In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Youngest Brother of Brothers
  • Chris Semansky

I hit a kid. He’s about eight, and the better part of his right ear has been ripped off by the windshield. He’s lying in the road, moaning, his legs jerking like he’s underwater.

A crisis becomes a wonderful moment to free oneself from ideas of “correctness,” “objectivity,” “acceptance,” and redesign, reconstruct one’s place in the on-going narrative or life story. Yet the success or failure of such an endeavor can only be provided in the discursive realm.

A masseuse from Newark, New Jersey, my mother loved events, engineered ecstasy, spectacular moments of sensuous clarity when the body gave up its idea of being merely a single thing, separate and uncopied, and fell somewhere wholly strange. When I was eight and just after she had dropped four squares of Windowpane while listening to the White Album, she tattooed a picture of the Beatles in the small of my back. Just the heads.

Daddy, what does the discursive realm look like?

The discursive realm is a place of wonder and enchantment and not at all like you’d imagine. Your mother and I lived there for the better part of our marriage. Remember that building we saw out West made of marble and glass and aluminum and discarded tires and old Hush Puppy shoes with the withered Buster Brown face still in the heel? It’s like where we are right now, yet also where we’ll be in a few minutes, a few days. It may or may not be where we’ll all wind up when our little pumpers stop pumping. The discursive realm is an orphan, son, with a family as large and tenuous as the sky. And it is dangerous because it watches us better than we can watch ourselves. Maybe a picture would help:

Maybe not.

I write because I cannot see my face. I drive because I cannot get away from my face.

How they’ve stretched and faded, how their haircuts now resemble bruised soup bowls, their noses nothing more than squamous plugs of dappled sunburn and scars. How they resemble your average bowling team from Wichita.

I don’t have to look at them.

Other things I don’t have to look at but of whose existence I have been informed and whose symptoms I have been taught to read:

  • ○ lesions of the parietal lobe posterior to the somnesthetic area

  • ○ a T-cell count of 160

  • ○ proprioceptive agnosia

  • ○ the inside of all things holy and wordless

He’s wearing red Converse sneakers, size six I guess, maybe smaller, with the most darling little Mets tee shirt, bloodied now but still smart. If I had a boy, I’d want him to be just like this kid. If he survives I imagine in a few years he’ll be playing hoops with his friends, juking past defenders while looping in from the wing for a layup, dribbling behind his back, dishing no-look passes to his awe-struck teammates who, without thinking, shyly smile at his grace.

The youngest brother of brothers’ chief interest is the quality of life and the joys and sensations of the present, rather than the collection of goods and property. He is relatively soft and yielding with women, even if he plays the part of a cynic or an erratic adventurer. His preferred professions include announcer and entertainer, quizzmaster, advertising agent or salesman, artist, writer, musician, actor, tutor, technical or scientific specialist, assistant or associate of leading men in business, politics or science, a vote-rallying politician, ophthalmologist, or anesthesiologist.

For ten points, name the five slowest dying characters in modern history:

The panel light blinks red: “Check Engine.”

Give up?

What defines an emergency is a person’s acknowledging it as such. But what constitutes the person’s idea of emergency per se? Crisis and opportunity co-exist like blood and flesh. They are both the same and different. Calculated in the moment of its happening in retrospect a crisis as opportunity becomes an excuse for changing, a bookmark to the place you remember best.

What determines vision...

Additional Information

ISSN
1053-1920
Launched on MUSE
1996-01-05
Open Access
No
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