Michael Nowlin–Sundance Poetry

Michael Nowlen, Tyler McDowell, and Caleb Peyman at the Sundance box office
Michael Nowlin, Tyler McDowell, and Caleb Peyman at the Sundance box office

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by merchandising, full-bellied hysterical bundled, dragging themselves through the white-bread streets at dawn looking for celebrity pics.

who sat sipping their lukewarm fair trade brown stimulant water in fluorescent beige corners swapping hollow yarns of distribution deals and star power

who sauntered slowly towards beckoning businesses in mini skirts and massive stilettos for anything costless

who ignored the mountains majesty and fixed their gaze on the endless dream-stained pavement

who fought ferociously so that their anonymous face might be broadcasted 900 miles to their proud parents

who nibbled (faux-turkey tofurkey), while in the doorway a baby’s howl briefly muffled their deafening emptiness

who traded their dignity for the casual violence of the viewfinder

“So you can.”
Water bottles.
Designer vests.
Credit cards.
Burger bars.
Japanese luxury cars.
Personal computers.
Social media.
A thousand rhythmless cell phone flashes. “Stay hydrated.”

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
If you look around a room and can’t figure out what’s being sold, it’s you.
Your image.
Your thoughts.
Your mind.
Your soul.

“Do you think we’ll see Redford?”

Trudging up Main Street is like navigating a maze in quicksand.
People walking purposelessly.
Lost.
Aimless.
Searching.
Burning for a plasticine connection.
Hundreds of spectators dying for the chance to be an extra in someone else’s life by sacrificing the role of protagonist in their own.

“Big fan, can I get a picture?”

What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

“I’ve seen him on TV,” so I must eternally commemorate the time I saw him order coffee from across the street.

Moloch whose eyes are a million blind camera lenses.

Michael Nowlin Selfie
Michael Nowlin Selfie

Painted smiles hide Truth.
It’s all dying.
We’re killing it.
with every selfie
with every mediocre pet project
with every branded lounge
with every ballot
every wasted q&a
every amateur paparazzo
every hurled dollar

I am with you in Park City where you laugh inappropriately in the familiar darkness at the unfamiliar Darkness.

I am with you in Park City where the bars eclipse the cinemas.

I am with you in Park City where the workforce can’t afford to live.

I am with you in Park City where independence is commodified.

I am with you in Park City where you’re stranger than I am.

Banksy came to Sundance and left his artwork on the side of a building.
Banksy came to Sundance and left his artwork on the side of a building.

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