I’m busy.

Doing what?

Writing my novel.

Still at it, you?

Nothing left to do.

What’s it about?

It’s about you, he said.

Oh yeah, sure.

Really.

About me?

You and me, he said.

Us, then.

Right. That’s right.

What’re we doing in this novel?

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

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sam Lipsyte. His new novel, Hark, is available from Simon & Schuster.

 

This is Sam’s second time on the podcast. He first appeared in Episode 154, on March 6, 2013.

His other books include the story collections Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and The Fun Parts, and three other novels: The Ask, The Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

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Why did you write Ways of Looking at a Woman?

I was working on a dissertation and I needed another way to procrastinate besides cat videos. I also wanted to explore some pressing questions I had about 1) women looking and being looked at, 2) how film and literary theory could help me answer these questions, and 3) how mothers fit into all of this.

It electrocutes me in the best possible way to watch the thoughts marching from afar like a terrifying army.

What’s this sick compulsion to shatter the celluloid that encases me, write my way out with a lyric essay, pervade, project light through light, wrap my head around what I am: a movie in the shape of a woman, seeing and being seen, writer-mother, a mixed genre, a person with another person growing inside her?

And what will happen if I can’t? Will my skin curl, crack, and harden till I’m mummified, bundled beetle-like in my own ambition? If only someone had told me early on, “You will never get the orange peel off in one clean spiral, but more haunting shapes will come out of it in the end.”

Salad

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Sixteen

 

Rae said something. I couldn’t hear. 7th was too loud. She looked back over her shoulder to hear my answer, so I just said, “Yeah.”

Her hair was getting long again, curled up at the neckline. Each boot step clicked in a nice musical way.

She motioned for us to cross. The sidewalk got wider and it was okay to walk side by side with her, people had all the room in the world here.

The bars were packed with people. The restaurants had full tables. The jails were at max capacity too. The bookstores and churches were empty.

 

[An excerpt from WRITING, WRITTEN which is now available from Fantagraphics Books. Order your copy here.]

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Sarah McColl. Her debut memoir, Joy Enough, is available from Liveright Publishing.

 

McColl’s essays have appeared in Paris Review, McSweeney’s, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where she was named the 2017 Mary Carswell Fellow, the Millay Colony for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Wrangell Mountains Center.

She teaches creative writing and is based in Los Angeles, California.

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

Four Poems

By Nathan Dragon

Poetry

 

And Every

 

He met his friend at the shop where his friend works and his friend asked him if he wanted to meet him at his house after work. After work, he met up with his friend at his friend’s house and at his friend’s house, his friend asked if he’d want to meet up the next day at the shop where he works. So, the next day, he met his friend at the shop where his friend works and his friend asked him if he wanted to meet him at his house after work.

Yeah, see you then. Each time.

He doesn’t mind anything and it’s easy this way.

Suicide in Bed

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Fifteen

 

We’re watching the movie The Apartment. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. We’re watching it because I didn’t know what an apartment was. Didn’t I feel stupid when I found out I’d been living in one for 14 years.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Madhuri Vijay. Her debut novel, The Far Field, is available now from Grove Press.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Vijay was born in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative Magazine and Salon, among other publications. The Far Field is her first book.

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Three Poems

By Cam Scott

Poetry

 

UKULELE MUSIC

 

Two types of people occupy a cloud—

One off-punk, the other oversharing.

An enormous scaffold out of nowhere shears

The cloud in two, they drift apart.

 

That’s sort of what it’s like moving cities

In your smart blue jacket, making enemies

At breakfast over hash browns, onions, brash opinions.

Morning bubbles burst above the marsh.

St. Augustine

By Mike Andrelczyk

Poem

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S.

They’ve got the fountain of youth

I almost made it down there once

But there was a hurricane

And I was driving my ex’s car

And she got scared so we turned around

And went back to the hotel

And that was more than 10 years ago

Now I’m older and she’s gone and her car is gone too

But I was thinking about St. Augustine again this morning

My wife and I were doing the crossword puzzle in bed

And I was wondering if we’ll ever have a kid

And the answer was 86-down

 

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