“Young Dead Men” by Benjamin Askinas


The other night you asked me, “Which is stronger, life or death?” But I knew you had already made up your mind. “Life,” I answered, “Because it bears so many evils.”

They always said we should be surprised at everything.


When the cluster of experience fades away and all that is left is looking, and looking, and re-seeing what has withered, I look to the ones in which I’m not yet acquainted. But time has dimmed his delight in new scenes and strange faces. Almost overnight he was denude of life.

You’re a lovely man.

Well, you were.


You turned piercingly on me. Your efforts are ruinous, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Selfish hopes that are often unfulfilled.

They always said it takes a very long time to become young.

I never intended to be where I am. However, I’m standing here.

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While you wither with quiet desperation, I’m looking fear in the face.

I have no cautionary words for you. I walk the serpent-like, boisterous roads. I walk into the dark gradients of the unknown. Only to find myself solitary at the bottom of the well.

I will not list all their names here, because they are so numerous. The young dead men that have given me a memory of a lifetime.

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A Midweek Meditation On Zadie Smith’s Literary Brilliance, Michelle Obama’s Grace and Common’s Never-ending Creativity

This week, I’m leaning into love. Love for literature and one of its most brilliant minds. Love for our First Lady who feels like family instead of political royalty. Love for Common, a man whose trademark creative impulse shines on an unofficial remix of “Cranes in the Sky.”

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