Old Man Scanlon is a guest blogger at Literary Labors (and the Occasional Cheese Dip), 10 January 2014.
April 2014 — "Real Time" appears in Front Porch Review.
April 2014 —
"Family" and "Heading to Dover" appear in Vine
Leaves Literary Journal Issue 10, 2014.
25 March 2014 — "Thaw"
appears in 7x20.
05 March 2014 — "Arachnicide"
appears in Cleaver Magazine.
08 February 2014 — "Shape-shifter"
appears in 50 Haikus, Volume 1, Issue 1.
01 February 2014 — "Before the Bliss"
appears in Apeiron Review Issue 5.
01 February 2014 — "Shards" appears in Y'all'd've.
26 January 2014 — "Grand
Prix" appears in Journal of Microliterature.
27 October 2013 — "Far
Edge of Blue" appears in Sleet Magazine.
24 September 2013 —
"Ballistics" appears in Prime Number
17 September 2013 —
"Hell on Wheels" appears in Stymie.
28 May 2013 — "Simple
Pleasures" appears in Issue #2 of Spry Literary Journal.
19 May 2013 —
"Three on Top" appears in Journal of Microliterature.
13 April 2013 —
"My Little Portagees" appears in Front Porch Review.
13 March 2013 —
"Gauntlet on the Ground" and "Eagle Cliff" appear in Camroc Press Review.
12 March 2013 —
"Diehards" appears in Stymie.
06 March 2013 —
"Nerd at the Window" appears in land that I live.
02 March 2013 —
"Trout" appears in Hippocampus Magazine.
21 January 2013 —
"Bankrupting the Russkies" appears in Prime Number Magazine.
09 January 2013 — "Fourth of
July," "Backlit," and "One Point for Russell" are in Short,
Fast, and Deadly.
05 January 2013 —
"Evening at East Junction" is in Vine Leaves Literary Journal.
18 October 2012 —
"The End of Thrush Season" is up in Journal of Microliterature.
27 September 2012 —
"Reward" appears in Thickjam.
22 September 2012 —
"Idyll Hoarder" appears in Prick of the Spindle, Vol. 6.3.
03 September 2012 —
"Game Time" is up at Stymie online.
20 August 2012 — Shorts.
"Once More Unto the Breach," and "A
Bad Start" appear in Short, Fast, and Deadly.
17 August 2012 —
"A Drab and Wretched Afternoon" is in Apeiron Review Issue 1.
20 June 2012 —
"Virus" is in Barefoot Review.
11 June 2012 —
"Notes on Why I Write" appears in Stymie
09 June 2012 — "Books
Unread" appears in Feathered Flounder.
19 April 2012 — Shorts.
"Hectocotylus," and "Camp
Myles Standish" appear in Short, Fast, and Deadly.
14 April 2012 — A short
"compression statement" is up in Matter Press Blog.
14 April 2012 —
"Grampa and the Ku Klux Klan" appears in
Front Porch Review.
12 February 2012— "Bingo and the Super Bowl" appears in
19 January 2012 — Shorts.
"Little Things" appears in
Apocrypha and Abstractions.
19 January 2012 — Shorts.
"Thanksgiving" appears in Short, Fast, and Deadly.
15 January 2012 —"Southbound"
appears in The Montucky Review.
14 November 2011 —"Surviving the Apocalypse"
appears in Stymie online.
26 October 2011 — Shorts. "Wiffle Ball"
appears in Camroc Press Review.
23 October 2011 — Shorts. "Cloudburst"
appears in i98 of Short, Fast, and Deadly.
23 September 2011 — Shorts. "Regulars," "Drummer Boy," and
"Echo" appear in Prick of the Spindle issue 5.3 as
17 September 2011 — "Printer's Devil" appears in Trachodon issue 3.
14 August 2011 — Shorts. "Smoke"
appears in i88 of Short, Fast, and Deadly.
05 August 2011 — "Sixty-One"
appears in BluePrintReview.
