Spring 1997, Web Issue 1

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: copyright 1994-Sue Coe,
"The West Meets the Rest"
Courtesy of Galerie St. Etienne


Board of Editors

Jim Angelo
Joe Brennan
Rosalie Gancie
JR Foley (web editor)
Cathy Muse
Carlo Parcelli
Mark Scroggins

Michael Kopacz (webcheese)

There is the ubiquitous school of ... "Lawn Mower Poets", the "Simpering Sonneteers" or the "I-I-ME-ME-I-ME Advanced School of Navel Studies." Their only referent is his or her upper-middle class sentimentalized "personal crisis" -- hairline, waistline, on-line, supermarket line, whatever. ... [They] ... are agonizingly self-absorbed and solipsistic. How can people barnacled with such bourgeois excesses speak to injustices or address historical events? ... Can they offer third world nationalist movements anything in the way of counsel other than capitulation? [Their] poems have their solipsistic origins at the poet's window, looking to his/her favorite tree(s), or more appropriately the poem arises from the poet's couch potato, psychoanalytic, etc. Any scrap of history becomes just another referent for their suburban angst. ... The language is gassy and loose, as though the poems were written after a hearty meal. There are few dynamics, few allusions that might indicate a world beyond each poem's enervated mass and tranquilizing cliches.

- The Trouble with Mediocrity

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


the piety of terror
mark scroggins

deconstructing the demiurge
carlo parcelli

lives of the novelists
stephen dixon and raymond federman

girl beside him
cris mazza

a poem in progress
joe brennan

in a bad way
ricardo cortez cruz

life/art: a static story for the small screen
ronald sukenick

adorno and the name of god
david kaufmann

a=r=t m=e=a=n=s
joe brennan

the rival tradition
ronald sukenick

the trouble with mediocrity
carlo parcelli

Welcome to the frontier where the arts and politics clash. Sometimes a lively street market, sometimes a no-man's-land. (But a no-man's land is always teeming with voracious life.) This is the zone of disturbances FlashPøint illuminates. You, fellow reader, are not a mere observer. You are one of us in the struggle -- always political, always a struggle of art in action -- to make language speak the world as we live it, as it lives us -- to make things beautifully mean and defiantly non-mean but be something else entirely. FlashPøint illuminates you with us.

     In FlashPøint the art is pour l'art, the politics without manifesto. Art and politics clash, pass in the night, interpenetrate, leave no peace. Beauty is not only difficult, it's downright problematic. Like graffiti on brownstone: blight and beauty, beauty and blight ... but dancing!

     With FlashPøint the editors mean to rally a community of participators and disturbers of the peace -- who are not afraid to disturb each other's peace (political, esthetic) as much as anyone else's. FlashPøint does not just illuminate: it attacks -- and invites attack.

     The fat premier print issue of FlashPøint appeared in May 1996. This first release of FlashPøint-on-line presents work from that first print issue as well as new work. (And so will the next two releases. Plans for the second print issue will be announced.) Ronald Sukenick and Amiri Baraka, in very different ways, have been violating the arts-politics frontier in dazzling style since the 1950's. Sukenick recounts the adventures of his own mission in "The Rival Tradition." Baraka, best known for poetry, plays, and prose, here speaks out in a new medium of line and color.

     In "A=R=T M=E=A=N=S" and "The Trouble With Mediocrity" founding editors Joe Brennan and Carlo Parcelli fire shots across the bow: Brennan at L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, Parcelli at just about all poetry being written today. But poets first, they also expose to return fire examples of what they are looking for, Brennan an excerpt from "Poem in Progress," Parcelli from "Deconstructing the Demiurge." Their notions of the proper relation of l'art pour l'art and politics are not coy. Neither is the artwork of Andrea Zemel that complements them.

     Two essays explore similar and wholly different sectors of the arts-politics frontier. Editor Mark Scroggins brings news of one extreme in "Ian Hamilton Finlay: The Piety of Terror." David Kauffmann considers a surprising paradox in the thought of the Marxian Teodor Adorno of the Frankfurt School.

     More narrowly, the fiction in this release represents a collision of art and politics along the cash nexus. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R.-Mich.) recently excoriated the indirect investment of taxpayers (i.e., National Endowment for the Arts) funds (via the Illinois Arts Council) in FC2, the small press formerly known as The Fiction Collective. Rep. Hoekstra cried, "Porno!," citing four books in particular, one of them Chick Lit 2: No Chick Vics, the post-postfeminist anthology co-edited by Cris Mazza, Jeffrey DeShell, and Elizabeth Sheffield. Cris Mazza is here with an excerpt from her forthcoming novel, Girl Beside Him. (Coffee House Press has just issued her latest, Dog People.) Joining her in a range of styles are three more FC2 writers, including Ron Sukenick (tossing a word bomb), Ricardo Cortez Cruz (Straight Outta Compton and Five Days of Bleeding), and Raymond Federman (Take It or Leave It and many more), who here joins with Stephen Dixon (Frog and the new Gould: A Novel in Two Novels (both Henry Holt)) in casting a wry eye (four of them) on the "Lives of the Novelists."

     Join us! Tell us what you think.

- JR Foley