I Have a Terrible Feeling is a series of weekly drawings, cartoons, and sketches by poet Adam Soldofsky.

Good Luck: Episode Thirty-One

 

A cloud was born over the Cape of Good Hope. It was first seen at sunrise by an ostrich staring out at the ocean waves breaking on the rocks. The ostrich often stood watching at first light hoping to see the Flying Dutchman, a spectral ship full of the spirits of sailors damned forever to fight that rough current at the tip of Africa. The ostrich saw no ghost ship, only a solitary cloud hovering over the sea in fair weather, and was disappointed.

The new cloud said googoogaga, but it was so high up the ostrich couldn’t hear. The ostrich didn’t speak cloud anyway. The cloud rolled over in the sky and cried for its mother and father but it had no mother or father. It had been born by warm air rising and expanding in the atmosphere, which, after rising high enough, had frozen into ice crystals that’d bonded with dust and pollen. But the cloud didn’t know this. It looked around for its mother and father and, finding none, it panicked and cried. No tears came. It was so young and inexperienced, it didn’t know yet how to make rain.

Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Kathryn Scanlan. Her new book, Aug 9 — Fog, is available from MCD Books.

 

Scanlan lives in Los Angeles. Her stories have appeared in NOONFenceAmerican Short FictionTin HouseCaketrain, and The Iowa Review, among other publications.

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i had a son over the weekend

 

i have a son and he’s three. he has chestnut hair. the thing is i just haven’t been fertilized yet. but once i am, once he’s born, and once it’s been three years, i’ll have a son who’s three.

The Barbarous Century by Leah Umansky

 

Refreshingly unafraid to explore significant mass-cultural touchpoints like TV’s Mad Men and Game of Thrones, The Barbarous Century is nonetheless an intensely literate collection; one built on a lexicon devoid of pretense or filler. Umansky’s poetry never forgets its debt to the world in which we live; likewise, it demonstrates the capability of a true artist to elevate our perceptions of that world.

Buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Barbarous-Century-Leah-Umansky/dp/191247705X

 

 

I Have a Terrible Feeling is a series of weekly drawings, cartoons, and sketches by poet Adam Soldofsky.

 

I published my first book, 49 Venezuelan Novels (Bottlecap Press), about two years ago. Here is an audio commentary of the book done by me. For the optimal experience, download the video off YouTube and burn the video onto a DVD-R. Mark the DVD-R as “The DVD Commentary of 49 Venezuelan Novels Deluxe Edition” with a black Sharpie. Slide the disc into a DVD player. Make sure you’re watching this on a CRT television—no flat screen TVs allowed, though a CRT flat screen is acceptable (in fact, I used to have one). Make sure to watch it with only one other friend. Hopefully they are a friend. Thank you for your time.

 

If you enjoy the commentary, you may purchase the book here.

Mystery

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Thirty

 

My memories are locked up in a wooden house, each year growing and distorting.

No roads or rails get there.

The house is over the hills, and across a wide valley, past two raging silver rivers, beyond a seemingly endless golden field stupid with wildflowers.

Some years I even believe the house gets farther and farther away.

Beyond those forever fields there is a maze of forest, which recently just filled up with wolves.

Long I’d suspected my house of memory had fallen into squalor. I’d seen the signs, recalling something and finding it wrong. A memory of my grandmother as a rabid woman. No.

Every year a new room is added to this house, and the maintenance gets worse. I should get there soon, I thought. Then I didn’t go. I should open the windows and air the place out, pull the vines down that are creeping up the downspout.

Focusing on the present, I’d let the past evade me.

Forgive me, Rachel Buleri.

I’d forgotten our sixth wedding anniversary.

Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Jennifer Pastiloff. Her new book, On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard, is available from Dutton.

 

Pastiloff travels the world with her unique workshop On Being Human, and has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News, and others for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world.

Jen is also the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch and Miraval Resorts, and she leads Writing and The Body workshops with author Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as retreats with Emily Rapp Black. Founder of the online magazine The Manifest Station, when Jen is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

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The following is an excerpt from Noah Cicero’s new novel, Give It To The Grand Canyon, which is forthcoming from Philosophical Idiot.

