Hyperbaton


Hyperbaton (hy-per’-ba-ton): 1. An inversion of normal word order. A generic term for a variety of figures involving transposition, it is sometimes synonymous with anastrophe. 2. Adding a word or thought to a sentence that is already semantically complete, thus drawing emphasis to the addition.


Tomato onion. Onion tomato. onion, onion, onion. Tomato onion, tomato, tomato, tomato. Thank god they were cherry tomatoes. The blender was stuffed full, loaded! Soon, I will liquify these little babies. Babies? There I go again. Liquified babies? Oh my god. The image was taking root in my brain, in my mind. Oh words! I say it, I see it, and I can say anything, and I can see anything. And then the terror, disgust, and tears, or the excitement, the freedom, and joy as my mind’s vision manifests itself in the material world. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I am certain if I talked about this in casual conversation, I would be straight-jacketed and led away. But this, what I am writing now, is the only existing record and confession of the trajectory of my mental disrepair.

It started with desire—with wanting everything good that passed by my senses. The wanting was so intense and bizarre, it was like I wanted a dentist drilling into my head: the hot bit poking into my skull. I would pound on my head to make the drilling feeling go away. I started drinking. Copious amounts of vodka would push the unpleasant feeling out of my head. The world was a blur and I didn’t care. But the cost was high, as high as I was. I lost my job at the waxworks when I put Barbara Streisand’s nose on President Biden and knocked over Al Gore and stepped on his leg and snapped it off at the knee. I lost my home. I lost my car. I lost my family. I lost my cat Scruffles. I lost everything, as well as my desire for anything. Then, it started creeping back. I was laying on the ground in the park after a rough night wrapped in a tablecloth I had found. I saw a pint of vodka in my head. There was a popping sound, and suddenly, there was an unopened pint of vodka in my hand. I imagined a suitcase filled with $100 bills. There was a popping sound, and suddenly there was a suitcase full of money laying there next to me. I imagined a mansion. There was a popping sound and I was sitting on a couch in front of a blazing fire, in my mansion. I imagined new clothes and a beautiful woman, and pop, pop, there they were. It was like my head had turned into a magic lamp—I got what I wished for. But then I found out that I got what I didn’t wish for too. That night I had a nightmare. I was being chased by a bear. I woke up yelling “No, no!” The beautiful woman asked me what was wrong. “There’s bear in the room!” I screamed. She disappeared and the bear lunged at me. Just as he was going to tear out my throat he turned into the sales associate from ACE Hardware. And then, there I was. It was daytime and I was at ACE Hardware. I had just bought 2 rolls of packing tape and the sales associate was handing them to me in a little bag, along with the receipt.

I figured I was seriously brain-damaged from all the booze. I went to see a controversial doctor, Dr. Brightly, whose methods were questioned by the AMA and who was always on the verge of losing his license to practice medicine. I told him I had brain problems, not wanting to be explicit about the complete craziness of my condition. He pulled out a fly swatter and hit my three times on the top of my head, like he was anointing me. “Don’t think about it,” he said. So, trusting him, I took his advice. I began practicing meditation; the “School of Empty Head.” I have my bouts, but when I do, no matter where I am, I sit cross-legged and empty my head. The meditation exercise is like flushing the toilet.

It has been difficult writing this account of my condition, and now, I can go back to liquifying my health drink. I think I hear a baby crying in the sink. Time to meditate!


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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