Poetry and More Poetry


Poetry enthusiasts take note! We’ll be devoting much of the next few weeks to the art of poetry, presenting work from poets expert at the art. We don’t believe just anybody can write great poetry– it takes knowledge of the craft as well as sensitivity to echoes of the world. Our selections will, we hope, demonstrate this.

We start our poetic journey with Three Poems by John Zedolik.

Brother wine will accompany me
into a deep red evening, hours of elevation
above the average plain, a tethered balloon
from which to look down upon my usual self
—not in disdain—only a note of amusement

(NOTE: We’ve already published a Sneak Preview of John Zedolik’s oeuvre at our Fast Pop Lit site, here.)

Which Way AI?


The question remains, several months into the introduction of ChatGPT: What will be the impact of the new technology upon today’s literary scene?

Botbooks have already begun to flood onto Amazon and other book and literature outlets. Quality of the offerings to date has been lacking, to say the least. Those who believe they can create something adequate or excellent with their prompts will likely be lost amid the mass mob of bot-generated trash.

New Pop Lit has been at the forefront of those engaging in pushback against the plutocrat-funded, piracy-fueled change.

FIRST, our “Save the Writer!” petition has hit 1,000 names– not bad for an effort backed by no institutions, ideologues, or prominent personalities. Only by everyday artists and writers. Please sign, if you haven’t already.

SECOND, we’ve begun a new blog, in some ways a new site– Fast Pop Lit— with which we can post ideas and arguments, creativity and satire, faster, to keep up with the speed of change but also to offer an actual difference, not just from bot work but also from other literary alternatives. Think Substack, refuge of established writers, whose writings are too long for an online environment– especially phones– and most (not all) of whose offerings are absolutely boring.

We seek to present with Fast Pop an underground sanctuary from the mass-packed jammed-together gray bleak city of choices– like a cool dark underground coffeeshop: small, artsy, and strikingly different from aboveground insanity. Which, let’s face it, is swiftly being taken over by bot people, like an influx of zombies.

Latest post: a poetic Sneak Preview of our next NPL feature.

Then after that will be satire. Remember, it’ll come fast. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Atmospheric Pop

Pop Lit Fiction

WE NOW have a second example of actual creative writing up at our new Fast Pop Lit site– “What Happened at Drake’s” by aptly named Lukas Tallent.

The idea: presenting an aesthetic of mood and style. We believe this short fictional piece accomplishes that: Drinks, a restaurant, nighttime.

Click on and plunge in.

There were fireworks in their eyes, and smoke from their mouths hovered visibly in the room. They both had drinks, brightly-colored and in tall fizzy glasses. He was talking to her, and she was leaning forward, her arms on the table, taken it seemed. The others in the bar were lost in their own dramas and excuses and relaxers and sports games. . . .

>> << >> <<

PETITION UPDATE: We’re over the 900 mark with the “Save the Writer!” petition calling for labeling of AI-generated bot books. Not bad for an effort backed by no big names or established institutions. The signers: everyday writers and artists. Those who’ll be most harmed by the mad rush of tech plutocrats to disrupt the arts.

Crazy New Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

While we have much going on with this project, including a petition against Artificial Intelligence and the beginnings of a new site designed to compete with this one, today we provide an interlude with an entertaining new short story: “Yak… Yak… Yak…” by David Sheskin.

We asked ourselves: “Can we find a short story unpredictable enough in every aspect of its plot that no chatbot could ever copy, preempt or prompt it?”

As we were pondering this, David Sheskin’s story appeared in our Inbox.

We can’t give away too much, other than the story is mostly– though not exclusively– set in a classroom, and involves a college professor.

Is it an accurate depiction of college professors?

We’ve known some eccentric ones, so we won’t ponder that. We only hope you read the story and enjoy it.

It is hard for me to imagine how they can be so bold. Both of them are barely passing my course and today I am discussing linear equations, a topic I have promised will be dealt with in detail on the next test. But somehow these two don’t care. Or perhaps they do, and the reason they continue to chatter is that they share a common delusion — that certain college professors, specifically one Vernon Yam, don’t give ladies who attend class anything below a C in their course, even if the parties in question happen to be babblers.

The Launch of Fast Pop Lit


Hello! Today, April 27, 2023, we announce the launch of a new literary site intended as our “botkiller” response to botbooks and AI-created poems and stories– but also as an alternative to the established alternatives to the bots and other mass-produced offerings. Meaning, the stagnant New York-London-centered status quo, which has lost all sense of connecting with ordinary readers (not to mention current non-readers) as long as they please themselves in their endless self-congratulatory “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” backslaps of how important they are, if not compelling or exciting.

We’re out to connect with EVERYBODY. Our objective with Fast Pop Lit is to provide a literary thrill ride of fiction, poetry, opinions, analysis, and surprises. We hope to provoke reaction– if such a thing be possible in the sleepy-bordering-on-comatose world of letters.


We launch the site with Two Prose Poems by Brian Pilling. DON’T MISS THEM!

(Also, please sign the “Save the Writer” petition, if you haven’t already. Thanks!)

New York City Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

TODAY we offer a slice of New York City, via a very cool and quick short story, “Unstuck” by Kate Faigen.

The so-called Big Apple remains one of the most fascinating cities on the planet due to a host of characters all jammed together amid shops, skyscrapers, subways, mad traffic, culture, parks, and a smattering of confused sightseers overwhelmed by the experience.

