Atlantis Practice

The [Flash] Fiction Writings of Any Syler.

I am a twentysomething: 

by nature born into the rite of selfishness

no wonder everything comes back to me in tenfold because the stress and lack of practice of selflessness

now i am spoilt,

unable to crawl out of my own ditch

most days it seems easier to make it my grave


"Skin Deep" by Any Syler
Any grew up in museums, and now she works for them. She’s published a couple poetry chapbooks, but spends most of her time listening to the same song on repeat and sipping cold brewed coffee. Say hi on tumblr and @hellogoodbritt on Twitter.


"Skin Deep" by Any Syler

Any grew up in museums, and now she works for them. She’s published a couple poetry chapbooks, but spends most of her time listening to the same song on repeat and sipping cold brewed coffee. Say hi on tumblr and @hellogoodbritt on Twitter.

Last night, I was living a scene from a film. It went like this:

We were leaving an Italian restaurant. The pizza was shit. The service was worse, but not as bad as their poorly mixed fountain root beer. 

I begged my mother to hand over the keys to my cars so I could drive home. My uncle hopped in the backseat, carrying on a conversation he’d been holding since half-way through our meal. He could talk your ears off. I always say a little prayer for the receiver.

We didn’t talk much in the lot; I looked at my phone, mama smoked her post-meal cigarette. She isn’t allowed to smoke in my car anymore after I’d been singed on a night drive to Arcadia a few weeks ago.

She stamped it out, my uncle was still on the phone, bitching about Bank of America.

"Bank of Assholes," he said. My mom and I laughed. "I like Chase because I liked Washington Mutual."

We passed by my old babysitter’s house, Sandy. I wondered about Grandma then said, rolling to the STOP sign, “Washington Mutual ruined banking in America.”

"Yup," mama agreed.

"All that free shit. Free checking, free accounts. Now look at us. It’s impossible to sell something that used to be free."

I turn left, and it’s quiet for a while. My uncle goes on about how much he hates Wells Fargo for fucking over my mom while she worked there. We pass by my bank on the right when I rounded the corner on Grand.

"Shit," mama said, "should have stayed on Mauna Loa."

CalTrans decided to start another half-assed project on the 210 overpass. Grand was down to a lane and backed up to the church. I signaled left for Baseline.

"Are you gonna be okay?" mama asked.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"When I leave. Are you gonna be okay?"

What she was really asking was, “are you gonna miss me?”

Sure, we were at a red light, down to one lane at nine o’ clock at night. If the car ahead of him pulled up a smidge, I could have weaseled my way into the turn lane.

But yeah. I’m gonna miss her.



is my fondest muse
as it keeps me
inner peace
from your laughter
that chatters
through corridors and in the face of newborns

from your heartbeat
hollowed to my ear,
erratic and feral, mossy and white linen

she assures me I’ll never hear
you hitch
and shake
or sigh
into my skin


I thank Silence
the Silence I visit with often

to not hear the world around me
so that I may hear
what you
have left

inside me


i am a Fury
i see this irony (at 22) when you feast on Teledrama and consider the plots and think
it is so far fetched it could never happen to me!!!

tell me when my life turned into an HBO drama
now i know how more young men boast naked crowns on their heads
/rub rub rub/
i spend half my days knotting my hair (and bouncing my knee two pots of coffee deep)
stripped of my royalty
product of catholicism CATHOLIC SCHOOL conveniently catholic

when you hit the point where you are giving your parent relationship advice:
(i really think you need to realize that secretly getting on the pill is not going to solve anything and if he doesn’t want to fuck you with a condom then i don’t think your relationship is healthy and if you can tell us everything and he can’t tell them everything then i think there is so much no-no [i’m sorry i am making you cry but this is painful for me too])

we have decades on each other
you have months on each other
and reciprocated sacrifice is love

remember that time i wished i was dead and i begged for a roundtrip for springbreak
so i initially came home to tell you that i’d rather’ve been dead and that was better than finishing school
well look at me now: i didn’t back out b/c i was too afraid of disappointing you

FEAR AS A COPING MECHANISM and sometimes i think of what i’ve done has been more for you than for me, but really, i think it was mostly for the both of us
those feelings of deadness have began to subside (but can so easily come back like those times i remember kissing [slobbering? {licking?}] Justin Stones on the asphalt at Adeste or that singe of pain in my right Achilles every time i kicked off the wall each turn in the 100 breast)

i do no resent you for giving me life for bringing me into this world but i also think you forget that joke about you being able to so easily take me out of it is GARLICKY

pungent and flavourful and everlasting and strong and repulsively in excess

HA! YOU ARE HALF WAY ROUND THE WORLD i am tracking holes in the carpet mm mmmmm and my lips are swollen


my forbearance is lasting to July and i’m gonna make $1k this month and i  feel like a noodle behind the wheel these days


this has become a lengthy development from me i have spilled on here
not even the half of what i need to jump on but i have had this feeling in these breaths
(so hard to breathe most days
now that we have a poltergeist living in the fridge)
i am washed with the need to make my way to Wrightwood
just so I can S C REAM
but when you return i want to be back in the sea
it is where i belong


A reading by Any Syler

Distance is a dull blade.


me palmtrees foothills mountains geysers glaciers valleys waterfalls mountains desert desert desert canyons desert mountains glaciers trees mountains desert dust desert plains plains corn plains lakes trees lakes plains plains lakes plains plains river plains lakes trees swamps mountains trees ocean ocean ocean more ocean ocean ocean ocean ocean ocean ship ocean ocean ocean ocean ocean ocean ship ocean ocean boat ocean ocean ocean ocean ocean ship ocean ocean cliffs trees grass grass trees grass you

a postgrad diet is lacking when fueled by ramen


To Jake:

I am cursed
with the power of knowing
too much at once
like the last time
we locked eyes
and I whispered through sobs,
“I love you, love you, I will always love
you,” I knew it’d be the last chance
I had for you to hear
them, but forever now, even when I am dust,
I get to have you in my heart.

Keep practicing,


a Nothing for a Something

here we have The Void
known as You:
you’ve been consumed by Nothing
fed Nothing
to live off Nothing
and feel Nothing
and do Nothing
slow and rhythmic— never hard, never stopping

so you turn into a Nothing

The Void known as You:
and the sad thing is
to others you look like a Something
and they all look like Somethings (they could also be a Nothing;
there are so many Nothings veiled with a Something)

Somethings don’t get Nothings
because Nothings only eat, breathe, sleep, shit, cry, sigh, smile, bathe, drink, dream
of Nothing to hang on
better a Nothing to a Something than dead

Keep practicing,