Munching Apples: On Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” by Andrew Bomback

Let Me Tell You What Your Book Is About by Andrew Bomback, Prose

These honest recollections, confessions of how the mind and the body will grasp at anything to survive the residency years, how Kalanithi found his “munching apples” moments in the trauma bay with some harmless jokes and a soggy ice cream sandwich, are why I consider When Breath Becomes Air essential reading for any doctor-in-training, why I push the book on so many medical students, residents, and fellows.

The Charts and Scores of Annie-B Parson

Multimedia, Ohio Interviews, Prose

When I finish a chart,  I feel a great sense of closure that dance never gives. Because in dance there are so many mitigating factors for anyone to see your work and for the work to be seen as it was intended to be performed: a dancer can be injured, a dancer can turn away from your work, a new production is usually out of reach, things can go wrong on any given night and make the piece not the piece, the house can be empty, the house can be full, the tickets are priced out of reach of your audience, etc.

Dear Daughter: A Cheat Sheet by Molly MacDermot

Prose

I told Chimamanda that I’d love for her to sign her book, "We Should All Be Feminists," for you. I offered her a Sharpie and she quickly and decisively wrote: “Summer keep writing. Keep doing,” and added a smiley face. I told her Summer was only six and I would wait before giving her the book. She looked me straight in the eyes, not unlike Gloria, and said: “She can get it now.”

Rock On by Donnie Boman

Prose

One is often told that he/she should not think and act in binary terms - there is always room for gray. However, just as something can be on or off, one must be told to either "rock on" or "fuck off." (Certainly, I feel that people must often be told this! They can't read my mind. These switches will help facilitate this in a less combative manner.)

Ask a Mom Who Is Not Your Mom by Amy Fusselman

Ask a Mom Who's Not Your Mom, Prose

Dear Mom Who’s Not My Mom, I’m bisexual, but my Mom Who *Is* My Mom doesn’t know. She’s a very conservative Christian and I don’t want to upset her, but I don’t like keeping things from my family, despite their disapproving nature. Is it important for our relationship, do you think, that I tell her? It would not be welcome news to her ears. Sincerely, Child Who’s Not Your Child

From “I Remember Nightfall” by Marosa di Giorgio, translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas

Prose

If I hear dogs barking in the night, my heart breaks; if I hear their distant clamor, my heart stops hastily. And I go back to look at the ancient orchard, the garden of those years, the smell of peas, cows, horses grazing in the moonlight. Then, the men meet in the olive grove; they speak of the coming harvest, of the ghosts that at that time are appearing like birds, the specters with wings made of sheets, and they steal all the fruit.

Pitol’s Blurred Lines: A Review of “The Magician of Vienna” by Felix Haas

Prose, Reviews

his is one of the many enchantments of his book: You never quite know what the author is going to give you next. Sure, there are plenty of authors which offer you the unexpected, but rarely do you come across a piece of literature which moves so freely in and out of genres, be it criticism and literary history or autobiography and diary entries.

The Bias Cut: Masking for It by Hobo Scumbag

Prose, The Bias Cut by Hobo Scumbag

Some people say air is important, but in fact it's how you breathe that indicates whether you should be allowed to continue breathing or not. Master yogis know it, zen life coaches also somewhat know it. Your relationship with air is important insofar that you're inhaling it well and, in fact, ideally better than everyone else around you, whether you are in the northernmost parts of the Canadian countryside or in downtown Beijing on a hot day.

I Remember Glenn O’Brien by Duncan Hannah

Prose

Once in a while, I would get a stray phone call from such unlikely places as Calvin Klein or Richard Avedon’s studio, asking me to come see their boss for some kind of go-see. I would invariably ask, “Does this have anything to do with Glenn O’Brien?” It always did. He was generous and inclusive in that way.

Excerpt from “Boomtown” an essay by Erik Anderson

Prose

What can be said about a room like this—and there are thousands of them here—except that it is designed for one or more persons to live essentially as one would in a house, albeit in a room of roughly two hundred square feet, a room meant (unlike most hotel rooms) to imitate all the functions of home, a room so anonymous, so clearly in poor or missing taste, as to be any room, every room, and no room all at once.