GRANTED, not enough New York, or at least Manhattan, writers have signed the petition to “Save the Writer” from the onslaught of chatbots– the Bronx is better represented than Manhattan!– and our eventual plan is to move the center of American literary culture outside the city of concrete canyons. Nonetheless we present a classic-style tale, a yarn, the kind of quirky narrative told around a campfire– or under a streetlamp to enthralled listeners in urban neighborhoods like those in the Bronx– and we trust you’ll like it.

Today in Central Park I clocked the fourteenth weirdest thing I’d seen all day, which is no small title. A man rolled his eyes so hard that they got stuck. Right up there toward the sky like a rocket frozen in launch.


BY THE WAY, if you care or dare to sign the aforementioned petition, you can do it here. We thank you and thank everyone else who’ve appended a name or pseudonym or gone anonymous on the list to help protect writers and inform readers about plutocrat-enriching electricity-draining botbooks.

Human Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

WITH IMMENSE CHANGE happening or about to happen at all levels of the literary and publishing worlds with the advent of A.I.-generated texts, at New Pop Lit we’re thinking about what’s important in our modest project. What do we wish to say or accomplish in coming months?

MOST IMPORTANT for us is the ideal of human creativity. Publishing the very best fiction and poetry– which we’ve been doing– while exploring new ideas of deep learning of human beings instead of deep learning of machines. Ideas counter to those of plutocrats pumping billions of dollars into ever-more advanced, ever-more insane technologies.

OUR LATEST example of excellent fiction not generated by bots is our new feature, “The View from a Window of the House on the Embankment” by Mark Marchenko. A story about the old Soviet Union– its author calls it “an alternative history fiction piece”– but maybe also a story about today. We hope you like it.

When the knock came at the door, Georgy was standing with his hands at the windowsill, gazing out of the window. Grey sky hung over Moscow. Before his eyes was ground covered with autumn splashes of orange and red, the square that was named after Repin (it was in 1958 when the monument to Ilya Repin, a Russian realist painter, was built on Bolotnaya Square; in 1962 the square was renamed Repin Square) just a couple of months ago, withered grass awaiting the first snow, a band of water, and the walls of the Kremlin. A river, slow, almost black, under his feet.


(ALSO, the “Save the Writer!” petition calling for labeling of A.I.-generated books– a modest ask– is ongoing. Please read and consider signing. 441 readers and writers have done so to date. Thanks!)

Writer Activism?


FOR ALL THE TALK of American literature today being heavily politicized, the results have manifested themselves– in stories, poems, and novels– chiefly in personal, solipsistic ways. Focus on the individual more than society. (See alt lit and autofiction.) Absent are sweeping novels or poems which encompass the broader world– whether like The Octopus by Frank Norris on the left, or Atlas Shrugged from Ayn Rand on the libertarian right. Or poems like “Thou Shalt Not Kill” by Kenneth Rexroth, or “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg.

Absent as well is a writer with the platform, credibility, and strong voice of an Emile Zola who proclaimed, “J’Accuse!” about the Dreyfus case.

WE’VE noticed even with our modest “Save the Writer!” petition a marked hesitation from writers, editors, critics, professors, and other literary people when one would think all would be on board for the modest ask that readers be notified, with brief statements on an inside page, when books are A.I.-generated.

We’ve asked a few of this nation’s most prominent authors (we won’t name them), to join our campaign, hoping to find an Emile Zola or Salman Rushdie among them. So far: Silence.


The direct opposite of a bot-generated writer was the Bard, William Shakespeare– as is described in a new post, “Shakespeare and Creativity,” at New Pop Lit’s News blog. Please read it and see what you think.

ALSO big thanks to all who’ve signed the petition to date!

Has the Tech Bubble Peaked?


Talk about perfect timing! Two days after we began our pushback petition against the A.I. ChatGPT chatbot onslaught, Silicon Valley’s key bank for tech money collapsed. Did they receive word that not everybody on the planet was buying into their latest scam iteration of mad technology? Maybe!

The purpose of chatbots? Encapsulated in a single word: MONEY.

Anyway, please sign the petition, if you haven’t already. Its goal is to protect readers and writers. You can check a box to be listed anonymously if you like. Thanks!

MEANWHILE, our feature poetry from Toronto writer-musician Tom Preisler is still “Top of the Pop” for us. Read it here.

Then stay tuned for other exciting pop-lit happenings!

Save the Writer Campaign


Are writers an endangered species?

You wouldn’t think so, based on how many of us there are. But the writer has become devalued in this society. “Oh, you write?” or, “You’re a writer?”– accompanied by expressions of disbelief, dismissal, and scorn.

We’re out to change that! FIRST, by fending off the assault of billionaire-generated fake writer-substitutes c/o A.I. devices whose purpose is to make further $$$ for their plutocratic proponents by wiping out writers as a class, while flooding the market with inferior books and articles.

To promote clarity about what’s happening, we’ve begun a “Save the Writer!” petition asking for proper labeling about A.I. content. Not much of a pushback, but the minimum. A start. Please read and sign!

SECOND, we continue to develop, behind-the-scenes, new kinds of literary products. We’re not against technology– we just happen to believe words, sentences, literature are also a complex technology. The original tech, one might say.

We also believe in human deep learning, instead of billions of dollars pumped solely into deep learning of machines!

Much to come.