31 July 2011 — Shorts. "Power
to the People" appears in i86 of Short, Fast, and Deadly.
04 July 2011 —
"Derailleur" appears in Stymie online.
12 June 2011 — Shorts. "Children's
Hour" appears in Short, Fast, and Deadly, i79.
04 June 2011 — "Attleboro
Station" appears in Issue 1 of The Adroit Journal.
21 April 2011 —
"Summer Postlude" is in Issue 2 of
Philly Flash Inferno.
04 April 2011 — "Bugs" appeared briefly in Issue 7 of Barrier
Islands Review, which to all appearances has ceased publication.
29 March 2011 — "Stereotype" appears in Magnolia's Press.
21 March 2011 — "Frog" is up at The Literary Burlesque.
20 February 2011 — Shorts.
"Dialogue" is up at Short, Fast, and Deadly.
13 February 2011 —
"My Life in Theater" appears in Journal of Microliterature.
01 February 2011 — "Osterville" and "Coincidence"
are in Short, Fast, and Deadly's 2010
01 February 2011 — Foliate Oak published
"Infernal Vermont" in the
February 2011 issue.
31 January 2011 — "Another Solstice"
appears in the Twenty-third Flash in the Pan
(Tiny Lights online).
30 December 2010 —
"August Wanes" appears in Prime Number
25 December 2010 — Shorts. "Get
a Life" and "Sting" are up at Camroc Press Review.
19 December 2010 — Shorts.
"Coincidence" is in
i54 of Short, Fast, and Deadly.
11 December 2010 — Shorts. "Tommy" appears in Magnolia's Press.
21 November 2010 — Shorts. "Vulture" is up at
Journal of Microliterature.
01 November 2010 —
"Cocasset Street" appears in Prime Number
29 October 2010 — "Watching Trains" appears at The Writer's
13 October 2010 — "Too Much Time" at
Short, Fast, and Deadly is the featured Short for October 12
10 October 2010 —
Matches", orphaned by the demise of the late, lamented
Writers' Bloc, appears in Issue 8 of Caper Literary Journal.
03 October 2010 — Shorts.
"Too Much Time" is in
i43 of Short, Fast, and Deadly.
24 September 2010 — Fall 2010 5x5 is in print, and "Dog Days" is in it.
11 July 2010 — "Sleepers,
appears in the Twenty-first Flash in the Pan
(Tiny Lights online).
04 July 2010 — "Karma" appears in
July 4th issue of Camroc Press
14 June 2010 —
"Evergreen" appears in
12 (June 2010) of Writers' Bloc.
15 May 2010 — Shorts. "Linotype" first
appeared in Issue
22 of Short,
Fast, and Deadly.
04 April 2010 — Shorts. "Donald" appears
of Short, Fast, and
21 December 2009 — "Early Gift."
Also appears in the Twentieth Flash in the Pan
(Tiny Lights online).
15 August 2009 — "Jigsaw Puzzle."
Also appears in the Nineteenth Flash in the Pan
(Tiny Lights online). And yes, there's a typo there in the last word
of the penultimate sentence—my fault.
25 May 2009 — "Nirvana." Also
appears in Tiny Lights (Vol. 14, No. 2), August 2009, and in the
Seventeenth Flash in
the Pan (Tiny Lights online).