An Interview about Video Game Puppetry with Eddie Kim of EK Theater

Ohio Interviews, Prose

We didn’t always refer to our work as “video game puppetry.” We used to call it “live machinima theater.” Our work has much in common with traditional puppetry. Video game characters, like puppets, have limited actions, and performers speak lines for both. The ultimate goal is the same too–to convey the story to the audience

My Fat Arm by Aizlyn B

Prose

My fat arm got stuck in a park bench in the supermarket. The park bench was, of course, not in a park, so maybe it couldn't really be called a park bench. But it was the same kind of bench that one would find in a park. Say you're walking around the cement walk track to get some of that exercise that you feel you should be getting because you eat too much ice cream and too many hot dogs and you drive everywhere in your air-conditioned car. You see this bench and decide to sit down on it. That kind of park bench is the same kind that was in this supermarket.

Au Revoir, Underground by David Robbins

Prose

Big, evolutionary, disruptive ideas need time to develop. In the past an underground would simmer away for years before surfacing. Who among us is willing to wait years before we pitch our stuff onto the Net? Traditionally the underground gained potency cloaked in invisibility. Today everyone wants attention, right now. In the age of social media, invisibility is perceived to have negative value only.

Isaac Arvold Shows New Work at Greenpoint Hill

Multimedia, Prose

A lot of this new work has been made or conceived by the idea of escape...This past June I found a great spot in Costa Rica. I Airbnb'd a little spot 100 meters off the coast and made my little beach shanty Studio. For the next 30 days I was drawing everyday at the beach 8-12 hours with a few dips in the ocean.

My Days with Millicent #33 by Gilmore Tamny, PLUS Rock Video

My Days with Millicent by Gilmore Tamny, Prose

The idea of being a reporter seemed absurd, and leaving the cozy little room with the Haddlesomes not particularly unappealing. I was about to say so when Mr. Mochrai spoke again. “Just don’t come blatting to me, when you cock-up,” he said and then shuddered. “And I’m not going to hold your hand, for every story about rosebuds and feminine protection and breast feeding or what have you, so I’ll thank you for not asking.”

Let Me Tell You What Your Book Is About by Andrew Bomback

Let Me Tell You What Your Book Is About by Andrew Bomback, Prose

All the essays in this column (including the one you’re reading now) began, in my mind, as “book reviews.” Eventually, I came to think of them as “book-inspired essays.” In moments of honesty, though, I’ve called them “personal essays disguised as book reviews.” I view myself as a husband and father, a physician, and a writer, in that order; therefore, not surprisingly, these essays almost exclusively focus on my marriage, my children, my doctoring, and my struggles with the written word. I mean these essays as the highest compliment to the writers whose books inspired each piece. Again, borrowing from David Shields in defense of his own self-obsessed book reviews: “There’s always an implied love story between me and the writer – me loving the book, loving the writer.”

Ohio Edit Re-Edit 2016 by Donnie Boman

Prose

This 2016 re-edit comes from the following contributors (line by line): Michael M. Naydan, Chris Dorland, Nancy Kangas, Daniel Nester, Shane Kowalski, Nancy Kangas, Walter Robinson, Andrew Singer, Bogdan Suceavă, Matvei Yankelevich, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bomback, James Capozzi, Francis Waite, Erik Kennedy, Scott Navicky, Brianna Barnes, Andrew Bomback, Marcus Slease, Shane Kowalski, Morgan Leichter-Saxby, Jerry Saltz, Gilmore Tamny, Hobo Scumbag, Aaron Belz, Josh Lefkowitz, Nancy Kangas, Gilmore Tamny, Kevin Sampsell, Amy Fusselman, Sommer Browning, Brian Finke, Devin Kelly, Jerry Saltz, and Nate Logan. Thank you to all the contributors this year!!

An Interview with Comedian Marcia Belsky of the Feminist Comedy Duo “Free the Mind”

Ohio Interviews, Prose

Before that, my comedy had become increasingly feminist (I’ve been performing stand-up for about 7 years) – and I was beginning to try and see if I could center women and my POV as distinctly female by joking publicly about the types of things women laugh about when men aren’t around (Kill All Men, etc.). I found it very therapeutic. And also got to throw some of the sexist rhetoric we’re just supposed to swallow back in the faces of the men who told me I “didn’t have a sense of humor” just because I thought they were assholes.

