It’s been five years since Scintilla launched. What started out as a conversation on a sunporch in St. Louis continues as a thriving online literary magazine.
Publisher and Managing Editor: Tim Lepczyk
Senior Fiction Editor: Daniel Grear
Fiction Editorial Assistant: Lyndy Wibking
Poetry Editorial Assistant: Adam Nick
I left, I was hunted.
I clung to comfort, I was hunted.
I returned and was eaten.
Floyd’s memory was like a hornet caught in a Mason jar. He stood in the hallway after lunch, still in his pajamas, staring at the residue of his former self.
“I’m lovely,” she says and pulls a jewelry box from under the coffee table. From the box she takes out a needle, a spoon, and a baggie filled with a dull white powder.
But the haunting continued to be steadfastly understated, the ghost unerringly subtle. A polite poltergeist. A polterguest.
The reality of his immediate circumstances was something he felt keenly aware of, and it came to him instantly. He was a middle-aged man, urgently summoned to a house he had not stepped into for six years.
She didn’t carry a gym bag, yoga mat or even reusable bags for groceries. He would follow her home.
My deodorant boasts
“all day protection”
but it can’t halt a bullet,
“Take your father home,”
says the gravedigger, holding out
a sack of bones. In Mexico City
Here’s a woman hired to write proverbs
Must be creative, inspired, concise
he who climbs a ladder begins at the first step
I stepped out, dripping wet in my fist-
cinched towel, and everybody was gone.
Opened the window: silent streets, cars
idling at stoplights, lonely blowing breeze.
Every day since that report,
I’ve ordered a fritter
and sat by the window
The tree detritus falls,
dry and oblique, into piles
on the road that from a distance
look like armadillos, possums, feral cats,
The storm didn’t knock out our power,
but left twigs and leaves scattered.
Do we really need
another Liam, Noah, or Mason?
Emma, Charlotte, or Harper?
(I could go on…)
The kids nowadays spend twelve hundred easy
dressing their robots for the senior prom.
All May and June, ballrooms shake as these lumbering
robots dance and cavort, flirt, sneak booze, and,
When I kissed
your clavicle, gooseflesh
popped like tiny
naked chicks peeping
Young misfortunes won’t sustain the narrative
of history. The why of it doesn’t matter,
just the waking up with clothes torn,
blood drying like heavy paint on legs, palms,
coyote, Cooper’s hawk, flattened feathers
lifting in the breeze. But now, just ahead
in a loud gale of traffic at next tight turn,
Sometimes I imagine life as a sprawl of disjointed of photographs, a series of still-lifes in sepia that preserve some kind of timeline.
The first thing you need is a friend or family member who gets sentenced to prison.
I remember the moment it clicked: The realization that everything I thought I knew, all my memories, represented a fantasy interpretation of events; untrue.
In the summer of 2012, in my hometown in south Louisiana, I rolled burritos while waiting for college to begin. Just as my restaurant job neatly framed those three summer months, so did the search for Mickey Shunick, the big sister who never showed up to her brother’s high school graduation.
Special thanks to Hendrix College and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for their support of language and literature.