Category Archives: SS – Series Three “Fractured Retina”

Excerpt from Marcin Zarzeczny’s “Jobless Actor Confessions: A Practical Comedy for One Actor, Preferably Unemployed”

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A PHONE CALL FROM THE AGENCY

You know what I think? I think that if an agent from a pretty good agency happened to be here now, I might be getting a phone call sometime soon. A few years ago, it really happened to me. Continue reading

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“Mourning Day” by Aleksandra Djordjevic

She tells me,

“last night I dreamt my best friend died.”

Every day,

the getting up,

the (smallish) routine,

the idea that a single heart can be lost

haunts me with intense sincerity.

I tell her,

“we are all hearts

birds

beating to the sound of Creation’s innate sorrow.”

So I pick up the shards of her heart,

sew them together,

make Valentines.

I call them

my own.

Best friend, I loved you as much as a heart could allow.

Best friend,
I was…

Your universe cut up and sewn back together again.


Aleksandra Djordjevic was born in Kingston, PA, and has attended the University of Scranton, PA, as well as Wilkes University. She has been published in wordgathering.com, as well as in the short story anthology, The Smartest Kid in the Bronx. Ms. Djordjevic lives in Clarks Summit, PA.

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“Hitler the Dating Meister” by Nick Johnson

Sophia Paulson was a fantastic performer. Her body was sculpted and toned by hours spent with physical trainers, her wardrobe was the latest to grace the pages of the fashion industry’s most recognizable trend setting publications. She adorned her near flawless oval face with thin wire frame glasses that added a subtle complimenting component of intellectualism to her sex appeal. She was a young upstart. She had gone to the best schools, had met the right people, and at the relatively young age of 32 had established herself as a respectable practitioner in the field of psychology.

There were tumultuous undercurrents of stress running beneath the well crafted facade however. She had been able to hide them most of her life from just about everyone she knew, everyone except her fiancé. Her engagement, once a countdown to the day she would finally have the final piece of her perfect life, had now become an indefinite and agonizing period. In her attempts to expedite the process she had accomplished just the opposite, and driven him away. Now things appeared more uncertain than ever, and the always cool and collected Sophia had finally shown her vulnerabilities and insecurities. She was aware of just how attractive such qualities made a person appear. Unfortunately it had ran into a vicious cycle. Every time she called or texted she was sure she had just the right thing to say to make this all go away, but afterwards she always walked away with the feeling she had made things worse. Continue reading

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Sleepless Stories: The Work of Rachel O’Donnell

SwingingSwinging, 30″ by 48″, acrylic & oil sticks on canvas, 2014

Born in Dallas, Texas, Rachel O’Donnell is an artist based out of the Brooklyn, New York area. With her BFA in Fine Art from Pratt Institute, she has spent the last five years pursuing an art career on the east coast. She has studied abroad and completed courses at Parsons Paris as well as London College of Fashion. Her work has been featured in art galleries, such as, The Painting Center, Westbeth Gallery, Greenpoint Gallery, and in the famed Seagram Building for a Gagosian Gallery sponsored show. She has also been published online by Vice Magazine and featured in the New York Times reviewed Bushwick Open Studios twice. Painting primarily portraits, Rachel O’Donnell’s work is known for its intriguing use of colors and expressionist qualities. Working primarily with acrylic paint and oil sticks, Rachel creates her works at her studio located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
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“The Fat Purple Cat” by Stephen Unger

Along a very small street is a small cafe nestled in the southwest corner of Paris.: Le Bougie. It’s where the sun had casted its warmth on the few flowers that make their home in the flower pots and vases along the widow sill.

The smell of roasted coffee and freshly baked croissants always attracted the artists and writers seeking early morning inspiration.

One such artist was Dameon Ricard who spent the long nights contemplating his next painting. Most of his works adorned the walls of the little cafe. He preferred to keep his work there at no charge. His hands where soiled with a variety of paint stains.

“I wash my hands,” he’d say. “Although not very thorough.”

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“perception is anything” by Peter Beda

I.

K. is a lonely boy
doesn’t see too many people
always in his room
smoking weed, playing poker

he doesn’t remember
where he puts things

he barely leaves the house
works hard and saves money
talks a lot, most of it imaginary
troubles ahead

in the outside world
a solitary child is waiting
for Big Brother to come home Continue reading

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Selected Works by Elle Kennedy

Kennedy Elle TORIS KANDY DREAM 2
Tori’s Kandy Dream II

I am a 23 year old British based artist seeking to document my experience of being transgender within a rapidly changing British society. I consider my work to be mixed media and conceptual. In addition to this I seek to illustrate the transgender experience internationally, notably within countries and societies which persecute the LGBTQ community. Continue reading

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“Lost River Suite” by Ben Nardolilli

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Asphodel, asphodel,
Symbol the silence, the river
You crossed over the moon bank,
The moon bridge, heavy with toil,
Asphodel charming, charm
Again over the pinecone races,
Track through the field your old love

River blues over the sandy cove,
Through the grass, you
Face of all faces and branches,
Seal off the lagoon and dreams,
No barrier but blindness now,
To circulate over the boundary with you,
Together under the same hood at last

You open your hand and crush the pill,
You ask me to taste
Terrible sweetness, the twisted cures,
Terrible the forgetting of the song,
The tongue of the rock speaking,
No dam of dustbin thoughts,
Bring out the forbidden seeds
And save yourself from the season.

Strike up the currents to dance,
Mingle over the roots to excess,
Make tree statues in the shadows,
Stalk and grind your bone footsteps guide,
Bend the wind to the old bow,
Asphodel, asphodel emerge
With your bitter winter wings


This has been “Lost River Suite” by Ben Nardolilli, the fifth installment of our Fractured Retina series.

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained (http://bit.ly/lTj5ve), from Folded Word Press. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish a novel.

Photo illustration by Allison Fabian

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