Welcome to the Good Life Review

Issue 2, Winter 2020

2 Inside: Jim Peterson, Kendall Klym, Caleb Nichols, Stelios Mormoris, Tyler Jacobs, Kerby Caudill, Megan Saunders, Lynn Magill, Clare Bercot Zwerling, Gabriella Bedetti, and Don Boes

Bitch, we’re old, you say to your friend over a glass of wine and laugh. And like in a commercial, she turns to you and says, No way, bitch! The forties are the new twenties.

– Disintegrate

The highway rumbling
like an easy metaphor, and me, twenty and full
of cheap chocolate, thinking I can bear anything
as long as it is temporary

– Waiting to Pee, I Invent My Future

Lips pursed, teeth and tongue twist in magical phonology
Nasalised vowels, blown like trumpets in rhythm
Mum on the phone speaking pure Twi

– Twi Phon-ology

She had wildflowers in her hair,
two blushing on her cheeks, spine and right
hand distorted in the water. She hung
in your dining room slitted eyes cut
toward us.

– Klimt’s Water Serpents II

Turn to face me, tell me is this all the change
we will ever see, these coins, scattered at Your feet,

for Your penitencia, in this march, on our way to
Your crucifixion. I drop the coin…

– Maria Magdalena

He proceeds to have a 24-hour trip during which he barricades himself in the bathroom and, while vomiting and having continuous diarrhea, personally experiences in the cells of his body the Big Bang, the Ice Age, the death of Christ…

– Famous Checkmates in the Grabowski Family History

You don’t get it, do you, Jones? The gravitational pull of wealth and power, the sweet seduction of mutual selfish interest, the glorious grab-fest of the civilized world. That’s what it’s about.

– Fore

For years I have been living with the idea of a piece, called Perfect Lovers by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. I have never seen it in person. I have never sat in front of it and cried.

– May There Always Be

Given this state of things, did she make a conscious decision to die sooner rather than later, in order to avoid the misery that lay ahead of her? Did she will her heart to fail, her lungs to fill with fluid?

– Mother

I didn’t have a clue who I was supposed to be anymore, and yet, I was still that woman who picked up people—those I loved and those I’d never even met.

– Picking Up Where We Left Off

She wanted to call Leonard, tell him about the blood-red tree, the irony in grasping for a sense of connection from an automated reply, the modern alienation of looking to her phone rather than the sky to tell the weather.

– Precipitate

I wonder aloud how it all came to this. I stand up, tray in hand and sprinkle the cabbage on the niche spreading it out evenly until the entire area is covered. My head aches. Room seems to shake. I take my seat. They won’t break me, I think as I stare out the window.

– Passport

Occasionally their trajectories would intersect, to be over or undertaken, but mostly they pressed on alone, each a distinct entity from the other.

– Rex

My fear of the unknown keeps me from
diving fully into anything. I am
afraid that I’ll never get the courage
to stray.

– Sleepless

I sat myself at the table in a corner, our old table… the one where I laughed so hard, I knocked over my glass of wine and turned your white shirt red.

– What I Lost in September

Weeks of her absence went by with only an occasional shrug of irritation from one or another of us when she missed an appointment or a longstanding date. That’s so Ruby, we’d say, some with fondness and some with a tinge of anger in our voices.

– Where Did You Go, Ruby?

In that split second, I looked into her green eyes and she mouthed something. “Could we please?”

– Read Her Lips

In the desert, my dad was all mustache and heartbreaker styled after the thunk-whir of Zappa and Rude Dog tank tops…

– Lorenzo Cain, #6

news & updates:

02.04.21: Check out the lineup of great conversations and food celebrating Black History Month hosted by UNO. Details here.

01.09.21: Submissions are now open for the 2021 Honeybee Prize. Winners in 4 categories will be awarded $200 and publication in our Summer 2021 Issue. More about the contest and judges is available on our contest page and also in Submittable.

12.31.20: Issue #2 is live. View the full issue here or peruse by genre: translation, nonfiction, flash nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, or fiction.

12.12.20: The Good Life Review is nominating for the Pushcart Prize! 2020 Nominees include Clif Mason, Tomas Baiza, Mary Duquette, and Jamie Wendt.

12.01.20: Interested in connecting with other readers and writers? Check out our new community board, a curated list of events, readings, and workshops to inspire and motivate.

11.10.20: GLR is pleased to offer a new submission category: Stage & Screen. Send editors Jake Lawson and Joe Atkinson your scripts. Read what they’re looking for here.

9.15.20: It’s such a difficult time in the world, and your art is important! If for any reason you find our submission process inaccessible, please contact us. In addition, submission fees are now waived for BIPOC.

The Good Life Review is a literary journal made with ♥ from Omaha, Nebraska. We are committed to exploring the overlooked and are taking active steps toward a more diverse and equitable publishing platform. | About us


GLR publishes four online issues a year. We’re interested in fiction, nonfiction, flash, poetry, translations, scripts, and anything amazing that doesn’t fit into a tidy genre. We have published first-time, emerging, and established writers. We read submissions blindly and let the work speak for itself. | Past issues

soundbites

Rounding out our second series, episode 2.6 includes highlights of the interview where Fiction Editor Trelana Daniel talks with Tyler Jacobs about his poem, “Standing Water in Central Nebraska.” Tyler is a student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he studies English and Creative Writing. He recommends taking classes with Brad Modlin and Jessica Hollander, but says that any class with the English department there is bound to be enjoyable. You can read his poem which appears in Issue #2 here.

Soundbites is a weekly podcast with contributors of The Good Life ReviewFollow us for additional gems and interview highlights.

The 2021 Honeybee Prize

Submissions for the 2021 Honeybee Prizes will be open until April 15th. The 3-5 finalists in each of 4 categories, Poetry, Nonfiction, Script Writing, and Fiction, will be sent to our guest contest judges who will select a winner and runner-up. This year’s judges are as follows:

Poetry: Douglas Manuel
Nonfiction: Marco Wilkinson
Fiction: Kate Gale
Scriptwriting: Michael Oatman

The winning entry will receive $200 prize, publication in the Summer 2021 issue of The Good Life Review that will include an endorsement from the respective judge for that category, and a jar of honey from a Midwest apiary.

Visit our contest page for more info about the judges and submission details.

featured from the archives:

“Flash” by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason

3am, naked man in Nebraska
drives his truck through a church,
sideswipes a school,
ends up spinning on the State Capitol’s lawn; | Read more

“Alice and Juno in Hell” by Mary Duquette

The first call came on Thursday over the landline. It rang ten minutes after Alice got home from her new job as Kitchen Assistant at Jacque’s. She sat in her apartment in front of the television set with her coat on and her feet stretched out over the ottoman and picked up the phone on the second ring. | Read more

“Rabelais” by Tim Tomlinson

I once had a writing teacher who told me you can’t write about shit and piss and farts and vomit and I said oh yeah, why not? Didn’t Rabelais’s Gargantua let loose a torrent of piss over the city of Paris? | Read more

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2021 Honeybee Prize. More details about the contest can be found here. Please read our submission guidelines before submitting. Send us your wild and wonderful work through Submittable.

Does your original photography or artwork tell a story? Send us an email to be featured in an upcoming issue. Photo cred: Zac Bunch


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