Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Philly Blog

I have a new Philly blog, which may or may not become the new place for my Philadelphia comments-- "Philly Zeen!" Its intent is to be a place to portray and promote a variety of Philadelphia happenings. Please check it out at

Thanks! Go Phils!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bouffant Philadelphia

The bouffant hairdo is back! At least as seen on attractive young ladies on the streets of Philadelphia. Maybe the coolest hairstyle for women ever. I hear there's even a bar in Philly, the Barbary on Frankford Avenue, which features a "Bouffant Bangout" night with classic surf and psych tunes from the 60's. Great stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mailboxes Are Vanishing

All over Philadelphia, U.S. Postal Service mailboxes are vanishing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tracking the Wild Phanatic

IN THE INTEREST OF SCIENCE I’ve been chasing down all appearances of the rare and notoriously wild “Phanatic” species in this city. Though one has yet to be credibly spotted outside Philadelphia, they’re apparently breeding/multiplying within these environs. I’ve photographed several, and will soon enough post those photos on this blog as proof. Phanatics are known to have a love of hotdogs, baseball, and the City of Brotherly Love. They are large, furry, somewhat goofy looking and usually green in color. Please report all sightings and/or encounters with this animal to this blog, so I can follow up.

CAUTION: Phanatics are known to be boisterous but gentle creatures, but can become hostile in the presence of New York Yankees logos. If you see a Phanatic—especially if you confront one face-to-face—to ensure your safety repeat over and over, “Go Phils! Go Phils! Go Phils!”

Monday, April 5, 2010

Experimental Dead End

Last week at Liberty Place and the Kimmel Center were appearances of something called "Man vs. Machine"-- a performance of the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Spalding, together with Partiall Artificial Musicians. From what I saw of it, the result was horrendous. Memories of the recent movie "Untitled" flashed through my head.

The project is a typical intelligentsia attempt to revive a moribund art. The same thing occurs in literature. An art form isn't connecting with the public, so they move farther AWAY from that public while attempting to engage it. Inept cluelessness. The intellectual placed over humanity, emotion, and art.

Monday, March 29, 2010

American Pop Lit Will Conquer the World

After it first conquers Philadelphia. Coming soon enough-- exciting new products and writers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rittenhouse Musicians

RATING current Rittenhouse Square street musicians playing for the lunchtime crowd:
-The guitar-wielding goatteed folk singer is much better than last year, when he was afraid to belt his songs out, and was frankly embarrassing.
-The flute guy is horrendous. He's got to go.
One man's opinion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Big Lit Show

I'm told there's an explosive lit event upcoming at South Philly's famous Dive Bar promising to blow the doors off the place. By repute, it's way better than the tame literary fare being presented at the Free Library on the Parkway. How does one rescue literature? By giving people excitement-- breaking the stale lit-reading stereotype.

Here are the details:
"Toiling in Obscurity."
The Dive Bar
947 East Passyunk Avenue
Friday 3/26/10 at 7 pm.

Organizer Jaime Fountaine presents dynamic readings from:
Christian TeBordo
poet Justin Audia
Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum
Blaise Fountaine
and Jaime, along with songs by
Emily and Micah McGraw.

The flavor of South Philadelphia? Find out!
For more info contact Jaime at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Carmina Burana!

The Pennsylvania Ballet's "Carmina Burana" is the ultimate artistic experience. No one does it better. It is-- mind-blowing. I was very fortunate to grab a last minute ticket to Friday night's performance at the Academy of Music.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Philly Art First!

Notice that the Free Library of Philadelphia is giving a ton of free publicity to a film, "Waltz with Bashir," which wasn't made in America, much less in Philadelphia. It's the Library's "One Film" to focus on this year, part of their "One Book, One Philadelphia" program.

Their recent choices for both film and book deal with the Mideast. They seem like extensions of U.S. foreign policy. Are there no stories in Philly to cover? No Philadelphia filmmakers or writers?

This is one more example that the Free Library is a high-up institution which ignores the city's own writers and artists-- instead acting to serve the needs of media monopolies and the local plutocracy.

At the same time plans continue to build a hyper-expensive new Parkway Library. (To hold more elegant soirees?) As neighborhood branch libraries are regularly closed for "staff shortages."

The poor get poorer while the rich get everything.

Life in America today.

(For more info on "One Film" see

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What Is a Pop Short Story?

