"Herculina Raises Cain"
Andrea Zemel

Winter 2001, Web Issue 4

Spring 2015, Web Issue 17

Spring 2014, Web Issue 16

Spring 2013, Web Issue 15

Spring 2012, Web Issue 14

Spring 2010, Web Issue 13

Summer 2009, Web Issue 12

Winter 2008, Extra Issue 11

Spring 2008, Web Issue 10

Spring 2007, Web Issue 9

Spring 2006, Web Issue 8

Summer 2004, Web Issue 7

Winter 2004, Web Issue 6

Summer 2003, EXTRA #2

Spring 2002, Web Issue 5

Winter 2001, Web Issue 4

Summer 2000, EXTRA #1

Summer 1999, Web Issue 3

Spring 1998, Web Issue 2

Spring 1997, Web Issue 1

A multidisciplinary
journal in the
arts and politics




Cover art: Andrea Zemel
               copyright 2000


Founding Editors:
Joe Brennan
Carlo Parcelli

Contributing Editors:
Jim Angelo
Rosalie Gancie
Brad Haas
Cathy Muse
Mark Scroggins

Web Editors:
JR Foley
Nicole Foley
Rosalie Gancie

... [T]he masterpiece of the series is "Interrogation II" where three mercenaries are involved in torturing a naked, tied-up and seated, hooded victim. Golub has painted the torturers so that they appear to be more interested, for the moment, in our response to them than in their "work" itself. The two mercs to the right of the tortured man are grinning at us (one is black, the other white; Golub is careful to leave no single social strata unimplicated)--in fact, they look as if we had just yelled at them, Hi, Benny! Hi, Will!--what are you guys up to? The third merc, let's call him Frenchie (he has plastered back hair, a pencil moustache, and a neck scarf tucked inside his blue short-sleeved workshirt) is a little suspicious of Benny and Will. Are they getting too much attention from us? He holds up his left hand in a slightly effeminate pose with cigarette (one can smoke and torture at the same time), and with his right hand, in a rather wooden, puzzling gesture, seems to be on the verge of grabbing the front of the hooded man's face--but the gesture is more baffling than it is precise, as is Benny's hand gestures, for while he is turned toward us, grinning, he is also slightly advancing toward the tortured man, with his hands held forward, thumbs raised, but the gesture, like Frenchie's, is baffling--and curiously still. In contrast to the slashing action of the Gigantomachies, these mercs seem as if they were rehearsing a play, or as if they are at play, like big kids on stage, where they just happen (by unavoidable implication) to be torturing someone. All six hands of the three torturers are as much involved in a mudric sign language as in manhandling the hooded victim.

--Clayton Eshleman,
"Golub the Axolotl"

All essays, poetry, fiction, and artwork are copyrighted in the
names of the authors and artists,
to whom all rights revert.



cid corman
          "we feel"
          "you lose one"
          "life is intended"

a conversation with
cid corman
philip rowland

two duino elegies
translations from rilke
alison croggon

art as politics, politics as art:
          golub the axolotl
          nancy spero
          clayton eshleman

treason: none dare call it nothing
william blum

text agitations
rosalie gancie

astral visions
hannah weiner

projective verse at 50
jack foley

mark scroggins
     from "anarchy for the U.K."
          "milton's empty"
          "cromwell's achievements"

journey to ethiopia
d. n. stuefloten
           stuefloten's wilderness
           jr foley

the passion of st. buuckethead
david hess

feverish country, this
james sallis

preston heller

david hickman

what's love got to do with it? :
child sexual abuse, the Pulitzer Prize, and
to forgive or not to forgive

richard hoffman

homely homicide:
          five glen cameron
          manual labor vince samarco

buffalo '99 (and counting)
the debate that died
kent johnson

anthony george

brad haas
     "an appraisal of accidents"
          [part 1] "dove sta memora"
                              "i kitchen coup"
                              "ii right of passage"
                              "iii crayfish"
                              "iv i have watched
                                   the wheels go round"

