Scoundrel Time

Battling Islamophobia

The Senate Healthcare bill—which the American Medical Association has criticized for its failure to “first, do no harm”—is weighing heavily on our minds this week. If you haven’t yet let your senators know...

If You See Something, Say Something (a trademark of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security)

Across the nation, we’re all part of communities. In cities, on farms, and in the suburbs. We share everyday moments— the face that sneers even when it’s saying ‘fantastic,’ the crowds whose joy...

Please State the Nature of Your Emergency: Scoundrel Time Portfolio Interview with Aaron Anstett

Here are some poem titles from Aaron Anstett’s fourth book, Insofar as Heretofore: “Self-Portrait as Jackass on Dash Cam,” “Please List All Previous Addresses,” “If the TV Will Not Be Used at All During the...

Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt

  Say I tell you a story about a girl who’s afraid of money. From a young age, she learned that there didn’t seem to be much of it and that hard work didn’t mean one would ever have much of it. She knew...

“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

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Greens

The city built a retaining wall at the edge of the cemetery to prevent old bodies from sliding out onto the street. Take the civic hand and walk in the sun. Whether or not you have lost everything, there is nothing to lose in finding yourself on the...

Selections from The Trumpiad

  SMART “‘He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the most senior GOP senator. Asked about Carson’s lack of experience in the agency’s areas of expertise, Hatch replied: ‘No, but he has medical experience ...

Colony

A splash of gasoline, a match, my brother poking it with a shovel. I was too young to have an opinion yet knew it was wrong. Even if the haystack pile of it grew each day more troubling beside the swingset, beside the prim lines of carrots in the...

Because They Could: How We Are Not Russia

  On February 27, 2015, a stone’s throw away from the ominous fishbone of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower, they killed the charismatic and universally beloved leader of the Russian political opposition, the former Russian First Deputy Prime...

Election

Schoolchildren wait in seven, six, five, four straight lines that sway and shimmer as they’re led away until a winged V arrows south, and they see the pointed shape of flight from home, an escape— though they read liberty in motion, not need for...

Flamboyan (Royal Poinciana)

  I always wanted to be that woman That brazen hussy clothed in red The color of a torch singer’s lips or a rooster’s wattle Fecund, inflamed, unashamed My trembling limbs spread wide In rampant, ecstatic bloom Defying you and your mortal fears...

This Is Us (Oxycodone Song)

  What was it Mavis said about the marble, re: Da Vinci, or was it Michelangelo, you know, that the job is, some- how, the careful removal of what isn’t needed—of what’s getting in the way? Something like that? Google it, I said. She’d been the...

A Prescriptive Identity? Not My Birthright.

  Identity. I searched for it my entire life. When I thought I had it in my clutches, the slippery creature learned how to evade me; my identity changed directions, it multiplied, it forced me to look inwards and decide—is this who I want to be...

The Mothers on the Wall

Stant pavidae in muris matres oculisque sequuntur Pulveream nubem et fulgentes aere catervas. -AENEID VIII 590-1 The fearful mothers standing on the wall, the cloud of dust they follow with their eyes: millennia pass, and nothing’s changed at all of...

American Patriot: A Portfolio

Poems by Jim Daniels, Photographs by Charlee Brodsky   Size Matters Imagine singing “Oh, say, can you see” to a flag you can’t see. That’s what graduate students at the University of Texas at Dallas had in mind when they...

Artists Dying

  The first time I saw an artist dying onstage, I was a kid. I went to see Rahsaan Roland Kirk at the Village Gate. The great saxophonist, composer, and vocalist had recently suffered a stroke. His body was non-existent inside a rumpled tuxedo...

Here

Where do you put the anger and the fear? Hand them over. Here. What do you do with the uncertainty? Pass it to me. The sadness, the foreboding, all the rest? I bare my breast. The blustering threats, the dark and stormy skies? Look into my eyes...

Isolated Splendor

I was aping Mussolini in a pizzeria when the American I fell for called me an asshole, not an overreaction in Roma, the city responsible for romantics like Caligula and Berlusconi. Later that night, soccer hooligans attacked the riot cops, the...

Laughing at the Demagogues

It’s become predictable—though still, I hope, not normal—that a Saturday Night Live skit will be followed by an angry tweet from the new President, using words like “unwatchable” and “not funny.” If these silly overreactions at times seem like part...

Not Breathing Yet: In Response to the Election

I am eighteen years old, lying on my bed doing my homework, when my two-year-old nephew begins his seizure. He came into my room an hour before, fussy and red-faced, and fell asleep behind me, pressed tight against me for comfort. The heat emanating...