My story “Eliza’s Body as Sacrament of the Grace I Sunk From” originally appeared on page 61 of the September issue of Midwest Literary Magazine, which was titled “Broken Spades.” This is a story that I love to this day, and that people really seemed to dig. That might be at least in part due to the explicit and detailed pornography contained therein. The story is a lamentation on a semi-functional relationship that didn’t ultimately pan out, but that coasted for a while on sex alone. It’s also about a dumb kid who doesn’t have the slightest idea what he’s doing – either in bed, or in life.
There were some complications when publishing this story. For example,the Midwest Literary Magazine did not read my cover letter closely, so my birth name was used rather than my pen name. I attempted to inform the editor of this, and the mistake could have been amended before the release of the print journal, but I did not hear back from the staff. They did not contact me when the story went live, nor when the print issue was released. That was all right, because I really wanted this piece to see the light of day, and I highly doubt that any other publication would have taken a look at it. So I remain grateful to Midwest Literary Magazine. Nevertheless, it was due to business practices like this that the Midwest Literary Magazine began to receive some very bad press – mostly generated by justifiably disgruntled authors. The magazine has since become defunct. For quite a while after the closing of the publication, the story was still available to read or to purchase online, but alas, those links have inevitably closed as well. Now if you attempt to visit the website, you will come across a garage door repair advertiblog.
Maybe the piece will one day be read again by human eyes. Only time will tell.
“The Gifts I Recieved” is a story that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking, and it’s about a young man’s relationship with his arguably strange mother. The story was published in the first issue of Scissors and Spackle, and unfortunately the publication has not survived the 7 years since. That said, I hustled this magazine because I didn’t know any other way. I purchased dozens of copies from the editor at cost, and distributed them through local Santa Cruz publications. I backpacked these issues to friends and at parties. I still don’t really know how to publicize, but this was a fun attempt.
Check out my write up on the Bookshop Santa Cruz website and feel free to let me know if anything has been left out of the Ben Leib bio – it doesn’t, for example, mention how handsome I am.
This magazine was, for a time, also found on the shelves of Logos Books & Records:
They were also selling it at Bookshop Santa Cruz, too:
About Scissors and Spackle:
We are artists, creators, and writers. But we are first readers; readers of newspapers, magazines, novels, and flash. Readers of poetry, memoir, and writing that defies conventional labels. When there is nothing else around we are sometimes readers of cereal boxes, catsup ingredient lists, and shampoo instructions. We are taking up space in Los Angeles, CA but are also from Bailey and Denver CO, Twenty Nine Palms and Atlanta, Northern Virginia and New Orleans.
All right my beautiful friends, another of my stories was published. The story is titled “Long Rides and the Things We Ran From,” and was featured on the homepage of the Foliate Oak website. It is an essayistic piece outlining my general ethos about bus travel, and the discomfort inherent in that particular mode of transit. I’ve spent more time on buses that most, and this piece culled from that experience. I am quite proud of it. Unfortunately, while the story was archived for years as an addition to the September 2011 issue on the Foliate Oak website, they had to trim the fat when updating their website, and were unable to retain four years of archives, which is sad but understandable. They now have a new webpage, and the publication is alive and well.