MY NERVES are tickled up, the hairs that fill my body all tingly-tingly. I once put my hand on a hot plate, the red red coils spoke to me like a magnet. I have a hard puckered ridge on my palm, an arc, a keepsake of that day, a constant reminder. The medications work against me at times, but I'm glad you came, I like your dress, the way you do your hair now. Tell me about yourself, what you do every day, your name.
I WAKE with headache. Anchored at my eyebrows it spreads back like the tentacles of a jellyfish to sting and poison my brain. It hurts to see, everything the color of smokers' teeth. I close my eyes, full of sand. My ears enroll a hum, a steady electrical signal from the past, a history lesson I can't make out. My fingers are lead soldiers, stripped of paint, heavy and dull. Hello! I must be dying. My chin is a stump.
There is a Turd
THERE IS A TURD on our wedding cake, a child's poop. Deirdre is weeping in the ladies' while I push through the guests looking for Sheila, that loser, the only one who would do such a thing, another one of her "messages" claiming I'm the father of her ugly baby. We spent one night together. One night! And no, I won't submit to a DNA thing . . . I don't do well on tests. There she is! Grab her, someone! Stop that woman!
Lou Beach is a self-taught primitive with aspirations to sophistication, and an uncanny ability to work in chaos to produce sometimes silly, sometimes sublime collages of old paper scraps. You can also find his work on the coverof Issue Four and in Early Edition.