          [part 2] "trifocal"
          [part 3] "setting stones"

two disquisitions
eugene thacker

david alexander

deconstructing the demiurge:
millennial mathematics
carlo parcelli

carlo p. answers his critics:
is everyday language sufficient to embody everyday experience?
millennium agape
joe brennan

charles moyer

the old master painter
john lane

reviews by brad haas
          ronald johnson, selected poems
          melvin b. tolson, "harlem gallery"
          louis zukofsky, "a test of poetry"
          andrew white on sax

On September 17, 2000, WebDelSol, the literary website, censored FlashPøint. Without warning or consultation, WebDelSol removed from the EXTRA! title page its Andrea Zemel woodcut depicting a soldier executing a peasant, replaced it with another graphic from an earlier FlashPøint "galerie" -- and blocked the editors from the site so we could not undo the damage. After an immediate protest -- which drew only abusive demands to "submit" -- we wasted no more time on WebDelSol. We relocated FlashPøint to its new URL, and proceeded to assemble issue #4. Among the good news: Andrea Zemel graces us again -- this time with HERCULINA. The tabloid headline above will take you to an account of the whole affair. We shall be very interested in your observations.

     But now to the real business of this journal of the arts and politics!

     Time and circumstance (cited supra) have combined to make this 4th issue a double issue bursting at the seams. It embraces all of the summer sampler we called an EXTRA!, and expands it richly.

     As promised, the legendary Cid Corman leads off with a sampler of his own, introduced by Brad Haas. A poet present at and significantly contributing to the several post-WWII renaissances in American poetry -- his organ was, after all, Origin -- he is a man who writes a book of poetry a week (sometimes a day) ... and earns his daily bread making ice cream for his neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan. Philip Rowland visited him in October, and lets us eavesdrop on their conversation.

     Rainer Maria Rilke is a very different kind of poet, of course, and we are especially pleased to represent him in FlashPøint with "Two Duino Elegies" rendered into English by the award-winning Australian poet, Alison Croggon. Her own published books include This is the Stone, The Blue Gate and Navigatio, as well as prose and texts for theatre. This year she was the 2000 Australia Council writer in residence at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

     As remarked above, the special interest of this journal of the arts and politics is art that's political, the political that is also art, and the vigorous tensions they confront in one another. We featured Sue Coe in FlashPøint #2. In this issue Clayton Eshleman (whose "Nora's Roar" is also excerpted in FlashPøint #2) focuses on the work of two artists, Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, who have lived and worked in these tensions separately and together for decades.

     A different sort of visual poem is represented by "Astral Visions", one of the last manuscript pages of the late Hannah Weiner.

     Animated visuals are here, too. In FlashPøint #3 Rosalie Gancie showcased some experiments with animation in the Dada tradition (if we may breathe those two words together), playing with color, line, and form. In "Text Agitations" she escalates to toying with poesy, shuffling the alphabet, chomping text, rocking it in revolutionary red.

     Carlo Parcelli extends into "Millennial Mathematics" the long poem he has been developing in earlier FlashPøints. But in addition he responds to critics of the poem with a clear apologia for the developing work in "Is Everyday Language Sufficient to Embody Everyday Experience?". Joe Brennan counterpoints with "Millennium Agape". Contributing Editor Mark Scroggins adds "anarchy", or at least two portions of it, "Milton's empty" and "Cromwell's achievements", in which Johnny Rotten meets John Bunyan, Sid Vicious Algernon Sidney. David Hickman offers fragments of "The Fragments". Joining them and Alison Croggon in this issue is Anthony George, whose considerably shorter poems, grouped as "subversions", play in the FlashPøint spirit with politics as art. He is a Brooklyn school teacher who advocates, in his own words, "the spiritual overthrow of the U.S. government." Charles Moyer, who may or may not be distantly related to the subject of "Who Hired Bill Moyers to Destroy American Poetry? (FlashPøint #2 again), contributes two poems Bill Moyers has not praised.

     Contributing Editor Brad Haas, whose "David Jones: the Poet’s Place and the Sleeping Lord" was featured in FlashPøint #2, now presents two parts ("Trifocal" and "Setting Stones") of one long poem, and four parts ("Kitchen," "Right of Way," "Crayfish," and "I Have Watched the Wheels Go Round") of another. He also reviews recent publications (and re-publications) of work by Ronald Johnson, Melvin B. Tolson, Louis Zukofsky, and, for a change-up, the jazz of Andrew White.

