Enigma Machine by Richard J. Fleming


During a full body scan, I am entering a phase of life where I no longer feel connected. At the bottom of the landfill, there are broken medicine bottles. I try to put together the pieces. There are traces of finger paint on the shards. My hard wired brain can’t process scrambled egg images adrift in the clouds. There is a lot of apathetic white noise; an atomic sub running silent in an arctic sea.


On Satellite Radio there is a test of the Emergency Alert System. The lunch crowd starts to thin out; heading home to slash their wrists. I try to grow an undercover mustache. Detectives doing overtime on heavy caseloads, ignore me. Lieutenant Bandicoot casts the usual suspects in a lineup. None of the dwarfs stand any higher than his pelvis. They are eating frozen yogurt; yet still manage to put on pounds.


Something is wrong with my lawyer. He appears to shrink in fear. All the Eminent Bananas are shaking in their pods. So slippery, and so yellow. I’m suspicious of their motives. I loosen my Windsor knot, and bare my throat. After taxes, I still owe a pound of flesh.

Richard J. Fleming is a survivor of three Chicago blizzards. He has recently had poetry published in Right Hand Pointing, The Rusty Nail, Inkwell Mag, Curio, Otoliths, Rain, Party & Disaster Society, One Sentence Poems, Unbroken, Poetry Super Highway, Rattle and forthcoming in Hotel Amerika and Stoneboat Journal. Right Hand Pointing published his first Chap book, Aperture.