Archive for the ‘books’ Category

The Slush Pile Strikes Back

June 19, 2020

The Slush Pile Strikes Back, The Underground Literary Alliance Anthology, Edited by Steve Kostecke and Wred Fright.

The ULA, the Underground Literary Alliance, was an underground writers group of the 90’s – during the zine explosion, the last golden age of literature before the internet.

The ULA was started and led by Karl “King” Wenclas who tried to gather writers like himself, opposed to what mainstream publishing had become.

During that era the ULA put out the Slush Pile an anthology of work from the group of ever changing writers. i was pleased to be a part of it.

Steve Kostecke who started the Slush Pile, wrote in his Editor’s Rant, Slush Pile #4: “Our main criticism is that American literature and letters has become professionalized, elitist, art-destructive, corrupt, meaningless, soulless,and just plain crazy sick to look at.”

Wred Fright, one of the long time writers has done all the heavy lifting and assembled this analogy of Kostecke’s ULA, Slush Pile. It contains 30 writers and 150 pages of writing.

My favorites include:

Short poems by Susan America, “Harassed By an Automobile Offender While Biking Through Chinatown”, Brady Dale, “This is Not Your TV Show”, Mark Sonnenfeld, “Zine Worker”, and Mark “Brunetti” Baird, “Atheism.”

Editorials and rants on writing included: Steve Kostecke, “Editor’s Rant SP #4, Jeff Potter, “The Loser”, and Adam Hardin, “Profiles in Fraud: JFK & the Pulitzer Prize.”

Short stories included; Crazy Carl Robinson, “Life in the Hotel in the Spring of 2004”, and my entry, Tom Hendricks, “The Dream.”

There is a lot to read, some fine covers by Yul Tolbert, and inspiring words from Wred Fright. For mature readers. You can find it now online at

https://www.scribd.com/document/465913677/The-Slush-Pile-Strikes-Back-The-Underground-Literary-Alliance-Anthology-edited-by-Steve-Kostecke-and-Wred-Fright#from_embed

Recommended as good writing, and an important part of the zine revolution. Tom Hendricks.

Some Key Links

November 9, 2019

Happy Birthday
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udBT8n_WsAE

My 6 Books
https://musea.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/my-6-books/

Big LIst
https://musea.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/100-plus-best-music-from-youtube-and-myspace/

Rev in Art
https://musea.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/musea-extra-summary-of-the-revolution-in-art-visual-arts/

Works on the Web

October 19, 2019

Works on the Web Department.

Right now I have a lot of work on the internet, including:

Music:
150 Studio recordings on Spotify, I tunes, YouTube, hunkasaurus.com etc 100 demos of new songs on Youtube.

Writing:
5 Novels and one book of Plays streaming on Amazon, I tunes, etc.

Art
900+ works on a Pinterest Board, “Revolution in Arts?

Zine:
200+ issues of my zine Musea (1992-2019)

Updates:
Weekly updates, comments, news, on my blog musea.wordpress.com Or see my FaceBook page.

Main Website:
TomHendricks.us

Nobel Prize for Literature – Zines!

October 14, 2019

The Nobel prize for literature committee should recognize and reward the thousands and thousands of zines and zinesters of the late eighties and nineties.
They produced the last golden age of literature before the internet.

Pan and Zheng (short short story)

February 5, 2019

Pan and Zheng

1.

This is a story by Shao Baojian. I have changed the details but it turns out the same.

The setting is a mid sized, smog filled, city; in a medium sized country with a quickly growing population.

Some old people there remembered a time, not too far back, when it was against the law to show affection in public. Yes, women could cuddle their children, and old men could embrace and hug after being reunited, but no more than that!

Now public displays of affection between a man and a woman was allowed, but frowned on as being forward, or foreign!

2.

Picture at the end of a half paved road, crowded with tiny stores, and multi family houses, a small apartment building.

This building was somewhat bland and unadorned, but well kept up. It was rectangle shaped, two story, and had ten apartments. Eight of those were families and two housed singles.

Looking at the front of the building the two singles lived on the upper floor on the far left side. Second from the end lived a bachelor named Zheng Ruokui. And at the end was a spinster named Pan Xuee.

Each morning the two would meet on the stairs on their way to work. He would speak first by saying, “Good morning,” with a pleasant smile. Then she would respond by asking, “Going out?” with another smile.

These were the only two sentences anyone in the neighborhood ever heard from them! And that is all the more surprising when one learns that some living here were gossips of the first rank!

3.

Pan was a woman in her late 30’s or early 40’s. Her cute features had lost a little of their softness from age. Her skin had tightened and her muscles had gotten leaner from repeated work. Her face was oval with balanced features. She had a fine complexion, pretty teeth, big eyes, and rich black, long, straight, hair. Her build was a bit skinny and fragile looking; but she was always ready to roll up her sleeves and lend a hand to the neighborhood.

She worked at the big flower shop on Western Street, the wide road that led to downtown.

Zheng was in his mid 40’s. He looked older with a bit of a stoop, black rimmed glasses, messy matted hair, and always a breakout or two on his face, that he’d scratch. He had medium height and weight with, narrow shoulders. His fingers were long and thin, and he often held his hands behind his back when he talked. But he was also bright, alert, and he had a way of telling news with a laugh, like it was a story.

Zheng worked for a theater chain. The job of his team was to paint murals on the walls. There wasn’t much originality in the work, because he had to follow a specific pattern that was the same in every theater.

Besides a movie now and then, Zheng didn’t go out much. He liked to stay at home and read, or paint watercolors. Many hung on his walls, and one had won him a prize in an amateur painting contest.

His room had a narrow bed, two straight backed chairs, a large and a small table, and in the center against the thick wall that he shared with Pan, a very large bookcase as tall as a man.

Those who came to his apartment always commented on the huge bookcase. It stood out. Besides books, magazines, and letters, the bookcase had a shoulder high shelf in the middle, near the top, that was perfect for displaying his precious flower vase.

He owned a blue translucent, family heirloom, flower vase, that he made sure was always clean, polished, and filled with fresh flowers.

4.

One cloudy drizzly day Pan and Zheng met on the stairs, talked as they always did, and separated. That was the last time they met.

Later that day, Zheng was painting on a scaffold when his heart beat became irregular. He called for help. His co workers rushed him to the hospital, but he lost consciousness and died in route.

Soon everyone at the apartments had heard the awful news. Zheng had died. Pan said nothing but her eyes were very red and puffy.

5.

People brought flowers to remember Zheng. The largest bouquet was from Pan. A few days later she quickly packed and suddenly moved away.

One week later family, friends, and neighbors, came together to go through Zheng’s belongings. They were surprised at what they saw.

Dust was layered on everything except the blue vase. That was sparkling clean and full of still fresh, white, chrysanthemums.

When some of the men pulled the large bookcase from the wall they got another surprise. Behind it was a door – an elegant, big, red, door with a bright polished brass handle!

Tongues wagged! The place buzzed like a beehive – noisy with the news that quickly passed through the crowd!

As people talked, the mood changed, and those who had felt kind respect for the bachelor; now felt betrayed; as if he had secretly made fools of them all, and had led a double life …

But then just as quickly, came another surprise. A boy tried to open the door. The brass handle was flat and smooth as the wall itself. So was the frame and the hinges!

The door was painted on the wall!


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