OUR MARCH focus on poetry continues with a selection of striking verse, “Poetry by Warmoth” from rising literary star Kai Warmoth.
NOTE what Warmoth does with images and ideas in these four poems. You won’t see anything quite like it– Kai Warmoth is one of a number of young poets who’ve rejected mere unstructured narcissistic meanderings of a kind seen from scores or hundreds or thousands of follow-the-crowd literary journals and sites, for something deeper, more meaningful. Something unique. Poetry a tad more complex and deep than Instagram scribblings. All four of Warmoth’s poems bear re-reading. In fact, they demand it.
Try as I do to attend to Spring Snow
It doesn’t arrest like her eyes
Carved with rouge and streaked with coal.
And elbows crook’t atop the melanoid throw
Push your face to the skyward glow.
THE 3–D STORY
MEANWHILE, headway on the three-dimensional short story continues. This will be the biggest leap in the art since Hemingway. The concept’s been developed. The work now comes down to perfecting it via prototypes. Which means much trial and error. Which means throwing out standard writer selfishness to focus instead on what works, from the standpoint of readers.
Stay informed on our progress at our New Pop Lit News blog.
(Art: “Composition with Figures” by Lyubov Popova; “Electric Prism” by Sonia Delaunay.)
BEWARE THE NICHE PEOPLE!
WE’VE NOTICED that some literary people like to put other writers into a niche. Such as, “Exactly what kind of poet are you? Are you a flarf poet or an Instapoet or a beat poet, or a trad, or a lake poet, or Elizabethan or Edwardian, or maybe Victorian, modernist or hip-hop, or really, what kind of poet after all do you claim to be what box can we put you in how do we classify you, where can we put you to shorthand you, dismiss you, or otherwise find some way to short circuit our brains so we don’t have to THINK?”
(It’s a variation on labeling everyone according to party or politics: Wear the proper name tag and don’t ever switch sides or change beliefs.)
Which is a roundabout way of saying we have more poetry today, “‘That’ll do, Pig’ and Two Other Poems” by James D. Casey IV, who claims to write every kind of poem, and based on the evidence he’s provided, we believe him. Three poems. Hope you like them.
I’ve dreamt of hunting
vampires with Bukowski
and getting in barfights
with Hemingway and dodging
bats with Thompson and being
lost in the desert with Jim
ON OTHER FRONTS, we have a book review of a short (four stories) short story collection by talented story writer Elizabeth Sims— and:
THE 3-D STORY
WE CONTINUE to ask questions at our NPL News blog about whether or not the short story form needs to change– we strongly believe it does– as we lay the groundwork for the coming release of our solution: the Three-Dimensional Story. A lot going on.
(Art: “”Simultaneous Windows” by Robert Delaunay; “The Architect” by Roger de la Fresnaye; “The Bargeman” by Fernand Leger.)
WHILE our main focus for the first half of 2019 will be discussing how to remake the short story, we’ll continue to present, on occasion, significant new poetry.
Our mission at New Pop Lit is to find the best, develop the best, present the best in the best possible light and promote that presentation.
Toward that end we bring back poet C. A. Shoultz with “The Valley”— a foray into nature, into a forest devastated, devoured by civilization, but maybe not all the way. We trust you’ll enjoy the images, the cadences– and the punchline.
Without the roots of trees, the ground had run,
And had become a mass of bare brown mud.
I saw a twist of roots that had been pulled,
Now lying like some tangled corpses’ limbs.
(WE’LL be presenting much more poetry this month: from southern poet James D. Casey IV; from new talent Kai Warmoth; and last-but-not-least from iconic Philadelphia wordmaster Frank D. Walsh, who has every tool in the poet’s toolbox at his disposal. Will Frank’s work live up to his rep? We’ll find out.)
(Art: Mont Sainte Victoire by Paul Cezanne: bottom: “Urizen in Chains by William Blake.)
WE’VE BEEN DISCUSSING in another forum the idea of creating aesthetic effects. Memorable tweaks which make the literary meal, be it prose or poetry, a tastier experience.
Exemplifying this are Two Poems by Joyce Wheatley, which caught our attention because of the vividness of their images. One poem is about– or appears to be at the outset– a dinner. The other, about a turtle!
Experience them yourself, and see what you think.
Mud, slime and mold
patched over its dome,
Full-covered its back,
A pagoda shell home;
Below jutted out,
Weapons no doubt,
(First painting “Glass on Table” by Georges Braque; second painting “Pot, Wineglass, and Book” by Pablo Picasso.)
NEO-BEAT IN BOOKS AND POETRY
Cool, daddy-o. Like, wowsville, man. Dig it. Can the lip and cast an eyebrow at this.
