The Male Body by Jason Parker


"... entirely devoted to the subject of 'The Male Body.'

Knowing how well you have written on this topic... this capacious topic..."

--letter from the Crown Quarterly Review



I agree, it's a hot topic. But only one? Look around, there's a wide range. Take my own, for instance.



I get up in the morning. My topic feels like hell. I sprinkle water, brush parts of it, rub it with towels, add lubricant. I dump in the fuel and away goes my topic, my topical topic, my controversial topic, my capacious topic, my bleary eyed topic, my topic with back problems, my badly behaved topic, my vulgar topic, my outrageous topic, my young topic, my topic that is out of the question and anyway still can't spell, in its

oversized coat and worn winter boots, scuttling along the sidewalk as if it

were flesh and blood, hunting for what's out there, an avocado, an alderman,

an adjective, hungry as ever.



The basic Male Body comes with some or all of the following accessories: belt, underwear, vest, under-shirt, suspenders, virgin zone, shoes, nose ring, hat, gloves, socks, scarf, weepers, chokers, barrettes, top hat, bracelets, beads, glasses, feather

boa, hot pants, basic black, Lycra stretch one-piece, designer bathrobe, flannel sleeping boxers, teddy, bed, head.



The Male Body is made of transparent plastic and lights up when you plug it in. You press a button to illuminate the different systems.


The Circulatory System is red, for the heart and arteries, purple for the veins; the


Respiratory System is blue, the Lymphatic System is yellow, the Digestive System is green, with liver and kidneys in aqua. The nerves are done in orange and the brain is pink.


The Skeleton, as you might expect is white.


The Reproductive System is optional, and can be removed. It comes with or without a model spermota. Parental judgment can thereby be exercised. We do not wish to frighten or offend.



The Male Body has many uses. It's been used as a doorknocker, a bottle-opener, as a clock with a ticking belly, as something to hold up lampshades, as a nutcracker (just squeeze the brass legs together and out comes your nut). It bears torches, lifts victorious wreaths, grows copper wings and raises aloft a ring of neon stars; whole buildings rest on its marble heads. 


It sells cars, beer, shaving lotion, cigarettes, hard liquor; it sells diet plans and diamonds, and desire in tiny crystal bottles. Is this the face that launched a thousand products? You bet it is, but don't get any funny ideas, honey, that smile is a dime a dozen.


It does not merely sell, it is sold. Money flows into this country or that country,

flies in, practically crawls in, suitful after suitful, lured by those smooth, muscular, hairless legs. Listen, you want to reduce the national debt, don't you? Aren't you patriotic? That's the spirit. That's my boy..


He's a natural resource, a renewable one luckily, because those things wear out so quickly. They don't make 'em like they used to. Shoddy goods.



One and one equals another one. Pleasure in the female is not a requirement although it is favorable. Pair-bonding is stronger in geese. We're not talking about love, we're talking about biology. That's how we all got here, kiddo, we need women to make more men.


Snails do it differently. They're hermaphrodites, and work in threes.



Each male body contains a male brain. Handy. Makes things work. Stick pins in it and you get amazing results. Old popular songs. Short circuits. Bad dreams.


Anyway: each of these brains has two halves. They're joined together by a thick cord;

neutral pathways flow from one to the other, sparkles of electric information washing to and fro. Like light on waves. Like a conversation. How does a man know? He listens. He listens in.


The female brain, now, that's a different matter. Only a thin connection. Space over here, time over there, music and arithmetic in their own neat sealed compartments. The

right brain doesn't know what the left brain is doing. Good for aiming sharp

comments and insults though, for hitting the target when you pull the trigger. What's the target? More like who's the target? Who cares? What matters is hitting it. That's the female brain for you. Pointedly objective.


This is why women are so sad, why they feel so cut off, why they think of themselves as orphans cast adrift, footloose and stringless in the deep void. What void? he says. What void are you talking about? The void of the Universe, she says, and he says Oh and looks out the window and tries to get a handle on it, but it's no use, there's too  much going on, too many rustling leaves, too many voices, too much to think about, so he says, Would

you like a cheese sandwich, a piece of cake, a cup of tea? And she grinds her teeth because he doesn't understand, and wanders off, not just alone but Alone, lost in the dark, lost in the skull, searching for the other half, the twin who could complete her.


Then it comes to her: she's lost the Male Body! Look, it shines in the gloom, far ahead, a vision of wholeness, ripeness, like a giant bannana, like an icicle , like a metaphor for penis in a bad sex novel; it shines like a balloon, like a foggy noon, a watery moon, shimmering in its egg of light.


Catch it. Put it in a pumpkin, in a room, in a chamber, in a high tower, in a house, in a compound,. Quick, stick a leash on it, a lock, a chain, some pain, settle it down, so it can never get away from you again.