     You're familiar with the observation that fighting gets more vicious as the stakes get smaller? There is, of course, on a planetary scale, the politics of life and death, especially in places where, say, food is scarce and weaponry abundant. But there are other, smaller scales (not including vast literary websites), where the politics is smaller ... and on such a scale, recounts Kent Johnson in "Buffalo '99" (reprinted from Skanky Possum), is the University of New York at Buffalo Poetics List, to which not all are admitted, and where not all who are admitted are always tolerated. Whereof he speaks he knows well, for since his essay was first published, Johnson himself has met the fate against which he protests so vigorously on behalf of others. Johnson also analyzes, in "The Debate That Died", what did and didn't transpire between Amiri Baraka and Barrett Watten at a conference on North American poetry in the '60's.

     Speaking of the Buffalo Poetics List, readers of FlashPøint know that L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetics does not enjoy a privileged position here, except as dartboard. In "The Passion of St. Buuckethead" David Hess throws darts at two separate dartboards at once (the second being, let's call it, "anti-masculinist masculinist esthetics"), and an entertaining performance it is. It's lit crit as stand-up; though much more as well.

     From the beginning the poetry in FlashPøint has been devoted to the Pound-Olson tradition. So it is especially appropriate that this first release of the new century feature a consideration of part of that tradition. The well-known Bay Area poet Jack Foley (no relation, unfortunately, to the JR Foley penning these notes) examines Charles Olson's "Projective Verse at 50" for fresh insight not only into Olson's Maximus Poems and Pound's Cantos, but into the ongoing project of poetry today.

     William Blum brings a very different perspective to the new century in America. The author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower has been documenting the development of the National Security State since World War II. "Treason: None Dare Call It Nothing" relates how a largely unknown Star Chamber-like court set up in 1978 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has allowed the FBI to entrap and imprison a Pentagon employee and her husband on espionage charges for attempting to pass not secret but public domain information to a South African deputy defense minister, who also happened to be a leader of the South African Communist Party.

     Perspective, both unique and now all too common, distinguishes Richard Hoffman's critique of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive. Vogel's play depicts a woman reassessing her relationship with the uncle-by-marriage who had molested her as a child. Hoffman, who himself experienced sexual abuse as a child, and whose perspective is fully detailed in his book Half the House, takes sharp issue with Vogel's perspective in "What's Love Got to Do With It?".

     FlashPøint has always searched for fiction in that broad zone "where the arts and politics clash"; also fiction of all varieties of style and approach imaginable ... some even "mainstream". Such a range is again sampled in this issue. At the more familiar end, in "The Old Master Painter", John A. Lane depicts the human comedy in the politics (and business, if this is not redundant) of art. Preston Heller's "Illinois" tells a tale of seduction with life-long consequences in much more than one sense. In "Manual Labor" Vince Samarco reduces naturalism to its barest terms. Glen Cameron moves it closer to nightmare in "Five", where the real tale is what is not told. Nightmare of another sort crosses into the lunatic farce of David Alexander's "Decoys". And then we have the "Two Disquisitions" of Eugene Thacker, about which words fail me utterly, except -- they're science and they're fiction -- but they're no science fiction the Science Fiction Writers of America would recognize.

     Speaking of "science fiction", James Sallis is best known for his fiction in the vanguard of that genre; but in fact his interests range more broadly. That makes him especially sympathetic, in "Feverish Country, This," to Gerald Kersh, almost forgotten in the U.K. and almost unknown in the U.S. From the '30's up into the '60's Kersh wrote so many different works transgressing so many different genres from realism to the fantastic that publishers, unable to pigeonhole him while alive, conveniently neglected him after he died. Sallis shows how readers have been cheated.

     FlashPøint #2 featured a mixed media text of prose and photography by D.N. Stuefloten called "Apertures". Stuefloten is back with an even more strangely integrated narrative of the verbal and the visual, "Journey to Ethiopia," which provides the reader with a good introduction to "Stuefloten's Wilderness".

     Welcome to the new FlashPøint ... and be sure to tell us what you think!

- JR Foley