Sunday, July 24, 2011

Death of a Pop Star


Amy Winehouse should be remembered for kicking off one of the few interesting pop music trends of the last ten years, the British-based Motown-influenced Girl Soul revival. Talents like Duffy and Adele owe Winehouse a large debt.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Styles of Pop Lit


FUN POP: Upbeat and entertaining.

PULP POP: Lurid, melodramatic, and violent.

EMO POP: Sensitive pop.

ART POP: Pop like a painting.

BEAT POP: Pop with Beat language.

Commonalities? Simplicity and a stress on plot.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dynamic Literature

I heard someone on the radio last night say that China is the most dynamic society on the planet. I take dynamic to mean fluid, innovative, changing, new-- with all the excitement that comes with such.

For a very long time America was that kind of place, including in the literary world.

American literature could become what American pop music was in the late 50's-- a fun, populist happening which caught the imagination of the world.

Why not?

(Buy the ebook Ten Pop Stories NOW at Amazon's Kindle Store,
or as a Nook Book at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Help Save Eric Broomfield the Writer

Do you want new American writing in the Kerouac tradition which depicts and is part of carny-Barnum-ballyhoo Americana?

At my personal blog-- which I've been intending to shut down but never get around to--
--I've been covering the tough circumstances of Eric Broomfield, aka Jellyboy the Clown. Eric was a key player in many historic events of the Underground Literary Alliance, including the 2006 Miller Hall/Columbia University "Howl" reading crash.

Now Eric fights for his life, on a respirator in a New York City hospital after being caught in a Queens fire.

His writing is now available via an ebook, at

Publisher Jeff Potter has generously agreed to give all proceeds of sales of this ebook toward Eric's hospital bills-- even if it means sending Eric or Eric's brother cash. Needless to say, Eric has no health insurance.

As important, you'll find Eric to be quite an entertaining writer. An undergrounder worth keeping around.

Buy your copy now!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Choice Is Yours


Jonathan Franzen's stuffy novel Freedom is selling for $28. Henry Kissinger's stuffier On China is selling for $36. The not-at-all stuffy ebook Ten Pop Stories is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for a mere 99 cents. An easy decision.                                        

Saturday, July 16, 2011

All About Ten Pop Stories


Hyperbole? Sure. But the short and simple tales collected in Ten Pop Stories are set among the here and now, amid a diverse collection of folks from high to low. My objective was to create fiction as simple and clear as a hit pop song, hopefully with each work having a "kick" to it. Whether I succeeded with all of them or any of them is for you to judge. The price makes the collection strictly a low-risk gamble. The upside is discovering the new-- an alternative path for what has become over the past several decades a dead art form.

How do we revive the short story form?

We do it first with tales that are simple and fun. With that foundation, and holding to that foundation, we can build in meaning and complexity while retaining a superstructure of pop clarity.

Here then are short descriptions of the Ten:

The H Group
A terrorist's bomb explodes on an airliner over the Atlantic.

Strange Mummer Creatures of Philadelphia
What or who are the Mummers? Why do they celebrate? Will Maggie the Mummer find her lost Mummer love?

Saturday Night in Detroit
A hectic car chase through the violent streets of Detroit.

The Machine
A young writer takes a job in a mysterious office building.

Elvis Meets Frankenstein
A legendary happening in the life of America's greatest folk hero.

The Red Door
Fast-paced adventure as an American Marine is trapped in a deadly maze.

The Strange Case of Mr. Box
A masked vigilante arrives in a troubled east coast city.

Fake Face Meets Senator Crupt
The cynical gangster Fake Face encounters a man even more evil than himself.

The search for a missing heiress leads to mayhem along the Detroit River.

Bohemian Wedding
A mismatched couple prepares to jump into matrimony.

Quite a lot going on! You get your money's worth.

Purchase the ebook now as a Nook Book at Barnes & Noble, or at the Kindle Store at Amazon. The future of the American short story is here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tournament Break


With the dog days of summer upon us, the American Writer Tournament is on hiatus. After all, some of the writers involved-- Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman, and Company-- are by now quite aged! ("A mere pup," Ernest Hemingway has been saying about himself. "Compared to them I'm a mere pup!") We don't want these giants melting in the heat.

The break will allow me to focus on my ebooks, as well as on promoting the pop literary idea-- defining and refining the idea against the pop lit fakirs. My next ebook, Mood Detroit, will be out shortly, followed by a non-fiction book which may or may not critically examine the literary hipster scene.

When the Tournament returns, I'll announce the remaining participants, as well as a format for the actual "games." I'll then focus my time on the Tournament exclusively.

Don't stop reading! A lot will be happening.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

POP Lit at Amazon!

The new ebook, Ten Pop Stories, is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store. See
Keep in mind this is merely my first pop lit ebook. The emphasis is on keeping things simple. I’ll take things another step in my next release, due shortly, which will focus on the tragic city of Detroit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pseudo-Pop, Pseudo-Intellectual

I note that the slimy literary character Tao Lin has adopted the "pop" appellation for a new site of his, Pop Serial or other. Tao Lin is the ultimate trend-spotter bandwagon jumper. That this lit hustler sees value in the pop name and the pop idea-- no matter how inaptly he matches the name himself-- is a sign, I guess?, that I'm on the right track.

But please, skip the pseudo-pop and go for the genuine article.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What Makes a Great Writer?

I find it interesting that two of the most intelligent and imaginative of American writers, Ayn Rand and Isaac Asimov, had similar backgrounds. Both were of Jewish heritage, were born in the Soviet Union, and immigrated with their parents to the United States. I wonder if the experience of two large but very different civilizations, the culture clash, in some way expanded their brains.

What makes a great writer? Is it experience of the world? Herman Melville on his sea voyages? Or something else?