Blue Skies

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Eight

Two days before the end, it’s warm and the sky is deep blue and the clouds roll slowly by. My coworker climbs up on a flatbed truck and lies down and looks up at that blue sky and those clouds rolling by. “Hey Bud, you know what my resolution is going to be?”

“What’s it gonna be?”

“I’m resolving to look up at the clouds more often. When was the last time you did that?”

“That’s all I really do,” I say.

“Well, I guess you’re blessed.”

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Morris Collins. His debut novel, Horse Latitudes, is available from Dzanc Books. It was the official December 2018 pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

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On the morning of January 1, 1953, country music star Hank Williams was found dead in the back of his 1952 Cadillac in Oak Hill, West Virginia.

His energy dispersed.

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

Three Poems

By Joe B. Grantham

Poetry

 

’63 Chevy Impala

 

I had a brother once.

On the morning of my thirtieth birthday

I looked in the mirror and saw his face

on my face.

That was a first.

He chose to die six days later

halfway across the country

Oblique Strategies

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Seven

In July of 1975, Brian Eno entered Island Studios to record his third album, Another Green World. He had no ideas whatsoever, having largely abandoned traditional songwriting, and now coming into bloom as an artist playing the studio.’ He carried with him a deck of cards called Oblique Strategies.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Brittany Ackerman. Her debut memoir, The Perpetual Motion Machine, is available from Red Hen Press.

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Three Poems

By Katie Foster

Poetry

 

DOG DREAMS

 

Today the dog dreamed of honeysuckle.

Today the dog dreamed of cheeks.

Today the dog dreamed of god.

in the movie-line with my parents

my mom couldn’t get her MoviePass to work

because the app needed to be “updated”

my dad said “gimme the phone”

and then, with something like disdain

“I can’t see, I didn’t bring my glasses”

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

 

It’s a gray day

The sky is one, large cloud

I watch a flock of pigeons from my window on the 17th floor

I look down on them

The space heater sizzles

I’m picturing Christmas

I’ve been on hold with NBA League Pass Customer Support for 23 minutes

Playboys

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Six

Five of us were packed in the work truck listening to a wacky morning DJ tell a story about a man who dug a tunnel from his basement to the bar down the block.

His wife didn’t want him drinking. He used the tunnel in secret to get drunk while she slept. The DJ went har har har har har, and shook a noisemaker.

Pat said, “She was right to ban him from drinking, he had a problem if he had to dig a tunnel.”

“And she must have had a problem too if she didn’t even notice her husband was digging an escape tunnel.”

The story was a hoax. But so are most stories. Especially stories involving tunnels.

Our first month over there in Najaf, while we were keeping the morning watch, me and Judson would hold our M16s out level with that well-dark sky and count down. The horizon was deep as a mineshaft, black and sucking up all my voice and air. One moment the world was blank, just the faintest blue haze smearing around the edges, and the next, that bullet of light would rocket up and blind you, full and ripe there just above the horizon.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Katya Apekina. Her debut novel, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, is available from Two Dollar Radio. Buzzfeed, Kirkus, and Entropy call it one of the best books of 2018.

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Four Poems

By Sarah Jean Grimm

Poetry

 

HOUSE WINE

 

I throw my body around the room

Attempting to sweat out a decade

Of harm I’ll keep inflicting

Who am I to disrupt a pattern