“Wham, Bam, Thank You, Spam” by Mark Brazaitis



They come to me with their misspellings

and their blatant broadcasts

of my deficiencies.

I cannot be angry—they are right,

all of them: BestLayEver@behardforoncetonite.com

and LongTimeNoSee@LilliputianPenis.com

and HeartAttack@avoidnow.com.

All I can say to my screen is,

“How did you know?”

How do the masters of spam know

that I am suffering simultaneously

from cancer, colitis, cystic fibrosis,

high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and low self-esteem

brought about by all of the above

plus a titanically small penis

and a case of erectile dysfunction so severe

all my underwear are stitched with the words “Out of Order.”

It’s as if they not only see my soul

but my CAT scan

and my PET scan,

my bedroom and my bowel movements.

They know me like no lover could.

No, I wouldn’t confess to my best friend half

of what they understand about me.

Yet despite my failings of body and in bed,

they love me.

They will never forsake me.

And in return I needn’t do anything but

be colossally imperfect

and buy, buy, buy—

or hit delete.


Mark Brazaitis is the author of six books of fiction, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and a book of poetry, The Other Language, winner of the 2009 ABZ Poetry Prize. His latest book, Truth Poker: Stories, won the 2014 Autumn House Press Fiction Competition.