Pop Quiz: John Higgins

A NEW POP LIT Q & A WITH A TALENTED NEW WRITER

IMG_20200123_191221

Today’s pop quiz is with young Irish short story writer John Higgins.

1.)  Best short story ever written?

JH:  For me, it’s a toss-up between either “Yam Gruel” by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, or Mike McCormack’s “Forensic Songs.”

2.)  Best music to write by?

JH:  Tom Waits sets a great tone for when I need to get work done. Plus, he can fit into a three-minute song what some people take hundreds of pages to say.

3.)  Can writers be pop stars?

JH:  If writing doesn’t work out for me, I’ll let you know…
***

NOW read John’s story about the fast food business, “Hamburger Hill.”

 

Whores Are Always Melancholy by Jess Mize

A Review by New Pop Lit

jessmizechapbook

“She looked forward to the day of her funeral
As if it were her wedding,
And she was Grace Kelly.
But really she was the bride of death”

WHORES ARE ALWAYS MELANCHOLY is a chapbook of poetry/prose which is both rhythmic and visual. Jess Mize has incandescent talent, of a kind which comes by once a generation. This is not an exaggeration. Think Fitzgerald or Plath. Words and lines jump off the page with emotion and meaning.

Anais Nin once wrote:

“–the writer dares to dig into hidden worlds, dares perilous explorations in which he might lose, first of all, his contact with human life and possibly his sanity. But he is looking for treasures of another kind.”

This is what Jess Mize does in her writing.

“Gilded sculptures and horrible romantic novels of the 19th century echo from the shallow depths of my past imagination.”

“She loved the bright vermillion flushings of the fresh blood.”

Her words connect our inner selves to the world.

“The love you crave cannot be purchased. To satisfy your desires you need an annotated trucker’s atlas and a serious deficiency of remorse.”

The question is what to do with the overflowing talent. Limiting it to poetry is too easy. She writes her explosions of emotion as if they come easy. But among the rush of words there is pain and despair, so it can’t be easy.

Her fiction, unfeatured here, bursts with a deluge of words. The chapbook gives a strong taste of it. Good writing– no, great writing– but can the flow be directed? Channeled? Should it be?

The chapbook may be all that’s needed. Receive it in short blasts full of compacted energy.

Whores Are Always Melancholy is Hurricane Harvey put onto the page. If you survive the encounter, it’s a thrilling experience.

****
Whores Are Always Melancholy is available at Finishing Line Press.

newpoplit2

(Photo of Jess Mize.)