SmokeLong Quarterly
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Keep It Down
by Harry Leeds

art by Paul Bilger
art by Paul Bilger
Anthony couldn't keep anything down, so he had to eat through liquid IV. So he didn't like to eat. It made him sick. Also, he didn't like macho-laconic attitudes, especially when they seeped into the plastic arts. And he didn't like pull-down menus. He didn't like looking at people and he didn't like people looking at him. After they looked at him he still felt like they were looking at him and he didn't like it. He thought and thought so hard about what to like and what to think that he didn't know what to think. He didn't like nougat or cookie-center. They made him sick. He didn't like wearing clothes, how they looked, or being naked, and he didn't like his IV. He didn't like the summer starscape but more he didn't like people talking about the summer starscape or even more people talking about talking about the summer starscape and he always felt sick all the time and just wanted to eat like everyone else. He didn't like the concept of adjusting because he didn't. He really didn't like the bass riff scene transitions in Seinfeld. He didn't like when people used the word "closure" to describe something about not feeling like absolute garbage after someone dies, as though that ever happens. More, when people used "closure" in place of the word "vengeance." He didn't like dying or people or animals or astronomy or the Rare Earth Hypothesis or biomes or binomial nomenclature or people using binomial nomenclature in order to sound smart even when they were. He didn't like anything, it seemed, which was a trait of someone who loved himself and he hated that.

All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.

Harry Leeds has had work in The Black Warrior Review, NANO Fiction, Gargoyle and elsewhere. He doesn't blog but he did write a novel and received an MFA from the University of Florida. He translates Russian poetry and is moving to Russia.

Paul Bilger's photography has appeared at Qarrtsiluni, and has been featured on music releases by Autistici, Atlantic Coral, Brian, and Dead Voices on Air. When not taking pictures, he is a lecturer in philosophy at Penn State.
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