06 December 2015
I scored a moment of grace at Costco, an unexpected temporary
unraveling of the ligatures that bind us to place and time, all
the sweeter for the incongruity of its venue. Having no
expectations is a necessary but not…
21 November 2015
I’ve spent the better part of my life blind to the fine
points of our national pastime—more than the fine points. I
remember watching baseball after Sunday dinner, on a snowy
16 October 2015
My granddaughters exit their high school and cruise toward my car,
slim, poised, and even if you must discount a grandfather’s
bias, beautiful. But their faces are immobile, oblivious to the
crystalline cloudless September afternoon. Ah, I think,…
05 September 2015
Cheryl and I honor Uncle Edward for the matter-of-factness, good
cheer, and indeed courage with which he faced the greater part of
the vicissitudes of his later life—and we smile when we
remember Edward, the shoe aficionado. He grew up in…
10 August 2015
Halfway through my seventh decade I realize I have gained in
modesty, at least in the sense of exposing skin. It is partly
because I have a clearer vision of my nerd body’s
attractiveness. My face is a thing of…
14 July 2015
With spray paint and testosterone-enriched brutishness kids
emblazon their noms de guerre
on boxcars and buildings,
indeed on anything conspicuous and approximately flat…
27 June 2015
It’s a Saturday of picayune irritations followed instantly
by small jewels of compensation. On the way to my afternoon walk
at the Attleboro commuter rail station both lanes yield to…
08 June 2015
Dad squandered no time trying to teach me how to throw a football
or hit a baseball. That would have been heartbreaking for us both,
and for similar reasons. He taught me how to…
28 May 2015
This was the year Uncle Russell no longer had the wherewithal to
make his annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to place flowers on the
family graves, and this was the week Cheryl moved him to a…
19 February 2015
Decades ago, so desperately did I desire to be immortal, I would
fantasize about joining the undead. Endowed with the supernatural
powers of the best-selling fictional vampire…
02 January 2015
During our drive to Hull Cheryl spots six hawks on the interstate
in quick succession, perched in low trees in the median. Even
without inspecting their entrails this…
06 October 2014
Apparent train-kill, a sparrow lies contorted on the commuter rail
platform, only nominally three-dimensional, his days of scavenging
fast-food french fries over and done. The soaring…
09 August 2014
Opportunistic stray dragonflies, sometimes nibbling on a hapless
bluebottle, alight on me with a rustle while I read and
contemplate in my driveway beach chair, resisting…
29 May 2014
Cheryl and I are dreading these last few yards—so easy to
know the right thing, so hard to do it. We’re here to pay
our respects to an aged friend. We’d had word…
19 April 2014
My job for the last two Passovers has been to make the chopped
liver. I had never tasted it, indeed had no acquaintance
whatsoever with it except in its rhetorical…
19 February 2014
My ideal visit to the city is get in, deal as quickly as possible with
whatever compels me to be here, and get the hell home. Though I hear of
people who voluntarily live in cities, there is nothing for me that can
make it worth…
22 January 2014
There are words as good as forgotten through disuse and
resurrected by chance, words acquired in my fishing days when I
had scarcely attained…
23 December 2013
Perusing online submission guidelines, I notice that in plain sight
among the calls for fiction and poetry are calls for recipes. I
notice, I say, but have given little thought to why we write about
food. Maybe it’s just another excuse…
24 November 2013
Stuck in traffic, Cheryl asks, “What’s the longest word you
can make from Silverado?” So I’m on it, and we toss words
back and forth. She’s a nerd, which will be no surprise if you
subscribe to the birds-of-a-feather…
18 August 2013
Twenty or so years ago Disney World introduced me to vultures, for
which I thank them. Aside from a poorly-suppressed recurring
nightmare starring Space Mountain, that’s all I remember of the
12 August 2013
Movies allow us to perceive discrete static slices of time as a
continuous flow, an artifice in which our brain conspires. Slow
motion, ubiquitous in sports television, expands…
31 July 2013
An organ pipe mud dauber is building a nest in the ornamental
tin-roofed wren house Cheryl hung by the door. I hear her
stridulating at her masonry work, and see…
22 June 2013
Midsummer’s day comes with chicory-blue skies. Some fuzzy
whiteness down at the horizon means a little humidity, but a fine
breeze neutralizes it. Cheryl and I walk our gimpy dogs at the
