Creative Work: ‘Historical Context’ by David Russomano

Creative WorksWe are lucky this week to have a lovely, nostalgic poem for you from Kingston MA alum and returning Words, Pauses, Noises contributor David Russomano.

This piece is striking for its use of strong, simple images, hinting at the subtleties of sibling dynamics through the journey of one object as it changes hands.

Historical Context

When your oldest brother’s birthday
finally comes, he gets that action figure
he’s been nagging your mom about non-stop
for months—the dashing super hero
from his latest favourite Saturday morning
cartoon show; call it The Adventures
of Alpha Male. Well, for as long as this
mini protagonist holds his attention
with its sculpted muscles, spring-loaded
uppercut and plastic weapons, he’s the centre
of epic Alpha Male battles, fighting fiercely
alongside Alpha Male’s allies, dishing out
brutal defeats to Alpha Male’s enemies.

Unlike his capricious classmates,
your brother never decapitates the hero
or twists off his legs on a whim; he’s careful.
The TV show is cancelled
before you’re old enough to tune in
and the toys are discontinued,
but the hand-me-down champion is still
in fair condition when you swap his sword
with an AK47, give him the power of flight,
make lasers shoot out of his eyes, and
sometimes, if it suits your game, cast him
in the role of villain.

Any reader with siblings will be able to identify instantly with both the tenderness and the final hint of rebellion captured here.

Join us next week for another great piece of creative writing!

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Creative Work: ‘On Nights’ by David Russomano

 

Creative WorksWe’ve returned to our Words, Pauses, Noises competition winners and this week, we have returning contributor, David Russomano gracing our posts again with his poem, ‘On Nights’.

 

On Nights

It rains on nights when the leaves have gone,

coating every branch in black,

drenched. The cold light from street lamps

caught in the boughs turns to spiders’ webs—

silver fragmented lines extend

out in shaky patterns like cracks

in a mirror met by a fist.

 

From the center of a mirror

struck by a fist, silver fractures

extend out in shaky patterns,

shimmering like spiders’ webs of

drenched black boughs back lit by simple

street lamps on a rainy night when

the leaves have taken something with them.

This piece showcases an intriguing inverted perspective, where David hones in on micro moments that reflect a completely different outcome. The subtle change in reality has the reader flickering back to the beginning for another look, relishing in its visual symmetry. Next week, we’ll continue on with more from the Words, Pauses, Noises competition so hold tight and keep following.

Creative Work: Short Fiction – “Last Laugh” by David Russomano

Last Laugh

By David Russomano72311623_p

When they arrive, I’m always at my most courteous. After all, dying isn’t easy. With the squeal of a flat-lining heart monitor still ringing in their ears, people imagine they’ve stumbled into the waiting room of some immaculate dentist’s office. Chairs line the room’s periphery. Stacks of magazines sit on small tables. And there I am, smiling pleasantly behind the receptionist’s desk, ready to receive them. I’m polite, cordial even. I need them calm. None of it works unless they trust me.

Here comes one now. Watch and learn.

“Where am I?”

His eyes are a jumble of fear and disbelief. His jaw hangs open.

“Please, take a seat, sir. Make yourself comfortable. We’ve been expecting you.”

“But, what is this place?”

Ease the transition.

“First sir, if you can, please tell me the last thing you recall.”

The memories are confused, difficult to piece together. He searches his mind the way you’d collect the shards of a broken mirror.

“…I was in a bed…there were faces I didn’t recognize…and things happening around me that I couldn’t see…”

Just a little prompting.

“What did you feel?”

“There was this wave of tension. It rose up from under me and it was building so quickly…”

He’s almost there.

“Yes, go on?”

“And then the wave broke. Everything relaxed. And I was here.”

“You’ve asked me where you are, but I believe there’s another question you need to ask first.”

He hesitates. The words struggle, but he forces them out.

“Am I dead?”

Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Yes, sir, you are.”

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