by Gary Hardaway
About Flash Fiction
My favorite pieces of flash fiction are poems in stealth mode.
They masquerade as harmless looking bits of narrative prose.
Too late, the targets feel the expansive properties of the sly
poetry that, once through the layers of resistance, explodes.
A failed flash deposits its shrunken bit of story and dissolves.
There are many. The one I hate most is “Self-made man” (why is it never self-made woman, I wonder?). It lies on so many levels I wonder how anyone could ever utter it without a seething contempt cackling to itself off stage. It pre-supposes the most immaculate of conceptions. It pre-supposes human agency devoid of any cultural context.
It pre-supposes that wealth and power, skill and competence, accrete by the sheer power of an individual will. It is among the most appalling bits of spit ever issued by the mouth.
Some days, you want all the red states to secede, expel
the opposition, provoke, and be justifiably blasted
back to the Stone Age until you recall-
they're already there.