10 June 2013
Pencil to paper, my grandson copies theorems out of the text-book,
the better to cement them into his mind and make them his own. He’s
studying for his geometry…
29 May 2013
For love and duty Gram and I went to our twin granddaughters’
final middle school chorus performance. Unlike the interminable
ordeal of a dance recital…
21 April 2013
No longer having the excuse of a decrepit dysfunctional aortic
valve—I have thus far been unable to exceed modern medical
technology’s ability to fix me—I recently rode my bicycle
for the first time in two years…
27 February 2013
I never expected to prove my doctors fallible, but I decisively
surpassed my prognosis of death by age forty. And as if death could
16 January 2013
More night-owl than early bird, I have little desire to deepen my
casual acquaintance with rosy-fingered dawn. Well after sunrise my
morning is supposed to be a time…
28 December 2012
As a new year impends and winter claws its way up its freshly
secured beachhead, I could easily do worse than slither into a ratty
sweater of a color not found in nature, finish off…
01 December 2012
I was intrigued to find, during some basic genealogical research,
that my grandchildren are one-sixteenth Portuguese, and are
therefore adequately “ethnic.” In this…
01 December 2012
A haircut, at least after successfully completing the standard
long-haired rebellion against materialist bourgeois conformity, can
be one of life’s…
14 November 2012
On their first bikes without training wheels, my twin
granddaughters raced each other down the street, shouting,
pedaling like maniacs…
01 October 2012
The year is 1972, and we’ve pretty much sewn up second place in the
Southeast Asia War Games. I’m about to receive my math degree, and
with it, relief and a quandary. For four years I’ve been parrying…
12 September 2012
As a nerd I lead, appropriately enough, a binary existence:
oblivious to my environment, or gawking freely and unreservedly to
provide a never-ending stream…
24 July 2012
Cheryl, to the amusement of our friends, loves to start bemoaning
the end of summer as soon as the days first perceptibly begin to
shorten, long before Labor Day. This year…
02 June 2012
Just as it was becoming widely fashionable to despise America and
flaunt one’s tolerance of Commies, my friend Cav and I engaged in
03 May 2012
Some days just can’t be bothered to deal me an idyll with my
grandchildren. On the other hand, seldom can I…
26 April 2012
Nearing the end of their annual northward migration to Maine,
05 February 2012
Like the certainty of being hanged, a heart attack should
concentrate one’s mind. Yet I had failed for years to act...
07 December 2011
It’s time to come out. For way too long I’ve tried to cope by means
of denial and aversion therapy, but I’ve finally come to accept that
it’s genetic, something that I can no more change than my need...
30 September 2011
If the folklore’s not apocryphal, during the war GIs in the ETO
used baseball questions when they needed to test the authenticity
of any ostensible American who didn’t have the proper credentials.
I’d have been shot as a German spy...
11 September 2011
It’s the unofficial end of summer again, the week before Labor
Day, the cusp of August and September. Even with herculean effort
I can’t summon the cranky and morbid mood...
19 July 2011
I’ve just finished up several days of fighting a virus, if you can
call my spineless response fighting. Its fever, cough, and
gastrointestinal effects weren’t all that spectacular...
29 May 2011
“Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic.” I demonstrated Arthur Clarke’s Third Law—a
couple of years before he posited it in 1973—when I first saw a
derailleur-guided bicycle chain...
27 February 2011
For most of the month cardinals and titmice have been singing for
their territories, and in three weeks a new generation...
07 February 2011
My son-in-law Jeff invited me over for the Super Bowl, and mentioned
that Bingo had died. The news of a family cat’s death...
09 January 2011
As a geek who finds much of human contact enervating, but who has
always been well-served by a small talent for manipulating
symbols and by dogged...
03 November 2010
Of all the celebrities I've met, including Massachusetts Governor
John A. Volpe, Speaker of the House Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Ben
& Jerry, Dave Barry, Dick Cavett, and a couple...
03 November 2010
I've completed several pilgrimages to the spiritual center of
yankeedom, Vermont, home of Frost, Solzhenitsyn, and THRUSH San
Francisco satrap Ward Baldwin. Its culture...
20 October 2010
By the end of August, summer is moribund; by the middle of
September, truly done for. Summer the well-beloved is over...
