We Are Kindling Schist because in U.S. education, "it was always burning." Read. Comment. Submit.

Family Quartet I: The Ring

For my father’s family “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility.” —Mark Twain It was a gently chiseled curve of white gold, a barely measurable arc at its slightest, circling to the other side where the simple floral setting embraced the expertly angled diamond and its tiny attendants. The […]

Family Quartet II: The Heron

To my mother and her family (and especially to Lisa) ”You can refute Hegel, but not the Saint or the Song of Sixpence.” —W.B. Yeats They didn’t much look at each other or talk about it when it happened. It could have happened to anyone, after all: the visibility in the back of those newer […]

Family Quartet III: Sometimes We Are Right

  For Milo and Eleanor and Avi: Into the New “We think so then/ We thought so still.”—Edward Lear “May we stride into that morass, senses left, dreams fevered, and underpants brightly colored.” —G. L., 12/31/2015, personal text Most of us agree we lived the most intensely in our first hundred years. We thought we knew, […]

Family Quartet IV: Midsummer

To David, Gabriel, and Amelia, and to the young woman I once was   Emily […] Do human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute? Stage Manager No. Pause The saints and poets, maybe —they do some.” —Thornton Wilder, Our Town   She drifted a little back into a dream, something about […]

Family Quartet: Gratitude

These stories are dedicated to my dear family, past, present, and future. Our families more than anyone shape us, and I am forever grateful that mine are who they are. However, our friends help us realize who we are and who our families are and give us sustenance in ways families can’t. So I am […]

RETIRING by Lucy Penumbra

Twenty-six days to go. Well, it’s time. It’ll all be in good hands with Tanner here, and whoever would have thought, in the year 1998, that I would be saying that? Well, he straightened himself out; most of the time I guess they do. Guess I did the same thing myself, for that matter, although […]

AMBUSHED By Lucy Penumbra

I knew it was going to happen that way. Seven people, all sitting in a circle looking up at me, and even though I’d taken my pill an hour ahead like Dr. Merrill prescribed, my hands started sweating and shaking as soon as I walked in. I wasn’t sure who to look at, and it […]

YES I THREW IT By Lucy Penumbra

I don’t know why I got so annoyed with her. I just did. Yes, I did throw the pencil, but I really don’t think I told her to go fuck herself. Maybe it was that fight with my Mom this morning when I was late, and the stupid blasted lace on my cordoba red Doc […]

THE REPRIMAND by Lucy Penumbra

Those Santa socks Cherry gave me itch a little bit. Just a little. Well, it’s not important, the important thing is to wear them. I like Christmas as much as the next guy. The kids are gonna see that. The kids respect that. Now, I’m down to my last three legal pads, this one’s almost […]