Issue 18

scissors & spackle: 2022, Issue 18


Editor’s Note

Each of us knows words are the heart of writing. Whether summoned in hours of deep contemplation, snatched from momentary flashes of inspiration, or allowed to tumble out freely in the absence of conscious intervention, words combine to give the literary landscape shape and substance: in the mind, the voice, on the page.

And while we can talk a lot about the damage words can do to the page, let’s talk about what those words repair—let’s talk about words as a filler for cracks or holes in our lives, the art of experimental writing playing with forum or pushing the possibilities of language beyond the bounds of tradition however much the notion of experimental writing is difficult to define with any kind of precision.

Maybe we don’t always write with a conscious awareness of where a work fits. Maybe we can only begin to grasp their meaning and explore possibilities that lay beyond them. The work in this issue not only asks, but demands we take a closer look at words, pry into them, beneath them, behind, above, and around them, shear them with scissors, to see what they are made of and push boundary after boundary until they’re spackled to the reader’s heart. That’s what words do. Cut. Repair. Cut. Repair.

Much love to you all.




Be Well. Write Well. Read Well.


Spoons | The Middle Poems | CL Bledsoe

Fat Girl Gets Invited to Her Skinny Family’s Reunion | Dialogue for The Self | DEVIANT

Where the Tough Guy Lives | Grant Chemidlin


In Which Your Poems Were a Horroscope Reading | Rachael Crosbie

my whole body is a fife | Mark DeCarteret

Take responsibility for your house plants | Cat Dixon

Chicken Soul for the Soup | Jordan Potter

in training | in the unlikely event of my survival | Barbara Genova


Treading Water | Sally Simon

Blue Hour | Alex Lanz

Everything Else

gratitudes | love song for a friend | Koss

The Legend of Sleepy Ishpeming and the other stories in The Sketch Book | Ron Riekki

Featured Writer

Interview with CL Bledsoe