A Summary for Potential Contributors to
Think of an early Beatles song. A pop story is tight, well-structured, and basic, with impact. Plot-driven or character-driven. Make it strong and keep it simple. A pop story is NOT pretentiously literary. It's written not for a writing professor, but for the reader-- any reader. This means no "well-layered" or "well-detailed" prose to hinder the connection between narrative and reader. Remember, you're telling a story. The story is all. This doesn't mean you can't at the same time evoke time and place. Read the work of George Simenon and see how he does it. A few daubs of paint will bring from readers their own memories of images, smells, and tastes. There are many styles of literary pop. F. Scott Fitxgerald was the ultimate pop writer. His style seems minimalist compared to the overwrought literary works of today. Fitzgerald was the greatest stylist of them all. Dumas was pure pop, but he wrote novels. Edgar Allan Poe, R.L. Stevenson, Jack London, and O. Henry wrote different kinds of short pop fiction. All were very good. One-hit wonders like "The Most Dangerous Game" and "The Lady or the Tiger?" were pure pop. In short, send your "serious" writing elsewhere. See if you have the imagination and the discipline to do great pop, which is what I'm after. (A writer with talent should be able to write both.) Provide works of surprise and wonder and we'll recapture an audience.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Eternal Senator

"Fake Face Meets Senator Crupt"--
Now Up at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who Are the Pop Stars?

Who are America's underground literary pop stars? (Or pop literary stars.) I'm talking about undergrounders who write some species of art-pop short fiction-- and write it well. Who are they?

Well, there's me of course. There's Wred Fright. There's Ann Sterzinger, whose writing is always over-the-top enough to qualify as literary pop art. Possibly Tom Hendricks on occasion as well.

Who else? Let me know!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


The current weather in Philly reminds me of a Michigan winter. Makes me feel right at home!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Opponent for Fake Face?

I have several possibilities as opponents to my new character, murderous gangleader Fake Face, at the Pop Lit blog
Which should I go with?
Here are the choices.
Rival to Fake Face in pure evil.
2.) BIG BOY.
Ex-cop, nephew and pawn of long-time Disrict Attorney who hates Fake Face.
3.) CARNY.
Leader of gang of circus freaks controling a chunk of city territory which Fake Face wants.
Rapper gangleader out to destroy Fake Face.
Out to seduce and snare Fake Face in order to take over city herself.
PLEASE PUT YOUR CHOICE, anonymously or not, here at Comments.
It takes fifteen seconds.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Philly Independence

Philadelphia will never become a literary center in America until it creates and asserts its own literary identity and ceases to be dominated by the mandarins and monopolists of New York. Right now many of the writers and most of the literary power centers (see Free Library) are completely under the thumb, mentally and psychologically, of the New York machine mindset.

Philly writers need to change their servant-to-the-status-quo mentality. Soon, a pillar of the media machine will be based in our town. The cultural ground is shifting. THOSE WRITERS who don't see Philadelphia as a center equal to New York-- a newer and better center-- will miss the future.

I'm doing my part by establishing Philly as home base of a retooled short story art, beginning with the "American Pop Lit" blog at

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overdog Cities

ON THE EAST COAST in trendy neighborhoods one senses the difference between intellectuals here-- narcissistic poofs-- and those in Detroit. Many in the east seem more like chic Europeans than Americans. It's true: too much of today's U.S. literary scene is badly out of touch with this country. There's much delicacy present but not enough red-blooded American writing.

My aim is to put the American back in American literature.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pop Stories

See my new blog, "American Pop Lit" at

home of the new pop short story.

Note: For the new blog I'm LOOKING FOR WRITERS and would love to publish writers from Philly.

Gesture Politics

IN CATCHING UP with emails I'd neglected during a short illness, I noticed a discussion about protesting America's wars. Such actions have no impact, but serve as a form of self-advertisement for the participants. I marched in several protests in 2003, and realize now it was all smoke, useful today only as a way of saying, "I was on the right side."

The better way to influence the system is to target, and if possible take over, the system's power centers, as I sought to do through the Petition to PEN at

PEN, after all, is nothing but gesture politics; standing up for dissident writers halfway across the globe while ignoring dissident writers at home. Further, PEN's protests against select targets like Iran provide cover for the very imperialist wars and actions that writers are upset about.