Blackbox Manifold

Issue 11: Gary Sloboda


The beauty is.  Choice of solvents.  Reminds me again.  Can’t afford this mind.  Extreme

fan base with a predilection for pyres.  The leftover I.

Chromium taste in the back of the mouth.  Exalting sweetness.  Bananas bruised on the

sill beside the whiskey.  The darkness is omnivorous.  Internalized.

Steel sponge won’t clean the grime.  You joined them.  And they lecture often.  How the

lies teach.  In the corridors of tenor and brogue.  And the borrowed ear.

Keeps dragging me to titty bars.  Bluegrass preachers.  Long bus rides with pictures of

wives.  In fields of heather.  The turmeric landscape.  Of envy.  Of nails.

Into the lushness of dispossession rhymes.  The reclining drivers steal the freon.  That

long lost friend.  Of glass in the forehead.  Under moon.  You elude.  

Brothers couldn’t make it.  To the edge of intention.  Fascicle memory, X-rays and songs.

Pinky out.  Tongues cut from icons.  The drink umbrella launches.  Into the sun.


A child is weaned.  Blonde as dust.  Stupefied parents. Questing for day jobs.  To obtain a

greater delusion in a gangster's land. Of parochial attitudes. Of productivity.  Of need. 

Gray duplexes house the bodies. Assistant weekend manager. Heave yourself

home.  Architectural wasteland of rectangular nests.  Flamingo road.

Cathode ray tube.  Dying man’s humidifier.  Sinatra tune on a greasy couch.  Child

washed in diphenhydramine and wine.  Schnauzer in a vacant lot.  Ringing with flies.

Shade of the auto body shop. A prayer is uttered at the ground.  It's an artifice of respect.

Beneath hydraulic sucking sounds.  And the shrieking of tools.


Deliberately free. In the mind’s market. Sidewalk for slaves. Who rip the city’s radiant

wings off. Give to women in pink capes.  And fishnet. 

Step through rain. Through cobwebs of repossession.  A net.  A compulsion.  Mascots

wigged out on the procession.  The sweatshirt delegation split. 

Expungement equipment. On credit.  The gentle masters lied. All this cozy tolerance of

metallic meals.  Tongues on billowing clouds of acid pepper. Kneel down.

They disperse the never-ending.  In the ear’s drums. In canals of memory. Happy

dolphins dancing down their elegant murder. They videotape no one.

Break the spell of flags.  With footprints the air set on fire. And I love you as fiercely as

your breath in my ear. Sadistic wood bullet that bruised her.  In a black sea.

Face down in commercial planter. Canister-dented.  Pieces upon pieces.  By mcdonalds. 

Starbucks. A rag enflamed. A trashcan found its wings. At the b of a.

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.