Scoundrel Time

Remember Our Names

Life is devoid of meaning a philosopher once declared, and what is life for if my dreams are obliterated with my city and children are dying. A single, relentless shot, and I become the next number on the long death...

Vito Bambino Decking and Carpentry

was what my father renamed his business after it became clear his Slavic last name was hurting his bottom line. That summer, we started getting calls from “Good Looking” Matt who wanted him to hang crown molding for his...

Where the Men are Hiding:

In trenches, alleyways, tunnels, bodies of water. Atop mountain ranges, under bridges, tucked into caves. I come across a pack of uncles in the river. They’re scared shivering. I want to pet them, say There, There, but...

Two Poems by Judy Halebsky

Writing a New Year Haiku is a Thing first word, first night dream, first glimpse of Mt. Tam “cast your bread upon the water,” my mother would say to mean take your chances, do something, try   a new year haiku—which...

The Aayrouni Olives Always Grow Best

Was it the bomb or the daughter that came first? The vow and a promise to fig trees and ripe lemons, brown pools of sugared dates, my father’s eyes burned with memories of air raids. A ceasefire buried in sumac and...

You have a DNA match!

“Each match holds a different part of your story. Compare aspects like ethnicity, common ancestors, and communities to start assembling your family’s bigger picture.” Overnight in my inbox they arrive stacked like...

I’m Looking for Humans

I want to tell you about my street. It is a one way, winding road lined with Jerusalem sandstone apartment blocks, many old, holding many accumulated stories. On a normal day there is the sound of children playing from...

How to Become American

Watch Friends. Try saying “kʰẽə̃nt” instead of “kɑːnt”.  At dawn, draw a new Rangoli pattern on the threshold of your home in Old Hyderabad. Dry rice flour on damp terracotta tile, it shoots...

FIVE AM ON THE DOT

During the nightshift at the supermarket, we have a forty-five-minute break, which we take whenever. We’re free to split it, to have a thirty-minute break, and save fifteen for when the store reopens, allowed outside...

Chat GPT Prompt for Great American Novel

I am going to describe the book I want you to write. If at any point in this chain of commands you get stuck, save your output and return to me the sentence in these instructions where you broke the book. I will fix the...

Theater of War

A small but important element of Russia’s attempt to rob Ukraine of its sovereignty is the theft of Ukrainian art. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported on the coordinated Russian looting of thousands of art...

The Right Shoes

This couldn’t be happening, but it was. Diana met her manager’s gaze, then looked down. The issue was the application she maintained, which was outdated. The technology would no longer be supported. “Your position is...