TODAY we present a slice-of-life story by Alex Law, “West Columbus,” about a young woman working as a stripper in a dive bar in a bleak neighborhood of that name. Life in America today? Is the story social commentary? Or merely a great short read?
Maybe it’s just literature— writing of rounded reality and depth which can encompass a number of meanings and viewpoints. Read it for yourself and see.
She ignores him. She isn’t afraid. His casual, daylight misogyny couldn’t be more boring. She lets the silence eat him alive. Bite by bite. Eventually his testosterone fades under the uncomfortable sideways glances from other passengers. He and his stink go away. Every bus Cadie has ever been on has men like this.
(Featured art: “Nude Woman Reading” by Robert Delaunay.)
CREATING THE NEW
We’re reinventing literary publications with innovations in writing and design, as seen in our latest print publication–
–the first genuine step toward a fully cubist/three-dimensional literary presentation combining words and art into a kaleidoscope of creation of a kind never before seen. Neo-modernism? Or: Neo-Pop?
Available at our POP SHOP.
Bold and readable, the future is upon us, NOW.
HELLO! Another long holiday weekend is upon us, so we’ve taken the opportunity to present a slice of July 4th fiction, coordinating with the currently-unpopular theme of patriotism. The story: “The Deserters” by New Pop Lit regular Nick Gallup, whose work never disappoints. Gallup’s story is a reminder that America, yes, has occasionally done a few things right– one of them taking on head-on that embodiment of villainy, the Nazi war machine. This tale gives us a glimpse of the all-crucial Battle of the Bulge– putting you right there. Worth a read.
His depleted company followed him as they merged with hundreds of others from their division as they headed towards St. Vith, Belgium. The dirt road was hard and icy, and guys kept slipping and falling. It was bitter cold, and they wrapped their green scarfs around their faces and pulled their wool overcoats tight against their bodies to ward off the furious winds whipping them with snow and sleet. Many of the men they met up with had either lost or abandoned their weapons, and they just slumped forward into the wind, walking as fast as they could to escape. Lappy couldn’t see their faces, but he could read the defeat and despair in their owl-sized eyes.
Art: “Breakfast in the Snow (Belgium)” by Robert N. Blair.
A NEW KIND OF PUBLICATION
The book is dead. Or at least, the word itself turns off more than half of the potential audience, because they associate it with word-clotted unexciting tomes packaged in volumes reeking of dust and stodginess.
Time to rethink the package– and the product itself. Which is what we do in our latest “zeen” journal/fanzine hybrid, Extreme Zeen 2. Worth a look for the adventurous. Buy it here. Try out the New– soon to be the NOW. (We’ll be surprised if upon receiving it you don’t say, “Wow!”)
Until then, read the story behind the publication, “The Story of Extreme Zeen.”
AN EXCITING NEW PUBLICATION
Our collective lives on this planet are defined by what we create. By the legacy we leave. What will that legacy be? Mediocrity?
At New Pop Lit we’re planting a marker in the culture saying, “No! Beauty and intelligence did not die in the decade of the 2020s. We know 1920s writers and artists were amazing. But so are we!”
Our newest publication, Extreme Zeen 2, is a demonstration of what future literary excitement can look like. A print lit journal whose words and colors jump off the page. Like nothing before seen.
Extreme Zeen– TWO! Available NOW at our POP SHOP.
WITH SUMMER upon us we thought it was time for a bout of light reading– in this case via Two Short Pop Pieces by Andrew Sacks.
Both pieces connect to pop culture experiences in the real world. The first essay is about the similarities between poker and chess– which were once the chief games for people in America to play (not video games!), and provided great brain training for future endeavors. Both games involve a high degree of skill and psychology, as Andrew discusses in his essay.
His second piece is about cult movies. Do teenagers still flock to midnight movies on weekends? Nothing better embodies the cinema experience– screaming or laughing with a crowd of fellow moviegoers. Andrew gives us a few of his favorites. One can watch them at home of course– as virtually everyone has done during the pandemic– but is it really the same?
