the poetry that matters

Gary Sloboda

Gary Sloboda is a writer living in San Francisco.  His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from such publications as Rattle, Drunken Boat, Glitter Pony, Puppyflowers, Horse Less Review and Filling Station.  In 2008, he published a small collection of poems entitled "Pine" from Finishing Line Press.


It is damage.  To believe this.  The habits of dislocation have awakened me.  A welder’s torch shooting varietals of blue flame.  Have to keep it pointed away from one’s self.  And others.  And protect the eyes.  Yet there is a flag I have draped upon the hood of my car and set fire to during road trips through the deep south.  The air tense as ligaments.  Stretched to the point of snapping.  The swell of low tide laced with diesel.  As the schematic of dark wings press in.  Light begins to taper off.  Overwrought in fabulous tones of green.  Peels away the infinite mesh.  To see.  There is metal and its toxins.  There are the sacred roots and leaves. 

She had this insistent notion. There is no innuendo that can’t be mustered against us.  Petty and wicked.  A wild red bird adrift in cincinnati.  As our path is countered by random apples quivering with moth worms.  Stands of dogwood in the rain.  Where abundant feral cats cover their waste.  We wept away invisibly.  Shirts crested with lint and ferret fur.  She will always breakdown the syllable of love in disastrous ways.  Architect who holds the demolition sacred.  Drinking the dust the wreckage kicked up.  It gets stirred in.  Settles.  There.  Taking up the whole space of our mouths with a palatable ache.     

Evening drained of september’s blush.  I am arrested.  Charged.  With knowledge of my biological procurement.  Of which I was deceived.  By tabloid ads.  Common sense won’t master it.  Close the eyes and wish real hard.  Tendrils at the edge of night to adjust the focus.  It’s a rumor.  Or a baseless attack on one’s character.  To dream you want that, what isn’t there.  Gilded palm trees wedged in the mind.  A paradise of ferroequinology.  Its behemoth slogans tearing through.  Harboring its instinct like ferry dust in the veins.  

Sometimes it’s like I never really lived
            In california                        though I always have
sunglasses the old ladies wear
            when they get a face-lift
advertise a desperate aristocracy
a shadow
            in light so good
you barely see
                                                humungous carrion birds
roosting on the billboard signs.


I need her whenever I drift
in the thought of this world
where the rabbits were slain with a brick in the yard
that visual therapy                        
                                                faded fields of paint
to calm the senses
senile on their invincible meandering
that they are not wrong anymore
than they were when they were
filled up by the law
and the weight
            of  its intricate rage
car smelled of lemon rind
                                                with undertones
of ash and hair gel
in the mind
            you don’t want           
                                                                        to feel it
even if it’s just the wind
that keeps your head down
didn’t someone tell you
you could freeze.

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