Painting: Morris Cox


Winter 2004, Web Issue 6

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

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Winter 2001, Web Issue 4

Summer 2000, EXTRA #1

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A multidisciplinary
journal in the
arts and politics



Cover art: Morris Cox
Trustees of the Morris Cox Estate

Founding Editors:
Joe Brennan
Carlo Parcelli

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

Web Editors:
JR Foley
Rosalie Gancie
Nicole Foley

"now sleeps he with that old whore, Death..."
     Standing sideways, left shoulder forward, he profiled toward the Lincoln, sighting along the snub barrel of the .38; the Lincoln bearing down, slowly but unswervingly, its grill shooting jets of steam from the punctured radiator but the windshield as yet unmarked by bullet holes. He stood downhill, waiting for the face to clear the top of the windshield. There were other faces but he kept his gaze fixed on where the primary would clear, on where would be the spot between the eyes.
     He rose to his toes, sighting along the barrel, and charged.
     The other man was shooting from somewhere to the side and he, as he snapped his own trigger, unhearing its click in the roaring of the other's gun, snapped again with the Lincoln's huge bulk almost on him and his pistol almost level with the President's head, and behind him, as the Lincoln seemed about to hit him, his wife fired the 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano and he felt a sudden white-hot, blinding flash explode inside his head --
--JR Foley,
"The Short Happy Life of Lee Harvey Oswald"

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

                                                                   CALL FOR PAPERS:
                                                          James Joyce & Louis Zukofsky
                                                                        Special Issue
                                                         Bloomsday 2004 & LZ Centennial

the short happy life of lee harvey oswald
jr foley

hideous beauties
an interview with lance olsen

   EXHIBITION (1903-2003)

          hidden away in the immense suburbs of london:
          a morris cox primer
          bradford haas

                    paintings & prints 1921-1996

                    poetry & prose 1934 - 1971

                    gogmagog virtual facsimiles 1958 - 1968

a one-man one-act festival!
joe mccabe on the 10-Minute Play

wo ist dein Stich?
joe brennan

          65th birthday greetings to joe brennan!

"they're so corrupt, it's thrilling."
lenny bruce's killers pardon him
carlo parcelli

two poems from india
nilanshu kumar agarwal

blood to the ghosts:
     biography and the new modernist studies
     (with special reference to louis zukofsky)
mark scroggins

almost 13
joan mccracken

ronald johnson
     "the spirit walks, the rocks will talk"

          a note on this poem
          bradford haas

"celebration of failure":
     the influence of laura riding on john ashbery
philip rowland

larry peden

mark scroggins
     "damage poem"
     "spin cycle"

london, literature and BLAST:
     the vorticist as crowd master
rod rosenquist

charles belbin
     "hyde park (chicago) revisit"
     "outside winnemucca, nevada
     "soda gulch, kings mountain, CA"
     "walking meditation, talmadge, CA"
     "homage to hokusai"
     "kansas city"

BJORSQ revived
jr foley on matthew roberson
      doing ron sukenick

eschatology of reason: the south tower
carlo parcelli

job zone
as told to carl o. parcelli

moiderin times
pulley may johnson & carl o'parcelli

yaso adiodi of
          the assassinated press:
          interviewed by carlo parcelli

FlashPøint presents one of its richest issues yet.

     Our highlight is the first representative exhibition of the many-sided talents of the late British artist, Morris Cox. Contributing Editor Bradford Haas stumbled upon the graphic works and poetry of Cox, largely unknown even in his native Britain, during bookstore and gallery ramblings in the UK several years ago. Cox had already died (in 1998 at age 95) but Haas contacted some of Cox's friends and patrons, who allowed access to a rich cache of his artwork, hand-made books, and working papers. Cox, like fellow Londoner and spiritual ancestor William Blake, was individual in his use of both word and image. FlashPøint #6 is happy to introduce Morris Cox for the first time to a world-wide audience with an ample serving of 76 paintings and prints and 92 (short!) poems and prose works.

     Hideous Beauties, the title of Lance Olsen's latest collection of fiction, could serve as the theme of this entire issue of FlashPøint, which many of Morris Cox's prints, paintings, and poems would aptly illustrate. Olsen, in my (JRF's) opinion, is one of the most exuberant, adventurous, and hilarious writers of serious fiction today, to put it mildly. "Hideous Beauties", the most extensive interview he has given, will acquaint the unacquainted with the pleasures, challenges, and striking diversity of his work, as well as the new directions it is taking.

     Most playgoers, I suspect, don't know it, but the hottest trend among American playwrights these days is the 10-Minute Play. It's so hot the plays get even shorter and shorter. Will they snuff out of existence altogether? Joe McCabe has received productions and prizes for his short-shorts (as well as for two-hour plays, and every length in between.) He initiates FlashPøint readers into the mysteries of the 10-Minute, including a small bonanza of his own work, ranging from old-time Crazy Hospital burlesque and commedia dell'arte to the absurd ... and the grim.

     "Almost 13" marks the debut of a remarkable story-teller, Joan McCracken. McCracken gives us, from opposing perspectives, the tale of a prep school headmaster who seduces the 12-year old daughter of his lost love. One very strange dude who meets one very strange Judgment Day.

