Issue 7

Front Matter


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.

Cycle Class

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.

Meeting with My Editor

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.


It was not unusual at that manifest turn of the century for a child to spend the entire wind-driven day alone in front of the mercantile. Odd thing was, the child was white as the vanishing snow, white and left to fend the spring wind alone with nothing but the clothes on his back and a dog at his feet.


In the photograph, the woman holds a laughing baby over her head staring and smiling at her intensely.


Black Box

evening fare to paris this poem departed years ago nosed
north over rio#s dark lagoon leaving home and coming home

SAT Sestina

The students’ attention span is 3 feet,

a narrow beam 3 feet less than their dreams.


Sitting in the hoped-for warmth of a spring eve,
unseen jays screech from neighbouring garden trees.



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.

Inside a Whisper

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…