dollar-bills

Two Stories by Andrew Sacks

flash fiction

The world is changing, and the worlds of fiction and poetry are changing with it.

With scores of other kinds of media now in existence, other options for the individual, reading needs to be quickly accessible. Upon being read, the story or poem should give the reader a quick high or kick. It’s the only way the literary art can compete.

Among the innovations coming from new writers and websites are short shorts and flash fiction. Stories shorter than the traditional story. Instead of 5,000 words, 500. Or 150. When done well, the new works become more compressed, more powerful, more impactful– ending at times with modernist abruptness.

Today we present two such works by Andrew Sacks, who’s as adept at the form as any writer out there. We hope you enjoy them.

Now a more “serious” engagement presented itself, in the mutual celebration of her birthday. David knew something special had to be done. There would have to be a gift, and a meaningful one. Chosen wisely. Chosen for a woman of taste and a certain obvious refinement.

kitten-1

The Cutest Cat That Ever Lived!

Pop Fiction

We’re authentic. Our roots are in the DIY zine scene. It’s why we occasionally publish stories from one of the best underground zine writers in America, “Fishspit.”

Also, we’re shameless. We enjoy promoting this site. We can’t help noticing the love for cats across the Internet. Cats are a pop phenomenon. We want in on it.

What happens when you cross a tough underground writer with a cat?

You get “The Cutest Cat That Ever Lived.”

Is it “Literature” with a capital L? We don’t know! But it is entertaining. And authentic. And heartwarming. Especially if you like cats!

I’ve seen thousands of kittens. I’ve volunteered at countless cat rescue shelters . . . so you know I’ve seen cats in my life. I grew up on a farm where at any given time there were 17-23 cats. I have seen cats! I guarantee you Pip was the cutest kitten that ever existed. Don’t you even try to tell me your kitten is cuter.

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“Make It New!”

Announcement

A RANT

One of our discoveries in reading Lesley M.M. Blume’s book about Ernest Hemingway, Everybody Behaves Badly, is that Ezra Pound’s favorite expression was “Make it new.” Which has been our philosophy from the beginning of this ambitious project.

(We’ve labeled ourselves “The New New.”)

Being new involves connecting with the best new writers in America– particularly those unconnected to the embalmed established lit game, or who reject most of the moldy doctrines of institutional writing factories. Let’s face it, New York and its appendages produces not the New, but the Same-Old Same-Old.

Examination of last weekend’s establishment flagship the New York Times Book Review shows the editors still mired in postmodernism– which is a fine game to play in the obsolete academy but generates ZERO interest among the general population. Mainly because pomo literary works are often posturing nonsense and are almost always unreadable. (See Infinite Jest, which NYTBR was caught raving about for the 5,005th time. Showing their cred, I guess, among the hopelessly pretentious.)

We offer credibility of a different sort, as our editors come not from an ivory tower or the conglomerate machine– but from the gritty factories and clubs of Detroit.

We’ve lived in a tough world of intense energy far removed from faculty lounges and teacups. We know literature at its best is a visceral emotional experience for the reader. We aim to present new writing which connects emotionally to YOU every bit as much as any pop/punk/rock/rap song ever conceived.

This week we focus on our search, our quest– and on our backlog of necessary reading. We’re busy putting together a foundation to go new places as a literary experience. If you also seek to change literature, and thereby change the world: join us.

***

By the way, we’ve asked one of our favorite young writers to review the Blume book. Why? Because we’re out to recapture the Fitzgerald/Hemingway literary excitement of 1925/26 which sustained American literature for decades, until the rise of pomo fakirs.

We’ll create that excitement in a 2016 way.

***

Be sure to check out our new Fun Pop Poetry feature. Due to arrive next week– a nationally-renowned rhyming-and-witty poet.

 

subway-train

Clarity

Pop Lit Fiction

Our mission is to publish terrific fiction.

Today we present a short story, “Clarity,” from one of the best story writers around, Alex Bernstein. The title of his story is apt, because Bernstein writes with distinct clarity– clarity of thought and clarity of style, which makes him one of the sharper commentators on the American scene today, combining humor with understanding. See if you agree.

“Julie – you can’t be happy with that guy. He takes undead hair scraps from people’s armpits and buries them in their scalps! He makes beer in his living room! Is that what you want?”

suitcase for an block story

No Faith to Lose

Pop Lit Fiction

Summer reading for Labor Day weekend– for the last lazy days of summer.

