The Scam

Johnny Shimsham

is a lighter

who happens to be white


I’m not superstitious

yet sometimes I do things

to keep the badness away


But it comes back

at night I say things

while I’m sleeping


Shouting in the streets

rectangles with mouths

About Sean William Lynch
Sean Lynch is a writer and editor who lives in South Philly. Lynch's first book of poems, the city of your mind, was published in 2013 by Whirlwind Press. His second chapbook, Broad Street Line, focusing on politics and public transportation, was published by Moonstone Press in 2016. 100 Haiku is his latest release, also published by Moonstone Press in 2018. Lynch's writing has been featured in numerous publications online and in print, including (parenthetical), Poetry Quarterly, and Tincture Journal.

6 Responses to The Scam

  1. Johnny Shimsham? Who’s he?

  2. cmarandawrites says:

    Love the simplicity of the poem. The last line is very powerful and I love how it ends abruptly. The white lighter myth lives. I’m sensing more than superstition in this poem, however. Something deeper: nightmares, a bad high? Might even be read as PTSD – superstition never hit before, but now it’s sinking in. A lot to think about. Great job.

    • S. W. Lynch says:

      The last two lines can be seen as akin to a nightmare. I try to give a lot of substance that can be seen in varying interpretations. Thank you for the in depth analysis, I hope you come back for more.

  3. 12kilroy says:

    This is wonderfully ominous.

  4. Never trust a white lighter! Nice, mysterious little piece.

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