Unclassifiable Poetry

Poetry

BEWARE THE NICHE PEOPLE!

roger-de-la-fresnaye-the architect

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

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ON OTHER FRONTS, we have a book review of a short (four stories) short story collection by talented story writer Elizabeth Simsand:

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THE 3-D STORY

the bargeman fernand leger

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.
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(Art: “”Simultaneous Windows” by Robert Delaunay; “The Architect” by Roger de la Fresnaye; “The Bargeman” by Fernand Leger.)

 

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On the Poetry Front: “The Valley”

Poetry

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.

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(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.)

urizen blake
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(Art:  Mont Sainte Victoire by Paul Cezanne: bottom: “Urizen in Chains by William Blake.)

 

 

Art and the Artist

Essay, Feature, profile
NEW POP LIT GOES LOCAL

Our previous feature was by an esteemed international author. For this one we looked closer to home– presenting a unique work here by young Detroit-area writer Ambrose Black which is part profile of accomplished artist Leon Dickey and his work, and part imagination, as Ambrose enters the head of his subject to relate his background and complete his story.

The result becomes itself something like a modernist painting, with two different but complementary vantage points. Ambrose Black writes in an original style, reminiscent perhaps of Sherwood Anderson, but not really. He hasn’t been machine-stamped as from a press, and so views the world– and in this case, the artist– through fresh eyes.

The essay is in line with our stated objective for 2019: To search for the literary NEW.

He has to expose his truth to the world, for he is a creator. His truth is that one is in control of the self– the only judgment and choices one is responsible for is the self. His art is ironic to his truth, but purposefully and honestly. The trash he uses signifies his and our failures. But like a phoenix from the ashes, he uses the deconstruction to create something of beauty.

gaugin self

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(Art: “Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers” by Marc Chagall; “Self-Portrait” by Paul Gaugin.)

New Pop Lit Goes International

book review, Pop Lit Fiction

WE EXPECT New Pop Lit to eventually be a worldwide phenomenon, so we’re not averse to spotlighting writers from around the world. We’ve published or presented writers from UK, Germany, Poland, Canada, Malta, Italy, Belarus, Spain, Israel, Switzerland– and we’ve had readers on every continent, with the possible exception of Antarctica.

Today we present new fiction, “The Major,”  by renowned Russian author Vladimir Kozlov, translated by Andrea Gregovich. Worth reading for its realism but also to see what’s happening in other literary scenes.

“Well, I have evidence not only that you’ve seen it before, but that you were directly involved in its creation. Do you know what this is called?

“A comic book, I guess.”

“It’s called ‘spreading deliberately false fabrications to defame the Soviet state and social order.’ Article seventy-two of the Criminal Code for the BSSR. I can also pull up Article 58-10: ‘Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.’”
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BUT, at the same time we also present a New Pop Lit review of Mr. Kozlov’s entire new short story collection, 1987 and Other Stories, of which “The Major” is part.

ONLY at New Pop Lit. Always at the literary forefront.
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(Painting: “Blue Crest” by Wassily Kandinsky.)

New Fiction 2019

flash fiction, Pop Lit Fiction

WE LOOK for new writers with style and talent. Intelligence and verve. Personality and insight.

ONE WRITER with those qualities in multiples is Meeah Williams, who graces us with a short tale, “The Nose That Ate Cleveland.” This short piece is so good we took time out from our own literary experiments to feature it.

Read it!

I’ve been a lot of things to a lot of guys, but never a muse. It sounds so romantic but let me tell you, it’s not. The way they portray it in poems and stories, you do a lot of traipsing around from room to room, barefoot, in long flowing white gowns, your hair wreathed in flowers. In real life, it’s nothing of the sort.
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(Painting: “The Poor Fool” by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso.)

Enter the New Year

Announcement

In the first weeks of 2019 we’ll be on a relaxed schedule as we work behind the scenes to improve this project– as well as focusing on our own writing a bit as we experiment with new ways of crafting the short story. Looking for an elusive breakthrough. Knowing unless we find it, fiction will be stuck in a rut, and all literary sites like ours along with it.

Art NEEDS to change. Our literature NEEDS to be different– at least show variety away from  the same-old same-old.

The short story first. Then, poetry. Then, the novel. Then: the world?

globe

THE NEW POP LIT PROJECT IS FAR FROM OVER.

The Tale of the Christmas Bear (Reprise)

flash fiction

THREE MEN were having trouble lugging their packages across the desert from afar, and came across a depressed bear. Depressed because there wasn’t much to do for a bear in the desert. A bear in a desert? Anyway, the bear was feeling purposeless and alone, and didn’t know if he could “bear it” much longer.

