Lead Belly's Liner Notes for the Next World
Gary Sloboda

Lead Belly's Liner Notes for the Next World

Barbiturates stabilize my extremities
to a slight palsy, so I can read
the hands on my watch and tune the strings.
Dying in the city lights, I fever-dream
cottonmouths and seeping pastures,
the nights sunk deep in the summer floods
where memories give way to stoned riffs
sprung from jerry-rigged guitars.
When a song like sunrise is cinched from my throat,
I’ll pursue into the next world cherry balm
on the lips of the nurse who delivers me out.
O my cross-eyed sugar, don’t let them resurrect me
unless it’s on the empty road
that meets the other like a broken crucifix.

Gary Sloboda

is a lawyer and writer. His work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in such publications as BlazeVox, Posit, and Thrush. He lives in San Francisco.