Albert Russo









she pounded the rag doll with her tiny gnarled fists

then, grabbing it by its foot, slapped it hard

against the tree trunk, again and again

calling her ‘you dirty little slut, will you ever learn?’


then she whimpered and stuttered

‘if … if … I hurt you so, it is…

because I have no one else.’


for a while, her attention was drawn by the distant cooing

of a bird and she searched for it above her head

spinning it every which way she could

in the hope it would land on the palm of her hand

and keep her company, but the cooing went on

and still the caller remained invisible


her heart shrivelled with despair and remembering

the existence of the rag doll, hanging from her fingers,

she walked around the clearing and picked up a thorn

which she ruthlessly stuck between its eyes

then through its nostrils and finally,

with a lurid twinkle in her look, inside its vagina

‘here, so that you will never be able to have a baby,

you nasty piece of work, you ozone destroyer.’


from where the cooing had originated now she heard

the twitter of nestlings, how many could they be,

maybe four, maybe as many as a whole score?

and again she stood puzzled

they kept up their racket for a long time

‘their parents must have flown away to fetch them

some food, worms and flies and other insects’

then of a sudden silence fell over the wooded cliff


‘I’m getting hungry,’ she thought and rummaged among

the underbrush until she found berries

or what looked like berries, so fleshy and red they were

‘you can starve!’ she said to the rag doll

as she began popping the beautiful round fruits into her mouth

and while she ate, her mouth dripping with juice,

she rubbed a berry along the rag doll, smearing it first

all over the face and then fiercely between its legs

‘momma never wanted me as a child’, she said

in a garbled voice ‘so why should I be kind to you?’


the little girl and her rag doll were found dead the next morning






the sight of a burnt-down car

wrenches a howl out of his clutched jaws

a raucous primeval howl

which is the genesis of fear

ashen as our planet

atter the big bang


and the stench of molten rubber

grips him by the lungs

the unrelenting howl

reverberates in his bones

as it suddenly hollowed out … hollowed out … hollowed out


a myriad sparkles illuminate his mind

then at once the history of mankind unfurls,

thrust upon him,

deaf to the miseries of the heart

oblivious to the lament of the flesh


it is written there, as a testament

to our collective memory

that no one shall escape IT

no matter how it is disguised

whether through the mask of hypocrisy

or the smirk at our great cynics


and there will always be

a burnt-down car

to remind us of our collision course

with the ultimate unifier

yet, we still need the judeo-christian-islamic bogeyman

to brandish IT betore our eyes lest we forget


and whoever claimed

that faith was an exercise in futility

equating the love at God


with the sentiment ot guilt?






a trillion heartbeats for those videolips

telegems that fade subliminally

fimbriating the outer reaches

of your shadow memories

a taste of cinders at the root of your tongue


teledreams seep into the bloodstream

initiating rituals whose mysteries

will forever remain buried

like so many aborted thoughts

which could otherwise have been cloned


anguish refuses to be measured

you nonetheless challenge it

feigning resignation or indifference

giving up your existence

in exchange of theirs, the golden, the gritty


Out in the streets you suddenly wonder

why everything seems so static

when still in your ears

lingers the drone of a space-chopper squadron

and question the pavement as though it were alive.


before you just allowed the color box

to misinform or entertain you

until your office became fitted with computers

and the Asian-made portables followed you

from doorstep to car, from taxi to plane


How perfectly you then seemed to have adapted!

You even coined new words which were universally understood

when wishing not to be interrupted

it was: « tele-you-mind? »

When the kids had to go to bed,

You insisted they stop their ‘teleantics’


          oo               db

               db             db

screen power pixels insatiable


          x         ab      ab


snatching away your every breath

till you’re left utterly


          T E        LE                          VOID      BUNGLED











Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and photography, in both English and French, his two mother tongues (Italian being his ‘paternal’ tongue; he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili), is the recipient of many awards, such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award and the Prix Colette, among others. His work has been translated into a dozen languages on the five continents. He has garnered several prizes for his photography books, Indie Excellence awards, among others. Some of his photos have been exhibited at the prestigious Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature.


Visit the author’s three literary websites:


Researchers and students of literature may now

access the Albert Russo Literary Archives

in Brussels, Belgium, the capital of the European Union:


Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier

Boulevard de l’Empereur 4 – 1000 Bruxelles – Belgique


search / rechercher: Auteur Albert Russo


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