Tag Archives: Fractured Retina

“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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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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“Lost River Suite” by Ben Nardolilli

IMG_1328

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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“Midtown Crosshairs” by Brian Alvarado

Circa- 2:00 AM,

Circa- the West 50s,

and yet impedimentary

flows of traffic persist,

mostly droves of

taxi-worker drones

finally calling it quits.

The transcendent traverse

of shame and defeat

is always an undesirable one.

Because going crosstown then (or anywhere for that matter)

was indicative of specific resolutions.

The internal wake-up call—

the hand spent too long on

the surface of the most

hellacious of stoves,

the reminder that in this dog-eat-
cat-eat-dog-and-cat world,

slow and steady skims the lace,

and ultimately,

the nicest of predators

do finish last.


This has been “Midtown Crosshairs” by Brian Alvarado.

Brian Alvarado is a sonnet, opera, and craft beer enthusiast born and raised in the Bronx, NY.

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“Avocado” by Amy Dusto

AVOCADO

It was so terrible when I asked that nice guy with the Bluetooth who I always see heating up his lunch in the kitchenette, I asked him if there were any extra spoons around. I wanted to eat this avocado half I had in a baggie that I was kind of hiding behind the coffee maker while I asked, because it was kinda gross, but you know, so delicious.

And, as I’m asking, this cute guy—cute like he’s young and fit, and seeing him in a tie and collar doesn’t make my neck itch (he wears it well)—and of course he’s suave, all “I have a spoon. Let me get it.” Continue reading

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“Nile in the Snow” and “A Photograph in Los Angeles, 1987″ by Jack Caswell

Jack Caswell - Nile in the Snow

Jack Caswell – Nile in the Snow

“A Photograph in Los Angeles, 1987″

When poets and prostitutes speak of the glory and freedom of the road, my heart explodes in summer showers of fiery passion. The dancing dream of leather and rubber grinding the gravel sends songs to my soundbox and bakes my beating breast piping hot.

But the parents’ eyes cut a black hole in the world, raging with forgotten dreams and ancient aspirations, every hopeless hope endowed on their children, whose spines already creak from months sleeping in a twisted heap in the back seat. The father’s arms clutch desperately around his bride’s worn, pale shoulders as his gaze pleads for shelter.

I stand here on the ledge, gazing down as a god. The portal remains closed, and, giving up, I turn to run. My palm across my face, I try vainly to remove the skin of a war-torn infant. The gravel itches my feet. Bleeding blisters slither against one another, as they did that night we lost our car, gambled away by my father’s monstrous beard, a universe to parasites.

And all at once I stutter and stop, silent, still, like stepping on the moon for the first time. And I see myself. I am my own, I swear, because tombstones gasp from the soil, waiting on names much like mine. I am my own, I swear, because my old back seat companion fucks a stranger, and a fountain springs out of her riches. I am my own, I swear, because the pale, worn shoulder hides in the mud, and it slowly ceases. Because I am still brave, and I am still compassionate, and I am still a man, I think.


The has been “Nile in the Snow” and “A Photograph in Los Angeles, 1987″ by Jack Caswell.

Jack Caswell is a playwright, screenwriter, and photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.

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