 

On the bus heading down the west rim, six in the morning, looking out the window. Barely anyone on the bus. I decided I would hike down to the bottom of the canyon. I hadn’t done it in over a decade and knew I had to do it again. The shimmering green world had always haunted me. I had to get back. The Grand Canyon had something to say to me, some truth, I knew it was down there, I just needed to get to the bottom.

The bus stopped at Yaki Point, the sun barely up, a pale light. I went over to the water bottle filling station and loaded up six bottles, put them in my backpack. The bag was heavy on my back, but I knew I had to carry it. There was no water on Kaibab Trail. There wasn’t going to be any water until I got to Bright Angel Trail.

I started hiking down, there were tourists at the beginning, all bumbling around holding one bottle of water. I walked by them telling everyone good morning, hello, have a nice day. I smiled and felt good.

 

Why did you title your new collection Mary Oliver?

The short answer, what I tell people when approached at events, is that I’m using the name totemically. There’s an essay in the back of the collection, called “On Mary Oliver”, which deals with the title. Here’s a representative chunk:

“There is a gentle gibe here that I’m sure you’re picking up on. That’s definitely a layer of skin. Fame, ego, poetry and the interplay of these, as well as my own attitude surrounding them, are things I grapple with frequently, having to remind myself that I am not the center of the universe, that people deserve to be appreciated for their art, that this will result in hierarchies, and all of it’s okay, even if I disagree with the opinions of others, even if this isn’t what I want the world to look like, because I tried to control the world and many things wound up devastated. Giving the title over to another human’s name, specifically, a famous poet of perceived authority, has become a device through which I can do some of this grappling”.

I created an Instagram account for the book which features a FAQ, specifically around the title, because I foresaw a lot of feeling people could catch over using her name, especially as she passed away once the book was already with the printer. I haven’t caught as much shit as I thought I might, which is probably more a testament to my relative obscurity than anything else.

I

I do not believe in this slice of time, but in the tremor.

Not in the bird, but the shoulder.

Not in the bear, but the honeypot. Not the near future,

but in the constant memorization

of all my mistakes. Not in the thunder, but sneaking out

of the party, but not in the rain.

Not the umbrella, but the cock, the gravel, not the sky

turned black, not the eyes, but in the music

of flies over new rot, the fruit and not the vine. In the swollen

moment of climax I believe in the self,

as a well, as other, as the therapy of being wrong. In being

wronged, but not forever. I believe

in the hand on my throat as evidence of being, but not alone.

Please don’t let me be alone.

I Have a Terrible Feeling is a series of weekly drawings, cartoons, and sketches by poet Adam Soldofsky.

Good Luck: Episode Twenty-Nine

 

Hamlet wakes up in the underworld. He is up on stage. Act 1: Scene 1, Elsinore, the rampart walls of his familial Dutch castle, except something seems wrong. Part of the castle is made of plywood, and painted gray. Other parts of the castle are styrofoam molded to look like stone blocks.

Up above him on the rampart walls, he sees men dressed like Spartans because the wardrobe people are idiots. The guards hold spears, are keeping an eye out for Norway who is coming soon to kick everyone’s ass.

The guards address each other as Bernardo, Fernando, Marcellas, and Horatio, but Hamlet knows those men, and the guards are not those men. Hamlet thinks he’s dreaming. The imposter versions of Bernardo, Fernando, Marcellas, and Horatio, begin talking about a ghost they have seen. Hamlet climbs the stairs to join them on the rampart walls. Halfway up, he hears them say that the ghost that has visited them two nights in a row is Hamlet’s father, the recently slain King of the Danes. Okay, Hamlet thinks, I’ve heard this one before.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Elisa Gabbert. Her new essay collection, The Word Pretty, is available from Black Ocean Press.

This is Elisa’s second time on the podcast. She first appeared in Episode 241 on January 8, 2014.

Gabbert is a poet and essayist whose other books include L’Heure Bleue, or the Judy Poems (Black Ocean, 2016), The Self Unstable (Black Ocean, 2013), and The French Exit (Birds LLC, 2010). The Word Pretty was a New York Times Editors’ Pick, and The Self Unstable was chosen by the New Yorker as one of the best books of 2013. Elisa’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, the Guardian Long Read, Boston Review, the Paris Review Daily,and many other venues. She is currently writing a book about disaster culture and human failure, The Unreality of Memory, forthcoming from FSG Originals. She lives in Denver.

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