Fathom 1999



Inside Cover



jessica moore (2)
A. Zachary Wells (2)
E.M. Caine
Jessie Chalmers (2)
Jantine Saul
Maud Alexandra Arthur (2)
Erin Whitmore
Christine Squire (2)
Gina M. Granter (2)
Paul McPherson
c.a. ackland
Natalie Doiron
Jessica Henderson
Luke Dobek
Melanie Muise
V. Combden
Catherine Roberts
Jenny A. Johnson
Steven Wendland


Steve Schimp


Steve Schimp



She Takes the Cake

“It’s all about what you like.”
“I don’t know.”
“I like cake.”
I like nothing.
I just became conscious. I thought I was conscious before now but I was wrong. I just became conscious. I don’t know if she was conscious all along or if she is conscious even now--I suppose I never will. Her thing--the thing she does--is beauty. Beauty--­that myth that has us all convinced that there is value in sensa­tion. She sees things differently than I do. She sees things on a scale of value. She makes value judgements. She judges everything. For me, everything seems sour, stale. I’ve lost touch with Beauty. I am the Beast that cowers at the hand of Beauty. She is what I covet, yet I fear her beauty. Someone said “the senses deform; the mind forms” and I get lost. What is deformed? De­form-ed. Di fôrmd’. Beauty is form-ed. Loss of Beauty is de­form-ed. My ability to form must be impaired.
“It’s your chance to be the better person.”
Better than whom? You or Him? I know about it. I know it all. I know what’s going on. I can see what’s happening. I have been there. I am here again. Eternal recurrence. So I wait. Nothing new. Nothing lost nothing gained. Nothing new. Trivial tempta­tions try to trick my tortured mind. I have learned about truth, trust. Some things in life are free, contrary to popular belief. Maybe they shouldn’t be. “PLEASE WALK ON ME”--the sign hang­ing over my head. Understand this: I see. Not with my eyes--they are prone to deception. I don’t have emotion--I am emotion. I am the one who is Love. I am the one who is Hurt. Life is Death. Acceptance is Bliss. And life goes on. Here it comes, the last great dream. There it goes. I’m not worried, it will come again and again. So I wait, for nothing.
“What do you think?”
“Oh. I wasn’t paying attention.” Snap back to reality. Do these people know that I am thinking about them? Judging them? Do they know what I think? If I let them in my head they would. They would know what I know. See what I see. Feel what I feel. They would become beasts like me. They would be the ones cow­ering in fear and shame. Not that I can’t appreciate the visceral. On the contrary, I like the pleasures of the flesh--I am a beast after all. It is my nature to be base and primitive.
“It’s really all or nothing with you, isn’t it.”
She’s not so great. I used to put her on a pedestal, but now I realize that she’s not so great. The hand has knocked down the pedestal. We are now at eye level. I can see more clearly now. Now that the pedestal has been slapped away from under her feet and my world has collapsed. I don’t doubt her love for me, though. I never did. But she is not in love with me anymore. She loves me. She is not in love with me. That’s where the tragedy lies. Oedipus killed his father and shared a bed with his mother. I killed the world and sleep in a bed with myself. The irony of it all does not escape me. I am a good observer.
“Do you want this?”
The trouble is I never see it coming--the hand always seems to come out of nowhere. I guess that’s why I always cower.
She takes the cake.


last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul