Book Reviews!

book review

YES, the sun also rises and we also write book reviews– they’re found at our Book Chat blog aka NewPopLitExtra. We’ve posted several interesting reviews (and one interview) the past few months. Currently we have a review of a short-but-dynamic book/pamphlet named Police Stories with an easily obtained freebie at the end of it.

CHECK IT OUT!

vivid photographic proof that evil had taken on a new definition for me, that my understanding of true evil had, in just a few brief seconds, made a horrifying leap from assumption to reality.”

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(Painting: “Miss Auras, The Red Book” by Sir John Lavery.)

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More Poetry!

Poetry

MORE MORE poetry poetry. We’ve been on a poetry kick of late. We continue it with three sparkling quick poems from Ohio poet James Croal Jackson, full of wry insight combined with slices of realism. Read them!

think of those
who have lost
the soup
steams the kitchen
sunken chicken
in chunks
salt boils
the tea kettles
green
the minced leaves
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DON’T FORGET also our ongoing Open Mic, smoky low-light venue of dynamic spoken word performed by today’s most fascinating and talented literary personalities. We’re at a short pause– the crowd is buzzing because next up are Dan Nielsen and Georgia Bellas, reading words while backed by the band Sugar Whiskey. Or maybe Dan and Georgia are Sugar Whiskey. We’ll find out!
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(Painting: “The Knife Grinder” by Kazimir Malevich.)

The Writer’s Struggle

Announcement

THE STRUGGLES OF A WRITER can seem lonely indeed– often resulting in rejection and neglect. Yet they keep at it, pursuing their art because they believe it’s important to express truths about life and the world.

When those struggles find notice– and a sense that a reader gets it, understands what the work’s about, this keeps the writer (and in our case, editors) going. No, the effort expended was not for naught!

Christopher Landrum at the literary site Bookbread has examined here four recent short stories, three of which appeared at New Pop Lit. They are:

“The Fetus” by Clint Margrave.

“Eighty Pounds” by Jon Berger.

“The Professor” by A.K. Riddle.

If you’ve read these three excellent tales, they’re worth rereading. If you haven’t, please do so! Then see what Mr. Landrum says about them.

De briefschrijfster

(Art: “The Passion of Creation” by Leonid Pasternak; “Woman Writing” by Gerard ter Borch.)

 

New Stars of Literature

Poetry, Pop Lit Fiction

At New Pop Lit we’re continually on the lookout for new talent combined with striking personality– recognizing that talent is often if not always the expression of personality.

WE’RE AWARE and we’ve been aware for some time that the literary scene needs “stars.” It needs personas, BIG, bigger-than-Hemingway personalities, dramatic figures crafting unorthodox unpredictable fictions or poems taking the literary art in new directions, to new heights.

IN THIS ongoing search we have today two possible future literary earthshakers.

Our new featured fiction, “The Hunting Cabin,” is by Brian Eckert, one of the best independent short story writers on today’s scene– independent in the sense of not writing to please take-no-chances Manhattan magazine editors, or even paint-by-the-numbers university professors. Eckert writes for the unseen artistic conscience. His story is three-dimensionally honest. More rounded, with more depth– puzzles and questions– than usual literary fare.

WE ALSO have, along with Brian’s perspective, an equally powerful but quite different viewpoint from talented poet Kristin Garth, who’s been getting much attention lately across the internet, and who has kindly offered New Pop Lit a short recording for our ongoing Open Mic. Her poem is called “Kristins.” We believe you’ll find it striking.

We try to be a window on new literature!

Robert_Delaunay_-_Window_with_Orange_Curtains_-_1912_-_Private_collection

(Paintings: “Matterhorn” by Edward Theodore Compton; “Window with Orange Curtains” by Robert Delaunay.)

More Pop Lit Poetry!

Poetry

POETRY MONTH continues, as we continue publishing and promoting poetry.

The word– the Homer-Shakespeare oral tradition folk legend spanning-all-cultures origin of literature.

For this edition of our tribute to poetry
we have a variety of styles
emotions, images,
sound and wordplay
essential elements of the art.

FIRST,

Four Poems by Holly Day, presenting an array of ideas and images of a poetic nature.

Eavesdropping, I want to tell her
that the white marble statues of Greek temples were originally
covered in bright splotches of paint, that the pyramids were once topped
with garish gold cones, that the cold stone idol she’s touching right now
was once plastered with white lime and painted in neon hues.
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Waterhouse, John William, 1849-1917; The Lady of Shalott

SECOND, we have a new book review of an exciting new volume of prose and poetry by talented underground writer Nicole Nesca of Screamin’ Skull Press. Worth examination– if you want to see what’s happening.

–a writer bleeding emotion, history, and imagination onto the page. Nicole does this in chapter after chapter, a many-hued mix of poetry, prose and stories–
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Palma_Vecchio_-_Portrait_of_a_Poet_-_Google_Art_Project

THIRD, there’s our ongoing Open Mic at which another poet will soon step to the microphone– James Croal Jackson, who will be featured, in a few weeks– as Holly Day is currently featured– with new poetry. You’ll be able to hear him first.

Poetry Month? New Pop Lit is covering it.
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(Paintings: “Homer Among the Greeks” by Gustav Jaeger; “The Lady from Shalott” by John William Waterhouse; “Portrait of a Poet” by Palma Vecchio.)

Pop Lit Poetry Attack!

Poetry

IS ANYONE looking for the New? Does anyone besides ourselves actually want and is actively searching for and creating the NEW?

Pop Lit is about discovery and synthesis. It’s about creating. About fusing two poles, in poetry’s case, of stasis and chaos. System and street. Bebop rhythm and wordplay, the energy of freedom combined with poetic learning, predecessors, history. IF the humanities mean anything (one hears massive nonsense about “the humanities”) it means nods to the past but not shackling institutionally the talents and voices of today.

TODAY we present fresh creations from young verse-master Timmy Chong— seven or nine poems depending upon how you count them– which he names  “Twenty & Change.” Note his euphonious use of assonance, rhythm, occasional rhyme, with urban/suburban themes, a hip-hop feel– but it’s not hip-hop– and with tricks absorbed from past masters like Plath or Berryman– but it’s not like anything they wrote either. It’s only, hyperbolically-speaking, where poetry needs to go. Where it needs to be, in 2018, or 2020.

Boy got them low eyes,
got that good lip
reeking purple like periques.
Says when the plug dry
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KungfumanSpin-Art_2

AS PART of our Poetry Attack! we’re soliciting audio for our ongoing Open Mic, at Club New Pop Lit. (Think neon letters reflected on a rainy Detroit-or-Philly street.) The club is imagination but the voices are real. (Well, maybe not Ms. Hepburn’s.) COMING within days or hours to the club is spectacularly talented Detroit-area poetess Erin Knowles Chapman with a reading ostensibly about a bowling alley.

Exciting things are happening. Just saying.
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(1st public domain action painting is by Michael Philip. 2nd public domain “spin art” painting is by German artist calling self Kungfuman.) 

Edge Culture, Sharper Literature

Announcement

A REMINDER that when we choose to we can push the edges of the usual, if not the acceptable, as far as anyone, due to our underground roots and DIY from-the-bottom viewpoint on all things cultural.

AS EXAMPLE we have our recently-posted feature story, “Cat Doctor” by mysterious on-the-arts-margins D.C. Miller, holding a mirror up to the clean and smug of today’s approved intellectual world.

THEN there’s our newly-placed book review of a new work by indie press figure Tony Nesca at our book chat blog.

FINALLY we have our ongoing Open Mic, with a reading of a striking poem by Brian Eckert along with other dynamic spoken word performances– with more to come.
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(Art: “Accolade” by Edmund Blair Leighton.)

Fiction: The Dating Game Part Two

Pop Lit Fiction

THE SECOND story in our look at today’s dating scene is a much darker animal: “Cat Doctor” by D.C. Miller. Ostensibly a response to The New Yorker‘s recent Kristen Roupenian story “Cat Person,” it’s more than that– it’s a look at the malaise of the West’s current intellectual class. People who believe in nothing– not even themselves. Whose ideological inanities, post-conceptual art and postmodern literature are an expression of nothing. Representations of the void at the center of their lives. A world in which the villains aren’t men or women, but everyone.

Appropriately, the story is set in Berlin, a city forever on the cutting edge of the end of Western civilization. Last stop before the nightmare of gotterdammerung and oblivion.

It was a catchy statement, and she liked it, but she wasnt certain where to take it, whether it was true or not, and even if it was, what it would imply. She heard the sound of someone sighing audibly, like an echo from another room, and for a moment felt confused, before she realized it was her.

edvard-munch-sjalusi-i-badet-(jealousy-in-the-bath)

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IN THE FACE of such a pessimistic, albeit truthful, examination of relations between men and women, of ideas and culture, we remain optimists. We believe the culture will turn over because it has to turn over– it’s at a dead end, with nowhere to go but to scrap the present and embrace another direction.
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(Featured painting: “The Night” by Max Beckmann. Other: “Sjalusi i Badet” by Edvard Munch.)

Fiction: The Dating Scene Part I

Pop Lit Fiction

WE BELIEVE the only way to find truth in this fallen world is to look at life three-dimensionally. Which means, observing an object, idea, or person from more than one vantage point.

When dealing with a complex topic– like men and women; like dating– it’s best to present more than one narrative on the subject. Otherwise you might be perceived to be taking sides, even when you’re not.

Oh, we know. That’s not how it’s done at places like The New Yorker, which gained rare attention for their moldering enterprise earlier this year when they published a short story about the dating scene. AS we’ve received a strong submission which might be a response to their tale (due here in a week)– and AS we’re unable to publish their story ourselves, New Pop Lit‘s Kathleen M. Crane was asked, as Contributing Editor, to contribute her own perspective on the pitfalls of dating. The result is “Red Panties and a Guitar.” We hope you’ll find it an entertaining take on the #MeToo movement.

I went home disgusted. How could I continue in a relationship with someone so obviously self-centered? . . . But I did continue.

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prideandprejudice

FAR AHEAD of her time in examining these issues– of men and women; of dating– was proto-Jungian author Jane Austen, whose profound insight was that things aren’t always as they seem– they might be the opposite of how they seem and what people believe them to be. In her best novel, Pride and Prejudice, the revelation is startling. The good guy shown to be bad guy– bad guy revealed as good guy. Slick libertine unmasked as pedophile, while the stoic snob everyone hates must ride, literally, to the rescue. Austen’s situations are surprisingly contemporary. Perhaps we’ve not changed as much, AS human beings, as we like to think.

Austen’s novels well illustrate New Pop Lit‘s beliefs about the three-dimensional viewpoint.
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(Art: “Still Life with Guitar” by Juan Gris.)

 

Fiction: Death, Dying, Grief

Pop Lit Fiction

READERS enjoy stories which deliver an emotional punch. This is not all that stories can do, but it’s one of the things stories can do.

It might take the writer 500 pages in a novel to deliver the impact. Or it might take a shorter time period– which is what the short story is about. Condensed emotion. Concentrated impact.

Our current story, “Racquetball” by Don Waitt, condenses many things into a small narrative space. Families, history, loss. Less can be more. Take a look.

“And I saw my Mom getting sucked into a black hole of despair. It was like looking into an old brick well filled with cold, dark swirling water being sucked into the bowels of the earth, and my Mom was in the middle of that water. And I knew that if I did not reach down and grab her hand and pull her up, she would be lost forever.”

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Be sure to check out New Pop Lit‘s Open Mic feature. Dan Nielsen is our current performer– with more spoken word to come, including from Brian Eckert and Philadelphia poetry legend Frank D. Walsh!

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(Painting: “Kosovo Maiden” by Uros Predic.)