Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Crossed Eyes by Matt Maxwell

Crossed Eyes

The rivalry blossomed over time, as they became aware of the other's deficiencies. It led to a murder-suicide (which doesn't have the rhyming snap of homicide-suicide) and the man couldn't identify the killer.

The left eye could wink. Quickly. Furtively. The right eye couldn't. The right eye rarely took a punch, never stagnated a black bruise. While the man kissed Cassie, the left eye opened and drank her skin, and the right eye looked beyond, at a blank wall or the game on tv. They couldn't decide who to score the advantage.

The left eye glittered gold flecks, and women cooed. The right eye whorled gray storm clouds, and women swooned. It stood as a tie.

The right eye couldn't decipher text at arm's length but could pinpoint a thong outline at twenty yards. The left eye lacked strength to decode billboards but read without squinting, managed fine details on Photoshop.

They bantered. Mocked. Went criss-cross, meeting at the nose, to punctuate contentions. Stood at polar opposites to shun the other.

What prompted the homicide-suicide was debated, but the man's interview proves jealousy ignited the feud. The left eye read a selection of poems—horrendous, trite, inane poems. The right eye peered over the book at two high school girls in mini-skirts. The left eye cussed for having to bother with painful drivel. The right eye curtly ridiculed the whining. The left eye reprimanded, demanding equality in all sights, insidious or heavenly. Accusations became spiteful. The right eye ogled what the left saw as a blur. The left eye railed, refused to quiet. It escalated to the homicide-suicide, with the deaths seconds apart. Painful. Bloody. Too quick for the man to recall which eye first went black. The blind man blamed the deaths on horrid poetry.

*First Published in Mad Hatters' Review*

I am a schizophrenic writer, a haphazard photographer, an obsequious malcontent—tripping and sprinting and moshing to my own multi-limbed drummer. Some of my fiction has found its way into Mad Hatters' Review, Noo Journal, Sein und Werden, The Salt River Review, Flashquake, Eyeshot, Cezanne's Carrot, Defenestration, and others. I am also an associate fiction editor with Mad Hatters' Review.