Poison-Pen Letters

Mary Oliver’s “The Uses of Sorrow” opens with the parenthetical “(in my sleep I dreamed this poem)“—I could say the same for Arsenika: the magazine grew out of a literal dream that then became steadily more concrete.

Issue 0 collects a range of poetry and prose to give a guideline for what Arsenika is looking for: words that shine and shimmer; emotional arcs that leave you breathless with the punches they deliver. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for humor or lightness; it’s more of a know-it-when-you-see-it quality, an element of otherworldliness that lingers after you’ve finished reading the piece.

Our flash fiction for this quarter includes the gorgeous piece “Letter From an Artist to a Thousand Future Versions of Her Wife” by JY Yang, a meditation on loss and longing across the whole of space; and “Not an Ocean, But the Sea” by Nino Cipri, a lighter piece that nonetheless conveys a vast sense of wonder even in the space of a single apartment.

We feature four poems in this issue: “The devil riding your back” by Nicasio Andrés Reed takes us across earth-shattering moments, whereas “Speaking Language” by Betsy Aoki offers a quieter resistance. “Jupiter of Jupiter” by Lora Gray takes us again to space and its majesty, while “White Bread Mother” by Kate Lechler brings us back to earth with its clear yet haunting imagery.

I’m starting Arsenika small, just a handful of poems and a couple pieces of flash fiction each issue, funded out-of-pocket by my one-person team. In time, I hope to grow the magazine so that we can pay pro rates for fiction and poetry. You can help us reach our goals by subscribing to our ([Patreon] or ([making a one-time donation]. Back issues are also ([available for purchase] in ePub, mobi, and PDF formats.

Welcome to Arsenika. We hope you enjoy your stay.

S. Qiouyi Lu's signature

By S. Qiouyi Lu

S. Qiouyi Lu writes, translates, and edits between two coasts of the Pacific. Aer work has appeared in several award-winning venues. Ae edits the magazine Arsenika and runs microverses, a hub for tiny narratives. You can find out more about S. at aer website or on Twitter @sqiouyilu.