Detroit Meets New York

Pop Lit Fiction

We could call this week’s feature “Portrait of a Young Detroit Guitarist.” We’re privileged to run excerpts from an exciting new novel by a New York City photographer. “Frisky Moser” (his pen name) was once in a Detroit rock band, and has now penned a fictionalized-and-fresh version of events, “Jack Strat and His Baby Blues.”

Lately there’s been an influx of talented New Yorkers– artists, entrepreneurs, edge-seekers– into Detroit, as the Motor City continues its comeback. The aptly-named Frisky is evidence it’s a two-way interchange.

She started putting on makeup, mostly working her lashes and lips, checking me out as I was sitting on the couch with my guitar in my lap. I could see her stealing glances at me in the mirror. We were alone.
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Art: “Harlequin with Guitar 1919” by Juan Gris.
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With the fiction and at our Features page you’ll find actual photos of Jack– and his boots.
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(Also keep up-to-date with the All-Time American Writers Tournament.)

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Poetry Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Announcement

We’re serious about moving in a strong way into the genre of poetry. The classic art has been marginalized by the academy; kept alive by hip-hop and open mics. As always, we aim for a fusion of the two types.

POETRY YESTERDAY

October 17 is the birthday of Sylvia Plath, whose dark vision in its mix of craft and passion in the last years of her life was a high point of American poetry. After her death, the form abandoned its sense of music and euphony.

An exception to this abandonment happened in Liverpool, England in the early 1960’s. We’ve discovered a pop poetry movement centered in that industrial city– at the same time a group of moptop musicians began making waves with a unique brand of pop music. We’ll have a report on this, upcoming.

POETRY TODAY

At our News blog, we take an entertaining glance at the five poets named last week as finalists for the National Book Award for Poetry. In fact, we grade them.

What’s our reaction to the Nobel Prize for Literature award to Bob Dylan? To us, it shows the failure of today’s poets to connect meaningfully with the general public– creating a vacuum which has been filled the past fifty years by popular troubadors like Bob Dylan. We say, give us not Bob Dylan but another Dylan Thomas!

POETRY TOMORROW

Our fledgling Fun Pop Poetry feature is a beginning, only that, to a true poetry revival– making the art accessible to everybody.

For a more serious version of pop poetry, in one week we’ll feature several poems from one of the best young poets we’ve seen– proving to us the future of poetry is very bright. Stay tuned to this literary station!

 

Prince and the Populist Moment

Essay

AS we weren’t able to get anything from our pipeline ready in time to post today, I’ve knocked out a quick essay I believe is timely.

It also addresses a thought which has been in my head of late– that we have to stop dividing ourselves. Naïve? Maybe. In this tumultuous year of 2016, too many of us treat ideology like religion. We put party and identity before country. We’re unable to compromise on anything.

Pop is populism, but how do we define that?

Rock at its outset was a populist outbreak. It was scorned by politicians, intellectuals and the academy, who are always five steps behind the times.

K.W.