Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Erin Hosier. Her new memoir, Don’t Let Me Down, is available from Atria Books.

Hosier is also the coauthor of Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel (Da Capo, 2017). She has been a literary agent since 2001 (currently with Dunow Carlson & Lerner), and was an original co-host of the Literary Death Match. As an agent, she primarily works with authors of nonfiction and has a special interest in popular culture, music biography, humor, women’s history (and untold stories of all kinds). She lives in Brooklyn.

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[The following is an excerpt from Shane Jones’ new novel, Vincent and Alice and Alice, now available from Tyrant Books. Get your copy today.]

 

§ § §

 

“You look like Bert, from Bert and Ernie,” says Alice when I walk into the apartment. It appears she hasn’t moved today, the apartment surrounding her looks untouched. She’s dressed in what she wore last night. 

“Thank you.”

“It’s the shape of your head,” continues Alice, who sits on the couch with her feet up on the table. The TV shows a man in a leather vest and American flag bandana with his outstretched arm aiming a gun at a crowd of forest-green ski-masks. In the background is a storefront framed in fire and people running in and out. Holding up one hand toward my jaw Alice pretends to turn my face in a deep study. “I don’t know if it’s because you’re getting older, but your head is longer and has a pinched quality to it now.”

“Like Bert’s.”

“Exactly,” she replies satisfied. 

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

Friends

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Thirty-Four

 

My friend, the playwright, invited me to breakfast. So I climbed on the train and took it across the water. A perfect spring morning.

I knew for sure it was a perfect spring morning because out an open window on 11th Street, I heard someone singing an opera.

I stopped to listen.

Italian, or Greek, or German.

Whatever it was, bombastic. I didn’t know any other language besides English, which was a shame, it was limiting my ability to make friends.

If I spoke Mandarin, I could go to Taiwan and make Taiwanese friends, or if I learned Russian, I could go to Belarus and make Belarusian friends. Instead, I was stuck with the English. Still am.

I leaned against a wall. Flies buzzed around a garbage can. I looked at them and thought, It’s too bad I can’t speak Fly, because then I could be friends with the flies too.

A lot of my friends are books, some of them written in other languages I don’t understand. Sometimes a translator becomes my friend by translating a book so I can read it. Friends everywhere.

Now playing on Otherppla conversation with Bret Easton Ellis. His new essay collection, White, is available from Knopf.

 

Ellis is the author of six novels, including Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho, and a collection of stories, which have been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in Los Angeles and is the host of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, available on Patreon.

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

Good Luck: Episode Thirty-Three

 

 

Two Cats

 

Editor: Hmmm.

Bud: Slaughterhouse-Six?

Editor: Hmm, what else you got?

Bud: Salt and Pepper

Editor: Okay, let’s use that for now.

 

Salt and Pepper


Three in the morning, the back door opens, four people enter the dark house. Black jeans, boots, jackets, gloves, ski masks. Nothing said. They’ve been here before. The moon is full, but so what.

A screened in porch, dim blue light. Kitchen sink dripping. One of them shuts it off. They part a beaded curtain and step into the bedroom, where The editor of this column is sleeping beside his girlfriend.

They surround the bed, staring down at the sleepers. Two cats watch too. Silence. Then breathing, the sounds of the night, bugs outside, frogs, wind. Each time they come back here like this, they stay longer.

 

Editor: I’m not really sold on this concept.

Bud: I know it’s kind of weird.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Karen Stefano. Her new book, What a Body Remembers: A Memoir of Sexual Assault and Its Aftermath, is available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official June pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Stefano’s other books include the short story collection The Secret Games of Words (1GlimpsePress 2015) and the how-to business writing guide, Before Hitting Send (Dearborn 2011). Her work has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, California Lawyer, The South Carolina Review, Tampa Review, Epiphany, Volume 1 Brooklyn, and many other journals and magazines.

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

 

[The following poems are from Laura Theobald’s forthcoming poetry collection, KOKOMO (Disorder Press), which will be released on September 10th of this year. Preorder your copy here.]

 

 

 

 

I love the word cunt

I said cunt at the bar

and my friend’s mom said

it was a fighting word where she was from

I said I love the word cunt

the mom looked pissed

I think she might have wanted to fight me

I said I call my friends cunts all the time

I didn’t mention

that my friends don’t actually like that

and that actually those friends don’t even talk to me anymore

Two Cats

By Bud Smith

Essay

Good Luck: Episode Thirty-Two

 

Three in the morning, the back door opens, four people enter the dark house. Black jeans, boots, jackets, gloves, ski masks. Nothing said. They’ve been here before. The moon is full, but so what.

A screened in porch, dim blue light. Kitchen sink dripping. One of them shuts it off. They part a beaded curtain and step into the bedroom, where the editor of this column is sleeping beside his girlfriend.

They surround the bed, staring down at the sleepers. Two cats watch too. Silence. Then breathing, the sounds of the night, bugs outside, frogs, wind. Each time they come back here like this, they stay longer.

Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Elvia Wilk. Her debut novel, Oval, is available from Soft Skull Press.

 

Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin. She contributes to publications like FriezeMousseMetropolisArtforum, and Zeit Online. From 2012 to 2016 she was a founding editor at uncube magazine and from 2016 to 2018 she was the publications editor for transmediale. She is currently a contributing editor at e-flux journal and is finishing a masters at the New School for Social Research. She has taught at the University of the Arts Berlin, Eugene Lang College, and City College of New York.

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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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