Scoundrel Time

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...

In the House of Blind Swordsmen

Copper foil, screens, and flashing all work as the best way to eradicate slugs. As yet, no progress, and yet, orations from the flowers of state, a paean to the healing powers of purple blossoms, the endless capacity for any of us to fall and rise...

Anna,

Here’s Schubert at 17, short and thick, nickname Schwämmerl, “little mushroom,” deep in his cups at the Hunter’s Horn, a dingy beer hall in Vienna, with the after-opera crowd, poetasters and brainy pundits shilling vitriol—bullshitters, all of them...

Blessing for the Lice Check

Miss Rosier, who was childless, had us bow our heads to our fifth-grade desks on the appointed day, as though for prayer. She slowly ran the side of a pencil from the nape of each neck to the top of each head. We tried not to shiver as the pencil...

Taking The Service Road

Ice on asphalt, fog on wing mirrors, land flat, a yardstick, a bad tire, dry rot on the sidewall, the map of where I’ve been— Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, the mechanic tells me, hard times lurk, bad news ahead. On to Milwaukee, to Minneapolis— I mistake the...

Two Poems by Hussain Ahmed

Suppose it Rained in Harmattan Suppose everything beneath this sky wasn’t dying of loneliness – or hunger. Suppose we sought a new God that cannot stand the sight of blood. Suppose there’s a new God in town, and nothing edible goes on...

Listicle

the man with the hidden camera at the nude beach the man online who said i must not post the photo of the license plate of the car of the man with the hidden camera at the nude beach The Most Lemony of Lemon Muffins the women shocked by the man...

Voyeurs

In Brooklyn, the sky is too small to fly kites, so we flew paper planes instead, hoping our futures went as far as they did before falling. We’d watch the wind catch and carry them along, but we’d look away before they fell, turning our heads from...

Two Poems by Andrew Shields

Accident The witness alleged that the tram was run down by an excited horse whose rider found he’d lost control too late to prevent the collision.   _____   Crossing When you cross the river, look up if you can. There’s always...