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Electric Eels, Finishing School, Teeth

Electric Eels, Finishing School, Teeth

Electric Eels, Finishing School, Teeth

by Brad Rose

Electric Eels

Millions of Americans have been affected by identity theft. It’s probably the greenhouse gases. Remember that time I voted for the opposition robots? On election night, the interstellar aliens called and complained. I hope they don’t hold a grudge. Now, I’m lying low—quiet as catfish—although sometimes, I just can’t help myself, I feel as animated as Dr. Frankenstein at the prospect of a thunderstorm. My electrician says life is one, long, low-voltage electrocution, until your bill comes due. Then, everyone gets capital punishment. When I tell him all good things must come to an end, he says, No one enjoys being hit by lightning, Buster. Except the eels.

Finishing School

Each time I weigh myself, I’m upscale. In this one house town, there’s no place like home, so I’m making some lifestyle changes. For example, I’m smiling at my TV until it turns itself off. I’m taking on-line, alphabetical tap dance lessons. Someday, I’d like to sit down and have a good, long, cry, but until then, I’ll be donating my body to science. Certainly, it’s prudent to plan your funeral in advance, or if you can’t get a head start, afterward. It’s never too soon to bury the dead. Yesterday, with my eyes closed, I cut my own hair. It’s not as hard as it looks, although now I understand why the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice. Here at Miss Ester’s fully accredited finishing school, every day begins with a new start. No matter how hard you work, you’re never finished.


I lost my prescription—so I swallowed myself. Am I at a standstill or a dead end? I like to work hard whenever the task is easy. Like a shark’s gills, I’m made of this gray world. Once upon a time, I dreamed I’d read a book before it was written. Now, like a one-sided coin, I have no plans. In this universe we have no choice; things have to happen. Rain falls on all six sides of the night. Water is always busy. Yesterday, I woke up early. Maybe, I should have slept in? When I learned that those school children drowned at Shipwreck beach, I lost my appetite. What a shame, I thought. Such pretty little teeth.

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author three collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015), de/tonations, (Nixes Mate Press, 2020),  and Momentary Turbulence (Cervena Barva Press, 2020). WordinEdgeWise, from Cervena Barva Press, is forthcoming in 2021. Six times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and twice nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, Brad’s poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The American Journal of Poetry,  Clockhouse, Cloubank, Lunch Ticket, Hunger Mountain, Sequestrum, Folio, 45th Parallel, The Baltimore Review, Cultural Weekly, Into the Void, Right Hand Pointing, and others. His story “Desert Motel,” appears in Best Microfiction, 2019. He is also the author of six poetry chapbooks, all published by Right Hand Pointing.