This issue of Scintilla reminds me of a cactus. Not because of the writing, though Chuck Rybak’s poem Blackbox may give one prickly sensations along the back of the neck. No, it reminds me of a cactus, because cacti are hardy plants. I did not give this issue the care and attention it deserved, the care and attention your writing deserved.
Tim Lepczyk: Publisher and Editor
Mark Barr: Fiction Editor
Zoe Calhoun: Editorial Assistant
Daniel Grear: Editorial Assistant
The road rolled out flat and endlessly into the barren landscape. The parched ground coughed up sagebrush and broken rock, an unforgiving comfort you had to look for. Beauty, as they say out here, plays hard to get.
He was sitting next to me when he fell off his bike. We were out of our seats, pushing up a hill, and the music was so loud I didn’t hear anything.
It begins with the false spring: warm fog and a thin film of rain always on the skin. A February thaw is sweetly cold like ice cream and doesn’t smell at all like the real thing.
I am meeting with my editor, right now, as you read this story, a meeting about this story that I first submitted to her rather prestigious literary journal, a literary journal that will remain nameless, but one that has published three of my stories before, two of which won Pushcarts.
In the photograph, the woman holds a laughing baby over her head staring and smiling at her intensely.
My brother propels down the driveway
escaping rocks thrown at him by Dad.
The day’s deep midnight only this tick of clock
ghosted, then fast forgotten, so fast
evening fare to paris this poem departed years ago nosed
north over rio#s dark lagoon leaving home and coming home
All weather is local, they say,
just like politics.
Laughter flings itself on the walls
of a derelict Spanish village.
We drove a 68 Buick Skylark
until its wheels no longer turned;
The sun came up
silver and cold
like a dime
in the palm
of the ominous
The students’ attention span is 3 feet,
a narrow beam 3 feet less than their dreams.
I think I got her now.
I bring over colored felt tip markers, non-toxic, washable–
only they don’t wash too good.
Sitting in the hoped-for warmth of a spring eve,
unseen jays screech from neighbouring garden trees.
Rain after five months’ drought –
some gesture of amends –
swells the roots of the hosta,
I was trying, once again,
to read St. Augustine
when the door buzzer buzzed
I am becoming immune to body-counts, to the number of people who have been maimed or killed by bombings and drone attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen.
How to find a home inside a whisper and take up residence there like a monk in an earthen corner with his tin cup of rose water and his hands scraped raw from gardening…