Scoundrel Time

The Black Girl At Your Party

circa 1970s My plaits and ribbons brightened white spaces for a long time Fat immigrant ribbons in every Color held my Thick Jamaican hair American black girls didn’t wear fat ribbons They had beads that made...

Rubinstein’s Chopin

This inch-thick, square box was familiar from my childhood: the sturdy, waxy cardboard, its paper cover glued onto the top of the album set like a fifth-grader’s découpage. I used to open these boxes like...

Deadline

At Camp Sumter, the infamous Confederate prison commonly known as Andersonville, there was a line of wood posts 19 feet inside the walls that the prisoners were not allowed to cross. It was called the deadline...

Fundraising for Planned Parenthood

I ski for them—the nurses and doctors who save women like me from back alley butchers and the ungainly pace of ignorance each slog uphill on skinny boards a penance for the grudge that grew along with the...

Bright

One has a dog named Willow. One lives in San Diego now. One has a cat. One likes hummus.   One has trouble concentrating. One doesn’t get along with her mother. One says, You really see why...

Three Poems by Jennifer Moxley

One of Everything If Po’ Lightnin’ still be Muse of mine, may he strum a few Orphic chords for my brother Robert, who is soon to be skipping town to avoid his creditors. The Sonoma sunlight, plumper of jammy grapes clutching dusty hillocks, sparer...

An Interview with Ethel Rohan

Ethel Rohan’s newest story collection, In the Event of Contact, is an examination of trauma and its aftermath, of loneliness and a failure to connect. Rohan is an Irish writer living in San Francisco. She is the author of four short story...

from Ceive.

Ceive is a novel in verse that retells the Noah’s Ark story on a container ship. Set in an imagined near-future when extreme weather and gun violence have brought on a collapse of civilization, the book follows the thoughts of a woman named Val as...

Algorithms

1. The pizza delivery man calls me from the parking lot of my apartment, but I don’t know it because I’m watching the tracking app for the pizza preparation, and they haven’t gotten to the oven part yet.  I also don’t answer my phone for unknown...

Villanelle neuroptera

A mantisfly sunk in Cretaceous amber displays strong forelegs jabbing for the air. They bristle, seeking to reduce its danger. Observing it we wonder which is stranger, that gone world or our own. Consider, here: a mantisfly sunk in Cretaceous amber...

Bookstore

Peter runs a used bookstore. Runs is the wrong word. It’s an act of charity. Peter has a real job, but when the store’s previous owner gave up, he bought the stock, took over the lease, and kept it open Thursday and Friday nights as well as weekends...

Allen v Farrow

We don’t know what we want or who we are we don’t even agree we are we In a civilized society, my friend says, preface to: we do not hurt children, we do not fuck children, we define childhood, of course we say we do, and we know we mean...

yrs,

how randall signs his emails means he’s mine & vice versa dear randall i miss you too bud & nights at the writers retreat we talked booze & drank big ideas & i’m grateful to read yr new awesome poem i love how summer dies like an old...

Three Poems by Joy Arbor

The Poet’s Wife Bil’in Village, West Bank Abu Rani recites a poem, an allegory of figs and leaves he composed on the spot when he couldn’t find the poem we came for. He’s the poet of the village, and we Americans sit on his family’s stone patio...