Role Playing by Andrew Bomback

Let Me Tell You What Your Book Is About by Andrew Bomback, Prose

I asked Scalise this question (over email) after finishing his book. He’d never heard the term “patient role” but championed the performance aspects of illness encounters. “Medical interactions are theater,” he wrote back. “They are, in so many cases, very rehearsed on the doctor’s side, but also on the patient’s side, too. The ‘medical crisis template’ is so widespread in popular culture as a genre, and has been for so long, that its influence on real life patient-hood is pretty deeply ingrained. In that sense, slipping into that ‘role’ of ‘Medical Patient’ can feel almost reflexive. The transfer of control to the hospital staff, the ‘strong face’ one is expected to put on, the opinions about the food, the long-form small talk with your patient ‘roommate’ – it can feel stagey or rote in the way that being a commercial airline passenger can, which is unsettling, because you’re typically at a hospital for a very vulnerable, intimate, and (to you) unique reason.” He followed up on that answer: “My instinct as a patient has always been to destabilize role expectations between my doctors and me – sometimes in good ways, sometimes in ways that definitely did not work at all – if only to try and get us to something a little more human.”

The Feeler: Matt Mullican’s “That Person and That World” at The Kitchen

Prose

Matt Mullican’s two-part performance at The Kitchen this past Friday and Saturday, “That Person and That World,” was a powerhouse production in two major respects: its presentation of an alternate consciousness, i.e., the “he” who inhabits Mullican after hypnosis; and Mullican’s post-performance acknowledgment of how little this alternate consciousness is welcomed in the art (let alone “real”) world.

A Playworker’s Journal by Morgan Leichter-Saxby

Prose

Fantasy. Dressing up. Toys. Sometimes, talking about play can sound a lot like talking about sex. Or rather, our adult vocabulary for sex is suffused by the language of childhood pleasures. People who have a lot of sex might be called players, while those who want more sex read "The Game."

An Interview with Maria Alvarez of Jigsaw Youth, An All-Girl Feminist Punk/Grunge Band from NYC

Prose

I believe in unity; racism, sexism, religious differences, etc etc, those are all things used to divide us but if you take a step back and see that none of it is real, we're all just humans trying to survive, you'll start to feel this unity... I want people to know that we'll always be here for them, fighting for them and loving them and writing songs that they can scream with their friends to and if you ever come to our shows, we are your friends and so is that random person next to you. 

11 Pulitzer Prize Winning Poets Walk Into An Auditorium by Josh Lefkowitz

Poetry, Prose

But back to the mother’s astute observation: somewhere along the way we seem to have decided that to be a poet is to be a Poet, as in some sort of seer or like a wise prophet, someone who lives among us but is able to Feel Bigger or Live Better, and so I suppose in this case, at The Pulitzer Centennial Poetry Celebration, held on Thursday, October 27th, 2016, at Cooper Union in downtown Manhattan, a parade of eleven of the finest and best Livers and Feelers, if you believe all that, were being presented on a public stage before an audience, to be lauded and adored.

Get the Look: Damsel in Distress by Hobo Scumbag

Get the Look by Hobo Scumbag, Prose

The truth is that I didn’t know what a damsel in distress looked like. I had to go out and find one. This is how committed I am to my fashion blog fans. I went to the park. I went to the grocery store. When two cars crashed at the intersection, I hurried over. But it was only a fender bender, and the women shook hands in the insurance exchange.

Trafika Europe Corner by Andrew Singer featuring Michael M. Naydan

Prose, Trafika Europe Corner

Even after his visit to Ivan the Ghostseer, Nicholas had more skepticism than any real belief in the legends and myths that so many shared with him (from scientists and scholars to street cleaners and check-out girls), though it was all in fun. There was a consistency in what they said with small variations, a kind of collective mass awareness of the subject. One incident shifted him a little closer toward belief – a visit to the Castle at Pidhirtsi with his friend Vira, his actress friend from the Zankovetsky Theater.