Scoundrel Time

Two Paintings by Alex Nodopaka

Tolstoy said that mankind could not exist without art; I know I can’t do without it. I walk empty parking lots and endless sidewalks and see ready-made abstract art just about every few steps. I’ve...

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...

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...

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...

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News & Announcements

We are excited to announce the Scoundrel Time Pushcart Prize nominees for 2022:

Works nominated by Scoundrel Time’s editors:
 
Fiction:
“Bright” by Marilyn Abildskov
“Voyeurs” by Munawar Abbas
 
Poetry:
Jennifer Moxley: “One of Everything”
Essay:
“Bounded Functions” by Donald Quist

Works nominated by Pushcart Prize contributing editors:
 
“Algorithims” by Cindy Bosley
“Kill All the Bats” by Mohammed Sheeraz Dasti
“Just her Luck” by Laura Jamison

 

Congratulations!
Ken Massey’s essay, “Behind the Red Railing: My Childhood Isolation,” has been selected as a Notable essay in the new edition of Best American Essays, edited by Kathryn Schulz.

 
2021 Awards

We’re excited to announce our 4th annual Editors’ Choice Awards, just in time for our 4th anniversary. Each year, the editors of Scoundrel Time choose a favorite work that we published in the past year in each of three genres, poetry, fiction, and essay. This year, each winner receives $125.

This year’s winners are:

Michelle Acker’s “Aesopica (2019)” (poetry)
Ken Massey’s “Behind the Red Railing: My Childhood Isolation” (essay)
Chika Onyenezi’s “Twenty Thousand Cedis” (fiction)

 

Scoundrel Time journal congratulates the following winners of our special award for pandemic art, Art Against Isolation. These 7 powerful works appeared in our series, “Scenes from the Pandemic.” Each winning artist receives $100.

 

Virginia Beards, “April 7, 2020” (poem)

Lori Barrett, “The View From Inside” (essay)

Robbie Gamble, “Barriers” (essay)

Nene Humphrey, “Pandemic Sound Scrolls” (visual art)

Timothy Liu, “Four Poems” (poems)

Azarin Sadegh, “The Lizard” (fiction)

Eleanor Windman, “Coping on the Upper West Side” (fiction)

 

 

Contributors

“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

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...

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...

My Mother’s Pilgrimage

  In September 2015—the year a crane collapse in Mecca killed 111 people, followed by the deaths of another 2000 in a stampede—my mother returned from the Hajj with flu and was immediately quarantined in a hospital in Indianapolis. It took her...

Exclusive Service

Tom had built up some sort of callus so the leg shackle didn’t bother him as much as it used to. Also, the Team had been very accommodating when he asked for the chain to be lengthened. Those few inches meant he could reach the bathroom, so he felt...

“Appropriate and Just”

 

Diplomacy? A bother and a bore.
In fact, who needs a diplomatic corps?
Who needs cables and epistles?
When you launch a bunch of missiles,
you can lift your polling numbers from the floor.

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...