The Birth of POP

Pop Lit Fiction

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.

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More Carnival Fun

Pop Fiction

IN LINE with the fun carnival vibe we’ve been following in anticipation of the March 3 release of our next print publication, we present today as featured story “Carnival Fun” by Jeremy Perry. Perry presents a vivid slice of old-fashioned Americana, a look at the experience of attending a small-town carnival– a precursor and reflection of our entire P.T. Barnum ballyhoo civilization full of life and color, grotesqueries and attractions. The story is entertaining yet conveys reality, even poignancy, regarding the characters and their experience. A terrific, deceptively subtle tale. We hope you enjoy it.

We traipsed down the makeshift hallway that was petitioned off with dark curtain barriers. Twenty feet in and to the right was Lizard Man. He moved around in a tall Plexiglas box. Mounted high in a corner was a flood light, and on the floor I saw a food dish with slices of fruit in it.On the far side was a log inclined against a boulder. He moved around slowly in his lizard habitat. He wore green Spandex shorts and like I said, the rest of him was tattooed and covered in green lizard skin. He came crawling over and stopped in front of the girl. His eyes locked-in on her. His head made snappy jerks, left, right, up, down, and his tongue flicked the air. He played the part well.

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(Art: “Pip and Flip” by Reginald Marsh; “Mermaid” by Fred G. Johnson.)

Virtual Insanity

Pop Lit Fiction

HAVE WE ALL LOST OUR MINDS?

ELECTRONIC MEDIA has graced us with bombardments of information coming at us from all directions, all sides, stimulating our curiosity at the same time making us believe we’re missing something if we don’t remain plugged in– and we’re all plugged in. The digital world, brilliantly described in Oliver Bennett‘s new short fiction piece, “On the Origin of An Event,” our newest feature. A descent into– ? You know the analogy.

he would wake up early, quickly dip into the news as he waited for the kettle to boil, then try to stay up to date on everything throughout the day, immersing himself in international relations on the toilet, taking a deep dive into the history of every major world power on the tube to work, and even the smaller countries in a brief lull between meetings, and he would wade through an article on finance while waiting for the office microwave to ping– credit swaps, interest rates, collateral debt obligations, inflation, deflation, stagflation…

We haven’t run many features this year, but they’ve all been terrific.

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Of course, the pandemic with its lockdowns and Zoom sessions has only accelerated the retreat from the actual.

IS there escape from the madness? A question we’ve begun exploring as we consider the future of this project and try to plot out what 2021 for us, and for everybody, will look like.

Enjoy the story!

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(Art: “The Unfortunate Land of Tyrol” by Franz Marc; “Stormtroopers” by Otto Dix.)

A Story: Poetry or Prose?

Pop Lit Fiction

FUSING FORMS

AS our last feature in April we present writing from rising young literary star Aaron H. Aceves which opens with a poem in the narrator’s head– then tells the story behind the poem. The story involves a woman, but is also about the setting. A club, in downtown Los Angeles, and the people occupying it– and the feeling evoked, within the narrator and inside us. 

A story? A poem? A painting? Read “The Look” and judge for yourself.

I watched her watching them for a while. I could have watched her all night long.

Long, shiny hair. Flawless skin. Winged eyeliner. A boyfriend.

I have a thing for unavailable women.

marc chagall the soldier drinks

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(Art: “L’Equipe de Cardiff” by Robert Delaunay; “The Soldier Drinks” by Marc Chagall.)

New Fiction: “Homecoming”

Pop Lit Fiction

JUST when you’ve had enough of summer and its heat, we come along with great summer reading set in Buffalo, New York, during the winter holidays. Snow! Cold! Blizzards!

The story is “Homecoming” by Michael Howard. It’s about a young woman returning home from sunny California during the Christmas season, encountering all the familiar warm faces and smells, but also something darker, lying wait inside the comfortable house. . . .

Lucy had the sensation that the room was growing smaller. She could feel her pulse thumping in her temples as she forced another smile and told him that it was nice of him to say so, but that they really should go back downstairs now. Her words didn’t seem to penetrate–

at dusk childe hassam

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(Paintings: “Murnau Burggrabenstrasse” by Wassily Kandinsky; “At Dusk” by Childe Hassam.)

 

New Stars of Literature

Poetry, Pop Lit Fiction

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!

Robert_Delaunay_-_Window_with_Orange_Curtains_-_1912_-_Private_collection

(Paintings: “Matterhorn” by Edward Theodore Compton; “Window with Orange Curtains” by Robert Delaunay.)