KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Poem: 396 words [R]

All of the Above: A Personality Test

by Jack Cooper
As you search for answers, 
remember there are only choices.

You are least attracted to
□ Clichés in the boudoir
□ Truth not experienced
□ Falling alone

You usually prefer
□ Old things
□ Chopin
□ Children in fairy tales

It makes you happy to know that
□ Whales are sometimes born with legs
□ Men can lactate
□ There are two million flowers in a jar of honey
You have difficulty with
□ Blood on faces
□ Finding meaning for others
□ The notion that sponges are inferior

You would like to be
□ Forgiven
□ Dreamed about
□ Taken to Andromeda

You want people to see you as
□ Committed to innocence
□ Indemnifying the overlooked
□ Healed by laughter

You are most inclined to
□ Trust smaller people
□ Lose sleep over words
□ Run into rain

You like the idea that
□ The opposite is also true
□ God is an imaginary friend
□ Consciousness exceeds the speed of light

In tense situations you
□ Move closer to water
□ Do most of the listening
□ Forget who you are

Your major regrets are
□ Not thinking for yourself earlier
□ Not seeing the play “I Never Sang For My Father”
□ Singing only once for your father

You have trouble letting go of
□ Your first rejection
□ A cat whose life you took 
□ Tomorrow

The results of your personality test indicate that Aristotle was right: there are only nine stories. Your number has not yet been assigned. Your choices are just predictions of your available self. They do not reflect purpose nor do they preclude chaos. There is a 66% degree of certainty that you are exactly like everyone else. Of course, it is clear that you lied repeatedly, but not to worry. We are all actors who look different in each role. Everything is somewhat true. Everything. You don’t want to see her again. You replay every bout of impotence. You will invent new ways to miss her. You are only now finding your words. Your father would have been hurt to hear them all. You killed the cat for science before you understood the animals are our children. You will begin allowing yourself to forget its sad face in the bell jar the moment you let go of tomorrow.

—First published in North American Review, (University of Northern Iowa, Spring 2012); republished here by author’s permission

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