Anyway, pop culture reading not to miss!
At first glance, it seems that chess is a contest of pure skill and iron logic, and that any gambling card game must, inherently, incorporate so much luck that skill must play a small part and compare unfavorably with the Royal Game. But, in the final analysis, this turns out to be an oversimplified and naïve point of view.
(Art: “Chess Players” by Henri Hayden; “Checkmate” by Moritz Retzsch.)
NEW FICTION ABOUT A PEAK PERIOD IN AMERICAN ART AND CULTURE
WITH glamorous historic names like Bob and Andy glimpsed on the streets of Manhattan in the early 1960s when culture was VIBRANT–
–everything changing artistically, everything visceral, real and exciting, how can any reader resist our new feature, “SOUP CAN” by Brian McVety?
The task for all of us today involved in some way with artistic and cultural creation is to grab that influence, that excitement, to imagine, construct, paint or write a peak period for our own day.
Jane turned to the second to last page, and showed me a picture of a man with who had what looked like ironed bleached-blond hair, severely parted towards the left, with dark, square-framed sunglasses hiding his eyes. The photograph stopped at the man’s midriff, only showing his tight short-sleeve shirt with hypnotic horizontal stripes making him appear like a mirage. Although his eyes were hidden, the expression on his face suggested he was revolted his picture was being taken, yet he almost appeared to be posing at the same time. I had never seen a man like him before in my life.
Yes, it’s cranky poetry, with a few shots at millennials– they can take it– but it’s also great poetry containing energy and rhythm, a delight in using words spouting them shouting them no matter who it enlightens or infuriates, which is what poetry has always been about. Not polite, you say? Impoliteness a small price to pay for passionate language. Read these words– Two Poems by Mather Schneider— and hear them echoing in your head.
For a shadow-being,
it’s bizarre how you know
everything about everything
to social media’s lower orders
smirking behind that sweet ironic
(By the way, Mather has an Op Ed– opinion column– about poetry in Literary Fan Magazine. Have you read it? Don’t miss out!)
(Art: “Ancient of Days” by William Blake.)
What makes a celebrity? A star? What gives the person a special allure? Distance, illusion, mystery?
This is a question explored in our new fiction feature, “Fanboy” by Alan Swyer, set in the alluring capitol of glamorous stars, Hollywood circa today.
Incidentally or ironically, Alan Swyer is one of the literary stars featured in New Pop Lit‘s own modest version of a Photoplay-like fanmag, namely, Literary Fan Magazine. Is it time to create a literary version of Hollywood? Maybe!
Meanwhile, read the story.
“Why today? If so much stuff’s been bugging you, why’ve you been holding it in?”
Allison frowned. “I reached a point where enough is enough. But know what bothers me most? Not your snoring, not that you put your feet on furniture, not even that half the time you seem oblivious. Want to know?”
(Both artworks by famed illustrator Rolf Armstrong.)
MANY GOOD STORIES are of the kind you admire for their plotting or their writing, colorful characters or sense of adventure.
Others challenge you, asking first, “What would you do?” They take you through several emotions then drop you back down to earth, a changed person.
Our new fiction feature is the latter: “Sorry For Your Loss” by Greg Golley. The story is not just excellent as a story, but as a metaphor for the changes, in lifestyle and emotion, we’ve all been through the past year. I’d like to think we’ve been changed for the better– deepened, put more in touch with our humanity– as the narrator in the story is changed.
Anyway, we hope you like it!
I seemed to be alone in the house. Soothed by the sound of the furnace kicking in and by the feel of warm slippers on my stocking feet, I opened the fridge to see what was there. I finally selected an IPA and ambled over to the window to admire my newly cleaned-up yard, wondering distantly how the whole dinner-with-Nathan question had been settled. Looking back, I can now appreciate these few thoughtless actions as my final moments of true innocence. What I saw when I looked into the backyard was my future – handed down to me like a sentence.
(Art: “The Good Samaritan” by Eugene Delacroix.)