Cardboard Clouds by Ben Niespodziany (Ebook)

Cardboard Clouds (ebook)

by Benjamin Niespodziany

PDF | 126 pages | Full color
AUGUST 22, 2023

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Read a page before sleep and thou shalt dream insanely.

–Alex van Warmerdam
Director of Palme d’Or nominated film ‘Borgman’

A Surrealist collection of one-page-one-act plays, Cardboard Clouds is a book of accumulation whose characters ooze through the spine to bind a narrative. A theater’s audience faces a stage staged with a fake theater and watches as the first baby is made, as nearly-dead Death names the clouds. Cardboard Clouds performs the performance of performance, catalogs each and every charming danger of suspending one’s disbelief.


Excerpts from the book have appeared in Maudlin House, Tiny Molecules, and HOOT.

Praise for Cardboard Clouds

“It is known that inside every theater there is a ghost. Less-known is that inside every ghost there is a theater. Not only does Ben Niespodziany know this, he allows us to enter that theater-in-the-ghost and gives us front row seats to the plays that are staged there. The result is funny, playful, terrifying, violent, and deeply wise. It is my fervent hope that these plays are some day staged, and that the performance never ends.” — Jeremy Radin

“Take a wild ride through Niespodziany’s opulent mind and his ten types of clouds. Anything is possible in his great world, including a theater with “100 stomachs!” So many cardboard boxes here, you may need to forklift your way out of these fabulous language theater.” — Vi Khi Nao

“I was occasionally reminded of Daniil Kharms and Lewis Carroll, but that won’t surprise you. Read a page before ye rise and ye shall pass the day unscathed. Read a page before sleep and thou shalt dream insanely. These dark one act plays are strangely comforting and addictive.” — Alex van Warmerdam

“Niespodziany presents a darkly comedic portrayal of the human experience, riddled with irony and absurdity. ” — Mallory Smart, Maudlin House

“The cloud might once have been a door and might soon be a kazoo, a sequence that ideally reveals a deeper logic to reality than the one we commonly perceive. All art material is composed of bits and pieces of other art that has been reassembled for the purpose of creating a new illusion, a process that is foregrounded in metafiction. The difficulty and delight of Cardboard Clouds lies in holding all of these meanings in mind simultaneously.” — Peter Kline, Your Impossible Voice


Benjamin Niespodziany is the author of the chapbooks The Northerners (above/ground press, 2021) and Pickpocket the Big Top (Dark Hour Books, 2022). A former Olive Garden waiter, his work has been featured in FenceCrazyhorseFairy Tale ReviewSalt Hill, and other journals. His debut full-length poetry collection is out now through Okay Donkey Press. More can be found at