In DreamsDateline New York City, once the center of world culture.

Medical authorities have been forced to at last acknowledge a previously concealed epidemic in the wake of recent admittances to the ER’s of both Beth Israel and Bellevue, along with several other hospital facilities throughout the five boroughs.

According to Dr. Wynona Gripp, one of the world’s leading specialists in traumatic gynecology, “We remain uncertain as to the cause of the disorder and so we were reluctant to come forward in the fear of creating further panic. But we are now well advanced in developing a profile of the victims. So far, the pathology seems to target principally corporate publishing editors, who have been elevated in authority far beyond their intellectual capability. We’ve noted cases arising from the fields of finance, law and advertising, but publishing seems to be the hot spot industry affected.

Experts remain divided on the question of whether or not the malady is ultimately genital in nature, or the result of a systemic disease that expresses via the genitals and perianal region. Some have suggested underlying blood or heart defects-others a hidden neurological cause that is referred to the pelvis.

In a briefing to the Health & Science media, visiting surgeon Beverly Newman of John Hopkins had this to say: “We’re seeing presentations of total clitoral shrinkage and an unexplained absorption of the labia, rather like the inverse of a prolapsed scenario. In some instances, urethral function is maintained. In the more advanced cases, there has been complete closure and a kind of carapace has developed over the entire area, including the anus and rectum, which has been clogged with a sandpaper-textured scaling that resembles hardened toenails and dry wall in consistency. The retention of waste and toxins in these situations has been near fatal and has required invasive drainage operations.”

Dr. Winsome Schlick of the Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center has fueled further controversy in the matter by insisting the pathology has jumped the gender gap. “Testicular atrophy and the rapid onset of penile mortification has been rife for years, particularly in publishing. This may simply be the female manifestation.”

Urologists Dr. Peter Tinkel and proctologist Dr. Mark Ringman vigorously support this view. Said Dr. Tinkel, “I have seen several male editors who are now in a crisis situation resembling that of a Ken doll. A complete disappearance of genitalia and a strong suggestion that both guts and heart have been decisively compromised. While not one to believe in such popular myths as zombies, I have no other way to describe those so afflicted. It’s simply a medical miracle they’re still functioning.”

Fringe holistic therapist Ruth Zion of Queens has so far achieved the greatest treatment successes. Her theory is that the disorder is alimentary in origin, and she has had some breakthroughs with the radical rectal insertion of Patti Smith’s Radio Ethiopia and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, followed by the novels of Walker Percy and some of the shotgun paintings of William Burroughs.

Said Ms. Zion, “This is in the end an anal problem, and so the solution suggests an insertion. We’re working hard to get the balance right. Everyone, even a corporate editor, deserves to have a decent bowel movement and to at least confront the possibility of sex.”

Do you know someone in publishing who’s suffering in silence? Do you know someone in publishing who’s insisting others suffer too?

Don’t let vaginas, balls and penises just disappear. Let’s not let relatively innocent anuses seal over in unsightly crust. Reach in today. All art is in an intervention. Intervention is the art.

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KRIS SAKNUSSEMM is a writer, painter and musical producer. He is the author of the international cult novels Zanesville and Private Midnight. Random House is bringing out his third novel in the USA in March 2011, and a new book called Reverend America has just been completed and is already being sold in Europe. A Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, he has won First Prize in the Boston Review and River Styx Short Fiction Contests, and received the Fiction Collective 2 Award for Innovative Writing, in addition to publishing in a wide range of places such as Playboy, Nerve.com, Opium Magazine, The Missouri Review, The Hudson Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner and ZYZZYVA, amongst many others. You can find more about him on his Facebook Page.

11 responses to “The Hideous Tragedy of Self-Sealing Vaginas and Vanishing Testicles”

  1. dwoz says:

    Maybe the problem is similar to oysters?

    They get a little sand lodged up in there, and excrete a substance that encapsulates the sand in a hard white shell?

    I mean, a lot of the corporate editors DO SAY that they shit pearls.

    You never know. Editors might be bivalves. And I don’t mean scientologists.

  2. Kris Saknussemm says:

    Editors as bivalves! I love it.

  3. Tom Hansen says:

    Haha good one. It’s called ‘The Corporate Influence.’ Marketing overrules the editors, and in financially difficult times (partly of their own making) they are even more unwilling to take risks. Hence more safe garbage and less radical and/or innovative

  4. Kris Saknussemm says:

    Safe garbage is right, Tom. Five teenage vampire novels sold in NYC last week. How long is that trend sustainable?

  5. Nigella8 says:

    Do male corporate publishing editors all now sing an octave and a half higher and a cappella?
    Does that explain why their repertoire is mainly safe, sad, old standards?

    Does this mean all openings are closed for restoration?

    Is it too late for Kegels?

    Perhaps a timely, in depth, chat with a Physiotherapist whilst actively engaged in testing Kegel performance, would bring a few female publishers back to a more physical reality.
    Believe me it is an odd mode of conversation, yet civility is ensured.
    (Substitute Writer for Physiotherapist and contract negotiations could be less one sided, and, infinitely more visceral and interesting.)

    Maybe a pelvic ultrasound is all that is required to locate “guts and heart” these days?

  6. Kris Saknussemm says:

    Yes, too often guts and heart are the casualties. More visceral and interesting is what we hope for!

  7. Jade Tiger says:

    Siding with Zion. Who would have thought!

    …Intervention at all costs.
    Hang the medical over-servicing charges on this one!

    (Consider inserting suitable comments…perhaps!)

    Only as a last resort perhaps explore the therapeutic use of entomology..scarab beetles come to mind.
    Although as Alexia sweeps the nation due to twits txting…it may no longer matter.

  8. Seb Doubinsky says:

    Time for the hermaphrodites…

  9. Jade Tiger says:

    Too jaded Seb!!

  10. Erika Rae says:

    “…and to at least confront the possibility of sex.” HA.

    Funny stuff.

  11. Kris Saknussemm says:

    Thanks Erika.

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