about the author

Gary Sloboda is a lawyer, writer and musician, but not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in such places as Drunken Boat, RATTLE, EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, and 3:AM. He is currently writing a book-length collection of prose poems entitled “Tremor Philosophies.” He lives in San Francisco.

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Gary Sloboda

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It’s the afternoon of our birthdays. You need to heal, but these geniuses don’t know anything. This executioner’s oasis of thugs is a habitat for STDs and bathtub hooch. Mild weather. Other than the psychos, silverfish have also taken over. They’ve eaten every last one of my books. The small mirrors in my apartment grow sickeningly still.

The buses swerve wildly. It’s how I get around. There’s a stop on the line that leads to passive aggressive hives of unequal bargaining power, which can result in a bloodless manner of speech that remains perky. But leaves a residual smell of acetone in its wake. (I have relinquished my day job to live on the earth like a medicinal flower.)

The process of rehabilitation mirrors the acceptance of death. They sprayed a glossy surface over your soul. It blinded me. As you recited failure. After failure. And coughed up a blood clot like the face of a bludgeoned god. In the afterglow they held me down. No worries, they said it was good. The tall usher who shit-canned me said it was love.

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