Dress Code Aquarium by Ben Niespodziany

We’ve got a sneak peek of “Dress Code Aquarium” for the real heads. For those not in the know, “Dress Code Aquarium” is a 40-page collection of poetry and micro-fiction by Chicago’s own Ben Niespodziany, also known as [neonpajamas]. Below are two excerpts from the book which is set for release on December 1st.



When the ex-pat found the empty turtle shell on the shore, he dragged it back to his place. He scraped off the minimal guts with sand paper and cleaned the bumps with a damp sponge. He rubbed it with two tins of surfboard wax and later placed the shell out in the sun to be properly bleached. At the end of the week, he brought the turtle shell into his home, crawled inside like an old cat with a new box, and for the first time in half a decade, the ex-pat got a proper night’s sleep.

Art Parents

Just because
the twenty something’s
paint strokes
are elementary,
uninspired, uninteresting,
just because
patrons mutter
and flee from
coffee shops
if they see him
creating at a table,
doesn’t mean
that he isn’t the best
artist his parents
have ever seen.