07 October 2010
In the technically truthful but deliberately misleading way that I
tell people I worked on Wall Street with a stripper named Agnes...
20 August 2010
In the road near my house lie the bloated stinking corpses of two
possums who failed to comprehend the danger behind...
29 June 2010
It's a week past the summer solstice. There's a sense of a year
barely under way suddenly being half gone, but no sense yet of it
ending, as there is...
13 June 2010
When I was ten I wanted to be a frog. Let me clarify that. I
didn't actually want
to be one. In school I was forced to
03 June 2010
I believe it is good manners and good karma to give thanks,
explicitly and formally—your choice how and to
whom—for the memories...
20 April 2010
One evening at bedtime Dad runs downstairs cradling one of his
newborn twin daughters. He trips as he nears the bottom, the baby
13 March 2010
Today, any damn fool can write and publish ephemeral crap on the
internet, and spew out butt-ugly pages...
27 February 2010
There are nights to remember, nights to live for. A family wedding
on a viciously tropical July night. Supper at the beach, grilled
10 February 2010
I was about six months old when my parents moved to Foxboro, a
sleepy Boston suburb known outside of southeastern Massachusetts
28 December 2009
I freely confess that the railroad station in Attleboro,
Massachusetts is one of my favorite places, though few people
would call it beautiful, or even...
13 December 2009
It's the Christmas season, though not yet at the solstice. The
sun's going down, temperature is 27 degrees, with a stiffish
Canadian wind, and we are not...
29 October 2009
It's no wonder the Prometheus legend endures, when half the world,
by virtue of their Y-chromosomes, are firebugs. Fireworks
23 September 2009
I've read—so it must be true—that once upon a time a
government career used to be considered gentlemanly and honorable.
I myself dimly remember when politicians weren't...
21 September 2009
Grace Bride was my fourth-grade teacher, ancient beyond my young
power to reckon age (she was in fact 68). Her twin, Gertrude,
inevitably known as Dirty Gertie...
22 August 2009
Goldenrods have been blooming gaudy yellow for weeks, and now asters
warn us that summer's almost over. We've had abnormally damp and
cool weather through June...
18 August 2009
I'm fond of stereotypes. There are many books that I can and do
judge by their covers, preferring to risk missing an occasional
gem if I can avoid...
11 August 2009
I'm of an age at which profound and instant pheromonal attraction
for the opposite sex—"the zeal of organs for each other," as
Joseph Campbell puts it...
15 June 2009
Proust asserted that odors cause flashbacks. My contention that
Proust had it wrong—that it's thinking of the past that
21 May 2009
What the critics say: "Thought it tried a little too hard to be clever" and
"Doesn't say anything important to me."
28 April 2009
Seven o'clock, tail end of a hot April day. Quick survey of the
estate: disappointingly scant dandelion crop, but a prodigious
25 April 2009
It was shaping up to be one of the moments grandparents live for. My
grandchildren had heard that their father was getting a flat-screen
television, and they were beside...
18 March 2009
One of my grandson's favorite games is to confront me with
outrageous Hobson's choices. His latest was "Would you rather be
eaten by ants or impaled on...
09 March 2009
For as far back as my memory goes, I'd crane and twist in my seat to
look for a train as we passed railroad tracks on family car trips.
Later, when I joined a roving gang...
18 February 2009
I was playing one of my grandson's favorite games—with
myself, not with him. He hits me with a question, often
hypothetical, sometimes as fast...
23 December 2008
It took a minute to dawn on me what a subtle historical sea-change
is embedded in this line from an 1844 deed granting property in
Massachusetts to my great-great-great-grandfather...
09 August 2008
As my wife, grandchildren, friends, ex-wife, and random people in
the street are fond of pointing out, I am a strange man. One of many
facts that elicits that observation is...
09 July 2008
Last Thursday, while my cousin and I were having coffee, we happened
to talk about sensing the temper of the time and knowing when it was
appropriate to pass the baton on to the...
It was a bad week. My granddaughter had a sheet of third grade
spelling homework on which appeared...