WE TAKE A BREAK from our fiction experiments in the New Pop Lit laboratories to present Three New Poems by a poetic practitioner from Pennsylvania, Luke Kuzmish. The poems touch on subjects as diverse as drug use, Charles Bukowski and Wall Street. (A Wall Street bar, but still.) We hope you enjoy them.
the kind of pills
to fix the problems
they don’t tell you about
in welfare rehabs
(Art: “Painting” by Patrick Henry Bruce.)
AMID the flurries of ideology and politics bombarding us from all sides on a daily-no-hourly basis, we’d like to emphasize that for us (for all we know only for us) nothing matters in the realm of letters but the quality and passion of the ART. All the ideological intellectual political debates and hates raging to and fro mean nothing in the face of the reality of art.
It’s with this mindset that we offer an incredible reading– captured on video– by arts writer and poet D.C. Miller: “My Behaviour.” Available now at our Open Mic feature. Intelligence combined with passion. To be able to present such moments is what makes this modest project worthwhile.
(REMINDER: The 3–D Short Story debuts at this site June 6. Don’t miss it!)
(Art: “Visions of the Knight Tondal” by Simon Marmion.)
WELCOME! Did someone say National Poetry Month?
We’ve taken a break from behind-the-scenes activities to post new writing in honor of Poetry Month. (Though to be honest, every month is Poetry Month.) Check out “The Ginger Man and Other Poems” by Jess Mize, a natural talent who can write anything– poetry, prose, or any combination thereof– and make it look easy.
Tell yourself you’re doing your part to support National Poetry Month.
the tentative restless drops drip-drazzling
over the patio umbrella of the café
like the luxury of a mid-day shower
3–D IS Coming
(Meanwhile, we continue to work hard chiseling prototypes for the biggest change the literary world has experienced in decades– the 3–D Short Story. Stay updated at our New Pop Lit News page.)
(Featured art: “Eagle Bringing Cup to Psyche” by Benjamin West.)
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.)