     FlashPøint loves to do its part to keep High Modernism thriving. The major literary movement of the last 100 years, it continues to take the old and whatever else it finds and make it new, and make the new even newer. (Post-Modernism is simply the newest of the New New ... except that it's been around so long now you know somethin' newer's gotta be brewin'.) Discontinuity requires continuity to break from .. so it is appropriate to publish a reconsideration of one of the first High Modernists, Wyndham Lewis, in Rod Rosenquist's "London, Literature, and BLAST: The Vorticist as Crowd Master". Philip Rowland brings together two practitioners from different eras of the High Modern in "'Celebration of Failure': The Influence of Laura Riding on John Ashbery".

     Ronald Johnson was a second generation Modernist, apprenticing himself to Louis Zukofsky's Objectivist poetics. His major poem, twenty years in the making, was ARK; but immediately preceding, and anticipating, it was "The Spirit Walks, the Rocks Will Talk." We reprint it here with a note by Bradford Haas which not only fills in the context of Johnson's own development, but indicates its relation to the Concrete Poetry movement and the "naive art" of Sam/Simon Rodia and others.

      The thriving keeps thriving, generation to generation, not only forward but back and forth in time. The very first issue of FlashPøint features an interview with a Post-Modernist practitioner, Ron Sukenick, who traces what he does in "The Rival Tradition", as he calls it, all the way back to the Greek Sophists. "BJORSQ Revived" reviews Matthew Roberson's 1998.6, which traces its path in the "Rival Tradition" back to Sukenick's own 1975 novel, 98.6, and gives it new life, so to speak, as its own son.

     Speaking of Old Modernists, Joe Brennan continues to chronicle the criminal paradoxes of American culture and politics in another installment from his monumental poem "A Work In Progress". Brennan recently turned 65, occasioning a shower of birthday greetings for the 'Good Gray Poet' from adoring fans. We reproduce a few of these greetings so that FlashPøint readers everywhere can share in the incitement Brennan's continued existence on this planet generates.

     FlashPøint welcomes several new contributors from around the planet. Indian poet Nilanshu Kumar Agarwal explores the political and cultural ironies of contemporary Indian society and politics. Larry Peden in his spare autobiographical essay with its beautifully resonant title, "Reconstruction", presents, with utter integrity, his work-a-day world as archetype for the African-American Experience. Sinologist Charles Belbin, who along with his wife Rita Wang has done many translations from the Chinese, gives us six of his own poems that seek to evoke the tenets of tenth century Chinese lyric poets Tu Fu and Li Po as well as Wang Wei in a distinctly American idiom.

     Carlo Parcelli presents an excerpt from his latest work, a quiet meditation on colonialism and imperialism, technology and the scientific method called "Eschatology of Reason". The excerpt in FlashPøint comprises the first 200 lines or so from Eschatology of Reason: The South Tower.

     Mr. Parcelli also shares with us a few choice words on the recent, and very very posthumous, "pardon" of Lenny Bruce; as well as a tale, "The Job Zone", confided in him by the now deceased CIA Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick, in September of 1981 at the spook's home in McLean, VA. And in keeping with his long history of cooperative endeavors, C.P. also teams up with historian Pulley May Johnson to offer an excerpt from the PMJ archives reprising U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1950s and '60s while "tripping on acid:" "Moiderin Times".

     "Moiderin Times" is not a bad name for the past year in American history. In response to the crisis over Iraq beginning in the fall of 2002, a new, already highly respected internet news magazine sprang up which calls itself The Assassinated Press. The Ass. Press journalists prove to be as elusive as they are ubiquitous, but Carlo P. succeeded in running the most elusive and ubiquitous of them, the controversial, prize-winning Yaso Adiodi. "At the Assassinated Press, we just take the 'spin' and spin it back the other way," says Adiodi, who has been called a cross between Diogenes of Sinope, Izzy Stone, and Shecky Green.

     Contributing Editor Mark Scroggins has been writing a biography of Louis Zukofsky, whose centennial FlashPøint is planning to honor with a special issue next spring (together with the 100th anniversary of James Joyce's first date with Nora Barnacle). Scroggins, author of Louis Zukofsky and the Poetry of Knowledge (University of Alabama Press, 1998), spoke in October 2002 at Cornell University on the special challenges of writing literary biography. In addition to two poems ("Damage Poem" and "Spin Cycle", he shares his reflections in "Blood to the Ghosts: Biography and the New Modernist Studies (with special reference to Louis Zukofsky)".

     I (JRF) find Scroggins' reflections on a biographer's "obsession" with his subject and the affinities of a good biography with good fiction especially pertinent to my own challenges, over many years, dealing with the subterranean relationship of Lee Harvey Oswald and Ernest Hemingway. When I first read the two biographies of Lee Oswald in the Warren Report, shortly after it was published, I was struck by the echo in its prose of Hemingway's Nick Adams stories. Every rereading found the same note of ritual realism fresh. Only many years later did I happen upon the "fact" (every "fact" in the Oswald case needs to be hedged by quotation marks) that Hemingway was the only American writer ever mentioned in the manuscripts ascribed to Oswald among the Warren Commission exhibits. There are two remarks, one referring to The Old Man and the Sea as a "touching story," the other "explaining" Oswald's two years in the Soviet Union as a mere temporary expatriation like Hemingway's in Paris. I have more to say about the Oswald-Hemingway connection in the essay, "Lee Oswald: Deep Classic American Hero", which is a companion to the story that wraps round it, "The Short Happy Life of Lee Harvey Oswald". Both together explain and extend each other better than I will try here. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains the greatest unsolved murder of the American Century. The 40th anniversary is upon us.

     We hope you enjoy FlashPøint #6.

     Be sure to tell us what you think!

-- JR Foley & Carlo Parcelli