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Unbroken #36


Brad Rose

Strange Synergy


I love networking. It’s better than working for the government, except for the free paperclips. Of course, nothing tastes as good as food that’s not good for you, but regimes come and go. Those bastards. You’ve got to keep your wits about you. Remember, a waterfall is equal parts water and falling. ▪ Have I mentioned, yet, the cast of primitive animal characters? They’re dressed entirely in beastly pinstripes, even in the dark. Not one check or herringbone in the crowd, which is why I try always to remember that the dead are former people, too, but that’s another story. ▪ Australopithecus wanted for nothing, but shoes. They wandered around to look for food and friends, and over time, found bigger brains. Now we all have mysterious footprints, and if given our druthers, would prefer to eat our neighbors. Of course, the deceased would like to vote the living out of office, but who wouldn’t? ▪ Bon vivant that I am, I realize that every story must have three main parts: the id, the ego, and the superego, so my camera is taking pictures of your camera taking pictures of me. I hope that’s not a conflict of interest. ▪ Look. Over there. No, over there, next to the sand-beige shore—the beautifully glimmering sea, blue as a movie star’s eye. ▪ I dare you not to drink it.    

The Eternal Quest to Build the Better Mousetrap  

Tell me, who doesn’t prefer the freedom of an automated life? Even the best theory can’t be expected to explain its own existence, so I’m advertising myself to myself. Everyone invents the internet. ▪ I have more pyramid schemes than a Pharaoh. These go hand in hand—like dream music for snakes and amphibians. Naturally, the dead can’t be certain whether they’re on vacation, or not. ▪ My robot is a bundle of nerves, so it’s fine tuning its scare tactics. Fortunately, I’m a man of my convictions. Exchanging stripes for checks is my idea of prison reform. ▪ Yesterday, I noticed my passport had expired. On the front page, below my photo, it read, Do not resuscitate. Of course, not everyone has an inner voice. You either do or you don’t. ▪ Electricity is both religion and light opera. Machine language is 0s and 1s. My robot proudly proclaims, "I have no secrets I keep from myself," as it toys with a switch that neither turns off, nor on.


Brad Rose's latest book of prose poems is No. Wait. I Can Explain. He is the author of three additional collections of poetry and flash fiction: Pink X-Ray, de/tonations, and Momentary Turbulence. His website is His blog is

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