KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Ekphrastic Prose Poem: 354 words

The Golf Specialist

by Ian Ganassi
—after W. C. Fields

The dentist paused significantly before applying the drill. I didn’t ask him to poke around in my business—now he’s mad at me for what he found. Am I crazy? He took the fifth. And drank it while applying the Novocain. But he was one of the best dentists I’ve ever clapped teeth on.

He was good enough to take a few days off from golf. And there we stood, like a bunch of dwarves in evening wear, trying to round up the dressmaker. Just keep your eye on that ball. It was as though an attempt at meaning had been injected at the last minute. I wasn’t sure whether I believed it, or whether it was worth doing, in the absence of anything more definitive. But let me know how it all pans out, if there’s anything I can do to accompany you.

A bit of memoir goes a long way. My maternal uncle was buried with full honors, but all we got was this nicely folded flag. I wish I could fold a flag like that; I wish I could fold a sheet like that. What has this fish come to? But let’s not have it all wrong. I wanted to take it home but it was too small. You’re not too small. In fact, you’re not you. She was in demand. Which leaves me with the imperative to pull it straight out of my head. Or more gutturally, it’s like putting together a donkey, wearing a blindfold, or feeling up an elephant. No one actually knows.

So now, he said, that I’m not paying much attention, do you care that I’ve left you out in the cold? Not really, I expected as much. Especially if you have your rod and reel.

And say, my eyes must have skipped ahead of me, bigger than my stomach. Give me my reading glasses; I have three books going. Is this the right font? Or bus stop? It gets both easier and harder with time. And whatever other forms of traffic can be deciphered at the impossible intersections.


Publisher’s Note: The Golf Specialist is the title of a W. C. Fields short comedic film (RKO Films, 1930), which in part inspired this prose poem.

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