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.
(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.)
(Art: Mont Sainte Victoire by Paul Cezanne: bottom: “Urizen in Chains by William Blake.)
WE’RE not political but we try to be topical.
Tradition is under assault as never before. Will the foundations of our civilization be wiped from our computers, our minds, our memory banks? Our traditions and history, our institutions, are flawed, sure, as mankind is irrational and flawed. Many want us to start over with a blank slate. To wipe away all tradition, roots, past.
A lobotomy is a blank slate.
THESE musings prodded by our new featured poetry, In a Darkened Cathedral and Other Poems by Benjamin Welton. Thought-provoking poems for a contentious and thought-provoking time.
The priest, an old man, is in bed.
I am the only one left in a rotten pew.
The gray stone walls leak with black moisture.
ALSO, almost on topic is our latest New Pop Lit News post– an editorial on the emptiness of our post-truth age.
(Painting of St. Peter’s by Giovanni Paolo Panini.)
MORE MORE poetry poetry. We’ve been on a poetry kick of late. We continue it with three sparkling quick poems from Ohio poet James Croal Jackson, full of wry insight combined with slices of realism. Read them!
think of those
who have lost
steams the kitchen
the tea kettles
the minced leaves
DON’T FORGET also our ongoing Open Mic, smoky low-light venue of dynamic spoken word performed by today’s most fascinating and talented literary personalities. We’re at a short pause– the crowd is buzzing because next up are Dan Nielsen and Georgia Bellas, reading words while backed by the band Sugar Whiskey. Or maybe Dan and Georgia are Sugar Whiskey. We’ll find out!
(Painting: “The Knife Grinder” by Kazimir Malevich.)
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!
(Paintings: “Matterhorn” by Edward Theodore Compton; “Window with Orange Curtains” by Robert Delaunay.)