The Vortex Issue

Foreword to Issue #3

by Rick van der Waarden
With “The Vortex Issue,” Expanded Field is proud to release its third collection of words and images with a specific leitmotif.

This issue revolves around the theme of circular movement. As an emblem, we consider the vortex to present the weight that exists within the pieces of this issue. But choosing a vortex was not just for its symbolism; it’s a pattern in every way. Through this rather abstract, swirling image, we hope readers will see the human element in these new creative works, and perhaps notice how we all accelerate our rhythms only to slow them down again, get caught in whirling motions, and often feel trapped. It’s when we desire to go back that we realize we may have gone too far.
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December 18, 2018

Exploding Balloons

Ever since my teenage years, I’ve had a tendency to pair up most of the relevant moments and prominent phases of my life with a concert I attended. Not counting the live shows my parents took me to when I was too little to care—I  fell asleep to Roger Water’s legendary rendition of “The Dark Side of the Moon”—the first proper one I went to of […]
December 18, 2018

The Poet

Through the propriety Of the gaps Between you and the rooftops A rhythm of emptiness You challenge knowledge Graphemes bouncing back and forth Highlighting trajectories of cognition A step into the wilderness Of a broken promise Of a man lost Erasing established notions of a city Rooftops covered in snow White upon white Like water upon water Breath after breath
December 18, 2018


Distraction by distraction we live in the daily aftermath —– of the grand burlesque; —– an ever diminishing step behind each fresh wave of horror and a Kardashian ass —– tugging nuance — to the undercurrent, as I tug idly at the screen— siphoning from the great gushing pool —– of hyperbole — my top-up of shame.
December 18, 2018

Crooked Houses

They always fidget. I see them from a distance, two at a time usually, huddling like frozen blackbirds on a telephone line. Most of them past middle-aged but always men, always thinking themselves younger and thinner than midlife’s reckoned. No matter how much confidence they exude or the little omens they project—squaring their shoulders up and keeping their heads forward and puffing their chest and fusing that imaginary steel […]
December 18, 2018

Converting to Dataism

1/ The End of a Beginning Given  each organism  as a biochemical  algorithm Your life       is a programmed       process proving ——–Your consciousness   is actually far less Valuable       than a fucking       Frankenstein’s AI 2/ The Beginning of an End Through       human-computer interface My mind has become       part of       a robot ——–While the robot       part of me As       […]
December 18, 2018

Nuance of Damage

I. Hope is faster than light, its speed beyond measure. It’s alive, today, but what about tomorrow? Easy come, easy… I need something to build up my courage. One advantage is sleep, an endurance test: a locomotive or a pillow. We learn to calculate the commotion; suck the straw, hang out, hit the hay. Who’s to say? One cedes territory, one establishes boundaries, one signs along the […]
December 18, 2018

Country Music in the MRI Machine

The technician who curates this capsule in her cameo as the ground station engineer, asks if country music would be ok to play over the headphones, and I tell her that would be fine, before I’m slid inside the chamber to be shot off to some unknown diagnosis; to land, perhaps, on the surface of a strange world of procedures, treatments, and consultations. I’ve agreed to […]
December 18, 2018

Selective Communication

If you call, you’ll get my machine. If I’m not in the bath soaking aches, matching wits with a wily crossword compiler or on the loo revising wasted days, the lightning speed of the past – or outside rejoicing at distant snow on summits, walking a light-bathed terrain of eucalyptus scent, a memory trail of children grown, dogs long dead; I might pick up, but don’t bother calling […]
December 18, 2018


We all know it’s a flat country, but far South-East Amsterdam is so flat, low and expectant, like a work table, I get curious. You can see any movement from a distance here. The people are children, flitting in the corners. One stares at me over his shoulder. Herons loom over many tamed waterways, one at each corner of the caved-in river necks, still water stitched […]
December 18, 2018


What was it again? The stories from the back of the room no longer silent. The slight person standing had that pearlescent skin, wet stone under loud moonlight. Something else fell. This time from the front – a piece of brick or stone or something that was too fragile to begin with anyway. Now throw the ball to me, yes to me. Three loud slaps on the […]

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