five flashes

Her kind, she informed viewers, are smarter, faster and basically just better than the average man or woman with asymmetries, slight deformities or ailments…”


by james beach


Shroud Pajamas

Do you wake up clothed or naked? Even if clothed, are you nude beneath? Or are you your clothes?/ Do clothes make the man? What makes the woman? If clothes make the men then nobody is naked beneath except maybe women, if skin makes the woman./ Of course clothes influence dreams as do other outer sources: a car alarm, speech, or audio equipment. These things influence our sleep./ Why sheep to put us to sleep? Wool dreamscapes? Counting sheep fleeces our brains of ego to allow us rest-the obsessive-compulsive may stay awake trying to reach, say, 1000 sheep…/ But this whatnot is on sleep, and awaking in pajamas and asking yourself if you feel naked beneath the shrouds or so tightly bundled you’re only cloth.


My Favorite Head Shrinker

“Most people are like this,” he said once, drawing three similar circles on the whiteboard with a purple marker-circles like this:


“Like ants?” I asked him (for his circles were touching).
“You are like this,” he said next, drawing one giant circle and two tiny ones beneath, circles like this:


“A lightbulb?” I asked him (for his circles were touching).
“Not ants, not a lightbulb,” I think he said.
“A big head,” I said to myself later; “a diminished body and spirit.”


Paean to Buck 65

The price of a cup o’ grits, maybe a downloadable single; the net worth of the human body if stripped of its value (soul) and broken up as saleable elements [cite source] as according to the announcement under the Bush administration, our chemistry retails for $1.65… It’s also the name of a Canadian rapper who wrote the funny riff “Who are you and where do you come from/Dum-dum/Just when I thought I could trust someone/Mask falls off, face fades away/Radiate, eighty-eight/Fool shades of grey”.


Dumb Intellectual

Can be. Unintelligent intellectuals. Are them. Smart heads. Dumb as in terse. Quiet thinkers. Resplendent gazers, unimpinged wallflowers. See be. Prefer genius (to average). Can them. Are see, am waters. Unstill? Turgid people run shallow, calm ones run deep? Still small, still minute? Is so. Listen up or down. Pay attention with what, exactly? Attention takes plastic-plasticity alters neurons! Neuroplasticity could make us all geniuses, every one. How when til…


Think Asymmetric

A while back, “authorities” felt it necessary to release a documentary that qualified asymmetrical people as inferior to symmetrical people. The host of this astonishing program was the very symmetrical Kathleen Turner; a gymnast, actress and (apparently) spokeswoman for elitist dogma, she earnestly made the case for her “kind”-the most aesthetically-shaped human. Her kind, she informed viewers, are smarter, faster and basically just better than the average man or woman with asymmetries, slight deformities or ailments. Equipped as they are to move through this world with supermodel grace, symmetrical people deserve, the show implied, the very best; meanwhile asymmetrical people deserve less because they are lesser individuals and should consider themselves thus. Being myself asymmetrical and already envious of the ease of navigation of my symmetrical brethren, I found much to balk at while watching the “beautiful people” claim their right to overthrow and enslave the less-fortunate-looking. This myth of proportion (epic) now has much to fear: consider, say, bicycles: the asymmetrical Pinarello FP Due prides itself on being fast, attractive, shapely and, oh yeah, superior to symmetrical bikes in its class. Let’s hope the symmetrical bimbos who can afford to ride them can at least make that connection on their own.

Originally published:
Issue Sixty-Four
July 2012


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