The Gambling Game

Pop Lit Fiction

OUR LAST featured story was about chess. With our new feature we’re staying on the theme of strategy and challenge, with Alan Swyer’s “Shut Up and Deal,” an examination of the machinations behind high-level poker playing. It’s a story about protege and mentor. About novice and knowledge. About learning a skill in the face of mind games and chaos. In other words, it’s a metaphor for life!

Written in a fast “pop” style, the story matches the speed of the game– and the hyperbolic process a student must undergo to be a success. We hope you enjoy it!

Radiating old money, the card room was a world which few civilians ever got to experience. Yet in the midst of captains of industry and scions of prominent families sat Eddie, who was seemed to be regarded as somehow less than human.


(Art: “The Card Players” by Theo van Doesburg.)


Tanks Growing Like Flowers

Pop Lit Fiction

HAVE our smart phones detached us from the natural world? Has contemporary technology removed part of our feelings for others– objectification run amok? Is our humanity gone?

What’s the psychology of the male mind?

These are questions which might be asked after reading Chelsea Ruxer’s short story, “Tanks Growing Like Flowers.”

(What would Jerry Mander say about it?)

Fiction has the ability to raise questions about the world and ourselves. At its best, no art form is more relevant.

I listen as he explains how the world has evolved from a Hobbesian state of nature into a social contract which mirrors it, in which island on island crime is necessary and resources spontaneously regenerate. War is expected, and polite.