenades and never aimed and...

    SHHhh listen. pause. for. the.  awareness interruption.