Scoundrel Time

Taking a Knee at the Symphony

  One Sunday evening last month, my husband and I sat in a side balcony in the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center, waiting for the music to begin. We looked down at the stage, where National Symphony...

Toothpaste

Translated by David Keplinger I danced with virtuosity, swingingly, elegantly, with two gorgeous short-haired women, as if I were Gene Kelly dancing with a young Méret Oppenheim and her twin. But it was a...

Gun Control: An Inalienable Right

Embedded in our national psyche is the notion that every human holds certain inalienable rights—to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness. The first ten amendments to our constitution guarantee...

“In the increasingly convincing darkness / The words become palpable…" —John Ashbery

“Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world.” —Grace Paley

News & Announcements

Alyssa Quart’s poem, “Comey: Cut-Up,” has been reprinted in The Nation. The poem is made of fragments from James Comey’s testimony before Congress.

Rachel Ann Brickner’s dispatch, “Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt,” will be reprinted in a new edition of the anthology, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, forthcoming from Seal Press.

Elizabeth Rosner has a new book out: Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory. Her essay, “Before and After,” appeared in Scoundrel Time in July.

Scoundrel Time editor is interviewed for Bethesda Magazine: Searching for Truth: Bethesda writer Paula Whyman heads a new journal intertwining art and politics” by Janelle Harris, Sept/Oct 2017

Scoundrel Time is featured in “Writers, Editors Resist,” by Sarah Seltzer in Poets & Writers Magazine, May/June 2017

 

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Wing Banger

I have heard a cicada crawled out of the dark silences of the mountain after years eating its heart out, to join its luck its wet green wings clicking to the mountain choir dewdrop blackbird twig-snap stone-throw and the wind playing on things...

Greeting

New white folks
in the neighborhood
don’t know to greet
a stranger on the street.
They don’t mean
to be rude.
How long will it last, then –
How ya doing?
Eye to open eye.

Pox Americana: A Roll Call: 5/4/17

(@ the 217 Congressional Representatives who voted to “repeal & replace” the ACA, each one up for reelection in 18 months) You will someday sicken and someday, sure as taxes, vote no more. You will someday sicken and someday, sure as taxes, vote...

Words Fail Me

And it’s not one of these old-age lapses caused by blinking brain synapses. And it’s not a matter of speechless awe at something I just saw on YouTube—a toilet-flushing cat, or commensurately gifted brat. Sometimes, it’s true, I lose a noun or two...

Porcelain and Glass

Summer halfway trundled up, the July rain rasps down our nighttime roof and window glass, the road out front rivering to ruts of pebbled sand, where soil bleeds veins between clumps of grass. At dawn the cat stands stunned at doorway’s edge, tail...

Incident at the Western Border

She vanished before they could shoot her: left only an atmosphere of mist, brume of body which blew inland in a myriad of droplets, a haze of nard and cinnamon touched softly with myrrh and cassia, floating like pamphlets scribbled in a foreign...

Requiem

  I woke up one morning and my country was gone. It was strange. It had been there the night before, sparking and hissing, but now it was gone. I could feel its absence in the air, which is a feeling like no other. The garden was still there...

The Trumpbox

  The Trumpbox is 12 3/16 tall and 15 7/8 wide. It can hold quite a lot; according to the label, its “capacity gallon” is 14. It is made of Polyethylene, which I cannot say I really know much about, but I can promise you this, it’s strong. If...

swell

  I have never had a mother, or, no longer have or, once did, briefly, for a day or two. Perhaps she was only mine   during the wet crown of hours I spun my skull through her ripe & widening cunt, then fastened to her nipple—   a...

the last time

I did it alone. Not in bed where I’d willed myself dead for so many years I became apparition not in the bathroom where I fed my body to a hungry blade & cut down my hair with a match. It was not in the arms of the man I tried over & over to...

fusillade for my mother’s brain

  You spoiled mound complicated by static you skull-born satellite launched from a splintered mirror you doom-hatched agony steady as piss you childless guilt scorched in fog you blazing delirium un-teaching my name you sideshow daydreamer...

dead radio apostle

Heels in stirrups, knees pitched above my hips, I am blinded by every measured breath required before each push— a cold, unnatural discipline. I was taught to focus on something in the room, to distract from the hell-rigged pain knifing me from the...

glutton

you write poems to understand what you cannot understand. name the beast you’ve been trying to outrun your entire life. you’re forty & it’s time to stop avoiding. halt the fogged spin of language that redirects the eye. say what you mean...

Dura Mater

I carried death inside me for several days, waiting That man had no ticket to the concert; he pressed his ear to the wall, but no song found him Bees were swarming; they made sleeves and a hood around me when I stood still All winter a deep booming...

Vanishing Point

For as far as we can see, they trudge across swirling sand toward us At the gate, one child’s blinks, such a uniform degree of metronomic motion with inky lashes—they seem to make an audible click, the second hand of memory, calligraphic Tropics of...