“Why oh why oh why oh why?” he asked, in bear talk.

The three men saw the bear lying in the sand, moaning, with his paws over his head. The three looked at one another.

 “After all, it is Christmas,” one of them said, with a perplexed look in his eyes.

 “Yes, it is,” one of the other three said.

 “Yes!” said the third. “It truly is. It really really is.”

 He took his smartphone from his robes and looked at it. Yep, there it was. December 24th. Christmas Eve. Year 0000.

 “It’s decided then,” the three said simultaneously, and wondered that the three of them, each from a separate faraway land, had said the same thing.

So together in one voice they asked the despondent animal if he’d like to try “bearing” something useful– their heavy packages of gold, frankincense, and myrrh– to a destination in Bethlehem. The packages were in fact quite heavy and overburdening the camels. Encountering the bear was a fortunate occurrence. Almost miraculous. The bear gladly agreed, as the three men seemed particularly wise to him. He’d seen men before, who were not wise. Not wise at all. But these men were.

Night fell and a giant blazing star appeared in the sky, guiding them.

The little caravan continued on to Bethlehem until they found shepherds and animals congregated outside a tiny stable behind an inn. The three wise men strode in, bearing their gifts, while the bear quietly crept in behind them and took a place in the straw beside the other animals, who were first alarmed because, after all, he was a bear. But then they looked at the baby and weren’t alarmed at all.

From that day forward the bear was always forever more a happy bear.

THE END

1200px-Spectacled_Bear_-_Houston_Zoo

Merry Christmas from New Pop Lit!

-Karl Wenclas and Kathleen Marie Crane
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(Art: “Three Wise Men” by Leopold Kupelwieser.)

Form and the Short Story

Pop Lit Fiction

CRAFTING STORIES

In the new year we will begin a project aimed at revamping the short story. A feat which won’t happen overnight and which will consist of much focus on how stories are created and constructed. We’re based in metro Detroit and view the short story the way an automotive engineer looks at a car.

THE QUESTION: How can stories be improved? Changed? Rearranged?

FORM
A large part of the creation of any art is form. The routes taken of theme and plot, be it linear, circular, or other. Where does the tale begin? At which destination does the reader eventually arrive? What conclusion is drawn, revelation made, emotions aroused? When examining the short story, as a reader, writer, or critic, (or editor!) there’s much to think about.

TODAY we present as our feature a brilliant tale set amid the glamorous-but-deadly streets of historic Granada in Spain. A story which is also a model of form. “Ballad of the Virgin Pain” by Justin Fenech.

AN APT way we believe to wrap up our features of 2018– setting the stage (we hope) for an array of glamorous and exciting presentations to come.

When he went back inside the instruments of torture, big and small, seemed to take on a life of their own; the room swirled violently around him, the instruments seemed to be moving, no, he was moving, he caught glimpses of the rack, the torture chair, the executioner’s black hood, the skeleton broken on the wheel. . . .

Joaquín_Sorolla_Alhambra,_hall of the ambassadors(1909)

(Art: “Night Scene from the Inquisition” by Franciso Goya; “Hall of the Ambassadors, Alhambra” by Joaquin Sorolla.)

The Art of Literary Performance

Feature

WE SOMETIMES FORGET that literature began as a spoken art. Stories, epic poems, mythic tales– passed down in taverns or around campfires for millennia. Even Shakespeare, greatest writer of them all, was as much a spoken word actor as scribbling writer. Historians who’ve examined documents signed by the actual man have wondered how literate English literature’s biggest name actually was.

He was a performer! Reciting verse from a stage. Reveling in the joys of sounds, of language.

ALL of which means we plan to give increased attention to the spoken aspect of the literary art in the coming year. As preview we offer an amazing story told by high school student Fran-Claire Kinney at our Open Mic feature, “A Series of Sharp Cracks in Succession.” Amazing in that the short piece is powerful yet at the same time, concise. Reveling in its brevity, if you will. It’s worth a listen.

AS you do that, we’ll lay plans for other projects involving the human voice. Perhaps a Challenge of some sort– though we’re so practiced at public performance, even the recorded variety, no one may pick up the gauntlet when thrown. Stay tuned.

(Painting: “The Duel After the Masquerade” by Jean-Leon Gerome.)

Gourmet Poetry

Poetry

CONNOISSEUR’S POEMS?

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;

Traveling tools
Below jutted out,
Dull-pointed talons,
Weapons no doubt,

picasso pot wineglass and book
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(First painting “Glass on Table” by Georges Braque; second painting “Pot, Wineglass, and Book” by Pablo Picasso.)