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Flash Fiction Friday: Brainwaterfamilyillusion

by Gary Shipley


He said there were more of him than yesterday, more he’s to call brothers, more rivalrous burdens he’s to accept in the name of the family of himself, for his father that had the deatheyes he’d seen on all last year’s sisters, sisters he’d somehow forgotten till now as there was no profit in remembering – the broadcasts made that much clear – and a future only in knowing that all this is just objects misremembering themselves, their anatomies blowing about like weeds into each other, the whole world colorless Lego with no need for hands differencing themselves with illusions of control, and how mistrustful now of the ground they bury old ones, in-valids, their faces blotched like breath on dirty chrome, in cabinets and mirrored wardrobes, and without pause he tells how the water has a voice adapted from old books about fairies, angels and mathematical perversities, that drinking occurs only in circles of never less than ten and requires the full attention of all, illustrations of the proper technique absorbed noiselessly, spines kept rigid at right angles from the floor, and he stops, his yawns glazed white atomic with words his brow an expanse of freeze-framed worms until he chooses to start up again, his tongue a primitive tape reel of recorded correspondence between stray organs diseased into green deserts of consciousness, its margin for error a razor-cut manifested in the flew-like cascade of his bottom lip, and so he starts again, how he suffers accidents of direction, how his intentions have become superstitions of autonomy, over-produced and over-organized and interspersed somehow with ringtones seemingly servant to their own private ferments of joy, so that when the structure of his hands seem in jeopardy, fingers bending and guttering in flexuous monkeyings at self-rule, none of us are taken in, but instead chew on the evening dimness, our jaws rocking-chairs flattening air, and wait for more to come out, more headaching images stinking of the sameness of past and future, more low-ceilinged cycles of melancholic valor, more unseens entering bodies and lighting up bones as if they were striplights, more young sisters decorated in stigmata of themselves, more mountains made from daughters and doors lined with opened animals, more incurables colored glowing nightscapes of Tokyo, and us remote wadding for it all, up inside the sudden solitude of animals sick in reverse, poisoned vortices flushed out and lurched free of madness, inhuman disciples of daylight filled of years of inches of word  of spirit curiosities on the roadside, and still he keeps on wording the wordless, trickles of fables and long dreams sucked from his first father’s boat-like mistress who hadn’t floated when the time came, who’d lain submerged marmoreal in the green ice water of sub-marital exclusion, and how disowned by nature she’d birthed him through a straw, a baby boy constructed from the purest godwhite contagion, a ghosted burst through the habiliments of a synthetic familial skin, and him nodding down at the smartphone clasped in the claw of his right foot, his fingerish toes frantically pulling up images, having us stoop to see fresh sightings of those facesame bodies steaming with regrowths, of per-sons seemingly posed at angles, complexions greyed with fast food congruent with old-world machinery, of its de-sires clucking on outworn families captured screaming from the wing mirrors of a never-ending crawl of half-butchered cars


Gary J. Shipley is the author of Theoretical Animals (BlazeVOX). He is on the editorial board of the arts journal SCRIPT. More details can be found here.

3 responses

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    December 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

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