Poison-Pen Letters

When the world around us is dark, it’s difficult to find the motivation to produce art. Yet art is one of the things that sustains us through hard times—art can fight back, offer us a moment of calm, connect people across places and time… With that in mind, I’m proud to present Issue 2 of Arsenika, which offers work that’s both challenging and magical, that shines in spite of—or perhaps because of—the difficult times we live in.

Hamilton Perez’s “The Scarecrows’ Daughter” offers an desolate picture of power and control, of blood magic and the choices we make. “Only the Trees” by Marina Berlin echoes those themes while illuminating the delicacy of life and personal relationships. “two am” by Kiara E. Bell offers a moment of beauty, a glimpse at the ethereal in something otherwise ordinary.

“Homebrew Wine Recipes for Favourable Effects, from the Regrettable Life of Mrs Poulman” by Matt Dovey makes use of a creative format to tell a life’s tale with a happy ending, while Brandon O’Brien’s “The Metaphysics of a Wine, in Theory and Practice” contrasts two modes of approaching intimacy. Finally, Hester J. Rook’s “Sealskinned, Crowned” is a luscious, sensory delight that captures a vivid scene.

I hope you’ll find something within these pages that resonates with you and helps you keep going when things get tough. As always, we appreciate your continued support, and we’re glad to have you here.

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.