“Xeno’s Paradox” by Brian Clements

Brian Clements


After all the worry, who wants to spend another minute of our middle years on work? Sure, the sermons were fine, but they never hit home until the third consecutive sexless week. You hear a rumor that the inner life is moving into the suburbs, then someone points a laser at your daughter’s window. There’s something comforting, sometimes, in an occasional conditional contract that lets you be a person; but then it’s nice sometimes just to sit and be a stem. In either case, something inside the language won’t let you forget that somewhere someone is doing something illegal to someone else; somewhere someone is drowning; somewhere anti-matter is streaking perilously close to someone’s hypothalamus. And this reminds you that it’s time to feel the series of hemisemidemiquavers just east of your liver, which reminds you that out of all the possible corpses you’ve only seen a few. That you’ll never see your own is perhaps more disturbing. That you’ll never get an answer to anything starts to come across as funny. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you start to feel like a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, which, for all you know, you may be. And there may actually may be something to that ache behind your eye. Let’s take a look. Come closer. Closer. Closer.

from Rattle #18, Winter 2002


Brian Clements: “I’m afraid that I can’t say much about myself in a few lines. I hear it’s because I contain multitudes.” (web)

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