December 15, 2014 | ,

Dear University Office of Risk Management

Photo Credit: “Pull in case of fire” by Joe Kester

Dear University Office of Risk Management

Please do not be concerned about the fire alarm that was pulled in the library last Thursday afternoon: I did this to test our evacuation procedures. I was concerned that there had not been a single drill this semester. In the event of a real emergency, everybody should have had ample practice navigating escape routes. I learned the benefit of having an exit strategy mapped out long ago, the summer I lit a fire in my brother’s closet—right before he was sent away. A disorderly evacuation of campus might not only lead to confusion but also distract me from my work: a book-length study on monstrosity, which, Derrida posits, permits us to understand conventions by transgressing them. I hope that last Thursday’s drill proved useful to everyone. Please be advised that, in the interest of preparedness, I will initiate additional simulations throughout the remainder of the semester.


Dr. Noel Sloboda
Researcher in the Humanities

This piece is part of a chapbook, Risk Management Studies, from Kattywompus Press

Noel Sloboda’s work has recently appeared in Bayou, Fourteen Hills, PANK, and Salamander. He is the author of the poetry collections Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008) and Our Rarer Monsters (sunnyoutside, 2013) as well as several chapbooks. Sloboda has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein.  

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