THE LAST literary movement to become a phenomenon in the general culture, at least here in America, was the Beat movement created and popularized by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and many other luminaries. The movement, the look, the sound, the slang, became mythicized and satirized in movies, magazines, and television programs. It influenced a host of artistic people, including Bob Dylan and the Beatles. In addition to their own literary works, the Beats and their milieu became subplots in novels from mainstream authors– see Alison Lurie’s chronicle of California in the early Sixties, The Nowhere City. Not to mention usual suspects like Joan Didion and Norman Mailer.
IT’S STILL WITH US! As a current of authentic English-language culture, the Beat sensibility never left. It played a strong role in the zine scene of the 1990’s when the print underground was alive and all young writers striving for reality were self-publishing, free thinking and doing free form living.
Which brings us to our review of a new collection of the best underground writing NOW, Howls From the Underground: An Anthology from Screamin’ Skull Press. To know what’s taking place beneath the monolithic towers of the conglomerates you must read the review then purchase the anthology.
SIMULTANEOUSLY we present here new beat vibes from neo-Beat U.K. poet beat56. Get the bongos and fall in.
Full of codeine and dreams and poems
the poet soon finds that the world has not
blossomed yet and his flowers and ambrosia blooms
like a beautiful sunrise. . . .
ART presents perspectives.
New literary art at its best offers fresh perspectives– unique ways of viewing everyday reality. What poet A. J. Huffman does in “Fast Food Religion and Other Poems.” From dinosaurs to drive-thru windows, Huffman’s four poems display a range of insight, visuality, and commentary– each of them a puzzle or a painting waiting to be deciphered.
Imagination triggers transportation
to prehistoric jungle. A distant air-born
monster screams welcome!
(Art: “The Conversion of St. Augustine” by Fra Angelico; “Agathaumas” by Charles R. Knight.)
WE’RE not political but we try to be topical.
Tradition is under assault as never before. Will the foundations of our civilization be wiped from our computers, our minds, our memory banks? Our traditions and history, our institutions, are flawed, sure, as mankind is irrational and flawed. Many want us to start over with a blank slate. To wipe away all tradition, roots, past.
A lobotomy is a blank slate.
THESE musings prodded by our new featured poetry, In a Darkened Cathedral and Other Poems by Benjamin Welton. Thought-provoking poems for a contentious and thought-provoking time.
The priest, an old man, is in bed.
I am the only one left in a rotten pew.
The gray stone walls leak with black moisture.
ALSO, almost on topic is our latest New Pop Lit News post– an editorial on the emptiness of our post-truth age.
(Painting of St. Peter’s by Giovanni Paolo Panini.)
LABOR DAY in the United States is upon us! Traditionally, marking the end of summer. Of lazy days and magical nights during which anything can happen. To celebrate the soon-to-vanish season, we present “On Midsummer’s Night” by C.A. Shoultz— containing wisps of ghosts of night which themselves may disappear before we’ve fully experienced their call, their magic.
And then a child appeared to me–
Or not a child, for so he seemed
Much older than he looked to be.
He handed me a crimson mask.
“For life and love,” he said, so free–
I shrugged, and put the red mask on,
And through the woods was further drawn.
ALSO– Labor Day means the return of classes and students to colleges across the land. Will the reintroduction of one of America’s most renowned writers, Junot Diaz, to the public world as a professor at MIT go smoothly? We’ve covered the controversy all summer at our NPL News site. Here’s background on the issue.
FINALLY, we introduce our Complaint Department. Have a problem with ourselves, our site, or our ideas? Let us know about it! Thanks.
(Main painting by Ferdinand du Puigaudeau; second painting by John Simmons.)
Poems about strange creatures? Summer is a time for the appearance of strange creatures– but are they creatures of our imaginations or the world? Shadows of night, of nature– or the otherworldly?
KEEPING an occasional fun aspect to this project, today we present three poems by Richard Stevenson, something of an eccentric but entertaining and subtly meaningful poet. (He’s a former professor, what do you expect?) Take a look.
Unrecorded species of orangutan,
survivor from the Pleistocene perhaps,
a small man-size hominid in any case.
But not prone to violence or aggression —
at least not so much as homo sapiens,
ALSO, we have a ton of literary world investigations, revelations, and gossip at our NPL NEWS blog– with much more coming. Can’t-miss information for writers and readers alike.
(Art: “St. George and the Dragon” by Paolo Uccello.)
WHAT do you want to read in the summer? What would anyone want to read right now? No one is snowbound, locked in a cabin with harsh wind whistling. More like lazy sunshine, seagulls and daydreams.
This ISN’T the time for heavy texts of French postmodern meanderings. (Nothing against the French!) It’s a time for escape, romance, and mood.
We present a taste of that mood with “The Dancer,” a poem by C.A. Shoultz.
The shadows and the glow upon her fell
In fitful swells and motions as she moved
In regular and tidy leaps and bounds
And pirouettes and arabesques of grace.
We aim to be THE best literary site. The quickest route there is by presenting the best poets and story writers. We invite you to join along.
(Art: “Woman Before the Rising Sun” by Caspar David Friedrich; “Streetlamp” by Giacomo Balla.)