We’ve been obsessed with poetry of late. Fitting that our feature story, “No Faith to Lose,” would be– marginally– about a poet. But it’s really about traveling. No, it’s about a relationship. It’s about the choices we make in our lives. It’s a story that just is, a slice of life, and we see in it what we want.

AN Block stories have been appearing across the Internet. We thought we’d grab a good one for ourselves. Hope you like it!

“You have pictures of me wearing what?” she asked, the following week. “Lavender tinted glasses? Purple lipstick? I never turned on all that much, one puff made me loopy. Oh, right, and cough my guts up.”

*******

(Meanwhile our Fun Pop Poetry  feature is hopping.)

 

 

colapinto novel

Review of Undone

book review

OUR CHIEF INTEREST is in finding writing which pushes against the acceptable boundaries of the establishment literary/publishing world– and which blurs the lines between the “literary” and “pop.” Toward that end we’ve published work by new writers like Andrea Gregovich, and interviewed more established authors like John Colapinto, if their artistic interests in some way converge with ours.

With our new feature we bring both tracks together, as Andrea Gregovich reviews  John Colapinto’s controversial novel Undone. Offbeat personality reviewing a different kind of offbeat personality? It’s a feature not to be missed.

Here’s the thing about the much-maligned male gaze, though: every now and again it hits upon something real.

***

(Remember to stay current with our Fun Pop Poetry feature.)

washington dc capitol

Benjamin Franklin and the Witch of Endor

Pop Lit Fiction

The wild election season is heating up.

To celebrate the madness, we’re running a new short story by Washington D.C. Beltway expert Tom Ray– giving us an entertaining inside look at the struggles staff handlers and party officials go through trying to manage what are increasingly unmanageable politicians. Any familiarity to real life? Naw!

Read Tom Ray’s “Benjamin Franklin and the Witch of Endor” now!

The word was out that Hathaway was still a buffoon, so there weren’t a lot of applicants for the position. Despite Patricia Hathaway’s seeming hostility toward me, I was hired.

***

(Also keep up on our new Fun Pop Poetry feature.)

neighborhood 2

The Old Neighborhood

Pop Lit Fiction

The long and lazy summer! A time for reflection– for memories of childhood, of the old homestead, days past. Simpler times. The friends you had. The girl you knew.

Can we go back to those days? Should we go back?  These questions are raised by Andy Tu’s bittersweet story, “The Old Neighborhood.” We think you’ll like it.

She’d always been somewhere in the bottom of his mind, covered by the office romances and two long-term girlfriends. She’d been there, like a buried treasure, unlocked and waiting for him to free it from beneath the sands, to simply open it and look.

***

(REMINDER: Our Fun Pop Poetry feature is underway at our New Pop Lit Interactive blog. We need fun poems!)

Anne Leigh Parrish

Interview with Anne Leigh Parrish

Interview

Literary change is coming!

New genres, new styles, and most important, a wave of newly-prominent writers pumping talent, energy, and emotion into a previously moribund art form.

Among the best of them is Anne Leigh Parrish, who’s published terrific work with us  and with other upstart literary outfits. As well as penned one novel and two short story collections. Read our Interview with her, also linked at our “Hype” page. (Anne also participated in our recent can’t miss Hemingway discussion.)

Motivation is something I’m very curious about. I’m also fascinated with the stories people tell themselves to get themselves off the hook, or to process a traumatic event.

 

kandinskybluered

We Want Pop Poetry!

Announcement

As readers know, we’ve published some but not a lot of poetry. Some of the poetry we’ve run has been good underground-style writing. Some of it has been semi-pop. We now seek to go into full pop poetry mode.

What’s pop poetry?

We’re not certain, because it largely doesn’t exist yet! We can imagine what true pop poetry would look like.

Pop poetry would be:

.-Readable.

-Colorful.

-Sometimes witty.

-Fun.

-Not banal.

-As visible and “there” as a painting.

-Have rhythm and rhyme someplace. Maybe standard AA BB or AB AB etc. work. Maybe off beat. Maybe in the middle of lines. Think innovatively!

Or: We’ll know pop poetry when we see it. If we present just what everyone else is presenting– what’s the point?

Start writing!