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.)
IN WHAT DIRECTION is poetry going? Is its future visual or audio? Or a combination of both?
WHICH of the many new poetry movements– flarf, sedserio, instapoetry, neo-modernist– will be able to sustain itself?
WE WILL be examining this question in more depth in future months– as well as re-examining the greatest poet of them all. “That is the question.” In the meantime we present as our feature two new works of visual poetry by Audrey Rhys. Two amazingly 2018 poems, the first about scholarship and the academy, the second about police and the seeming chaos of our world– or maybe it’s just in our minds. Hyper-intelligent poetry which makes you THINK! Read it.
FIRE, FIRST NAT’L BANK
OFFICER DOWN ON MAIN
WACO RERUNS, BRING A TANK
savor it in my brain
ALSO be sure to keep up on our ongoing and always-terrific Open Mic.
(Painting: “The Fortune Teller” by Jehan Georges Vibert.)
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
steams the kitchen
the tea kettles
the minced leaves
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!
(Painting: “The Knife Grinder” by Kazimir Malevich.)
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!
(Paintings: “Matterhorn” by Edward Theodore Compton; “Window with Orange Curtains” by Robert Delaunay.)