Sunflower Skins

September 22, 2008

Excerpt from “Re-Membering”

Filed under: prose — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 12:42 am


I cut out his heart first.

Then his eyes. The nape of his neck. His tongue.

After that I laid out all of my favourite parts, the ones I had loved best, formed them into a picture of what he used to look like. I kept changing the shape, making the heart centre and encircling it with the others, or twisting the useless, hanging veins into patterns like Rorschach inkblots or butterflies.

I broke his jaw so I could extract his teeth.

I skinned his fingertips and hung up the prints like stained glass.

And finally, I smashed in his skull so I would be able to see his brain. Hold it. Follow the folds of the frontal lobe and trace the contours of his cerebellum. Pull away the temporal lobe until I could pick out the amygdala and feel its hyperactive buzz. Find his mind in the mess of entrails that lay around me. I was knee-deep in blood and this is where I began my search.

He had asked me to do this to him. We loved each other more than life; we loved each other so much it transgressed into death. We wanted to know the dividing line. He asked me to find it.

Asked me to kill him.

For truth.

For soul.

Because in mortality we could never love each other enough.

[Order the full “Re-Membering” & “Acts of Omission” chapbook through or]

July 28, 2008

Excerpt from “The Briton Self Essays”

Filed under: prose — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 11:02 pm
The Briton Self Essays

By Briton Self


It was with great celebration, and soon apparent appropriation, that I declared to the World my Self on that fateful Tuesday in September, 2004. I hadn’t expected such an uproar, but my announcement didn’t go over as well as I’d imagined. By the time I arrived home late that evening, after some congratulatory drinks at the pub, the newspapers were already swooning with my misadventures. It seemed that I’d become the next Kate Bloomfield or Madonna, although not with quite the proper exterior. Too rough and subversive to become a national icon, harbouring my “grand plans for ordained domination” via my new Self, the World only had time to consider when I would strike. Citizens were advised to barricade themselves with bottled water and to have a straight supply of CNN hooked up to their veins. Of course the chaos was all blamed on me; apparently I was the catalyst for a major movement of rebels, all Self-Proclaiming, in the streets of Bangkok and the waters of the Seine, moving along the trade routes of Tibet and through the offices of Wall Street. They were coming, I was their leader, and nothing could stop it, not even the national guard because, demanding peace, UCLA students filled all the guns with daisies. The US Presidents firmly supported the British Prime Minister, saying the future looked bleak for the Beautiful Republican Countries, but, God Willing, we would not achieve our demands.

It appeared that everything had gone wrong.

After a lifetime of insecurities, I have finally found peace with my Self. I did not want to be a leader for anyone but my Self; that was the whole point, as I had seen it, and I expected the option of expressing this pleasure to be readily available. Perhaps, however, I should have simply turned on my reliable computer to explain my Self neatly and comfortably to a small group of web-caming individuals. Perhaps I had overestimated society’s preparedness to accept such an open address. Yet when one is so excited by the appearance of the desired, is one’s mind on the consequences for a supposedly liberal human race? Thirty-six years old with the final recognition of what I really wanted out of life, I could not have resigned my Self to such a target audience. I didn’t quite understand how I became the World’s #1 Enemy through my tiny triumph, but somehow I did. And is that treason? On what accounts, specifically?

This was all a big misunderstanding. I had not meant to cause an uprising nor wanted to be the Head-Honcho Leader of an all-out terrorist gang, whose sole goal rested in freeing the Inner Self. I had hoped to merely “out” my Self and return to my telemarketing job in the small corner of the offices of The Daily Telegraph. Not that it kept me happy, but it didn’t keep me unhappy, and after all, I had enough money to eat and live and buy clothes and occasionally travel to exotic foreign lands, where I’d spend my hard-earned dollars on trinkets for my loved ones. I didn’t exactly enjoy my job, but I had found an ease in it, firmly believed that I was doing good for the country in that, at least, I wasn’t harming anyone or anything. True, I had had my fair share of hang-ups and angry voices during the interruptions of favorite TV shows, but all in all it was a good life. I had my friends. I had my hobbies. I had my Self. That shouldn’t be a scandal, should it?

[Order the full “The Briton Self Essays” chapbook through or Visit Briton’s web page at]

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