Welcome to the Retro Pop Culture Contest 1930s -1980 You can enter a poem, prose, haiku, sonnet, short story, flash fiction, art, sketching, short essay, retro photography/or manipulated to look retro photography. Each entry is $2 per submission you send to the paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org Winner will get $25 and each entry as long as it isn't offensive/obscene (which will be an auto DQ and no refund) will get an automatic post on this website. The posts that get the most traffic and best posts will be in better contention to win the prize. This is a contest to help pay for maintaining fees on this website and hopes to expand next year. We will be running different style contests throughout year. If you'd like to participate in this as a challenge (but not be in our contest) you can also submit poems on these subjects. Submissions e-mail is also: email@example.com Subject line should be Contest: Subject of Each piece. A short 3rd person bio. Send only in word doc or in subject of an e-mail. Will check if contest entry has been put in before considering work. *Also, this contest doesn't effect our regular entries for General Themes, themes on front page, poetry showcases separate from contest, or interviews & reviews. Those are all free for submissions to be considered for website. Subject line is very important in this case* Examples but not limited to include the obvious idea behind this - Andy Warhol & the Factory (including the Velvet Underground/Lou Reed/Nico/Edie Sedgwick, etc) -Muhammad Ali -Leonard Cohen 60s & 70s - Bob Dylan -Phil Ochs -Old Hollywood Themes - Movies, Actresses (Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, Ann Margret, Jayne Mansfield, Vivien Leigh, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katharien Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Greta Gabro, Ingrid Bergman, Sharon Tate, Shirley Temple, Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, Lucille Ball, Mae West, Loretta Young, Gene Tierney, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Carole Lombard, Jane Russell, Linda Carter, Barbara Stanwyck, Susan Hayward, Betty Grable, Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda etc) Actors: (James Dean, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Peter Fonda, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Charlie Chaplin, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles, Burt Lancaster, Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, etc) sorry no John Wayne please. -Poets & Writers (Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, Maya Angelou, Marianne Moore, James Joyce, Charles Bukowski, Rainer Maria Rilke, Roald Dahl, James Baldwin, Audrey Lorde, Richard Brautigan, Amari Baraka, William S. Burroughs, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Aldous Huxley, Robert Frost, J.D. Salinger, Toni Morrison, e.e. Cummings, Albert Camus, Lorca, Adrienne Rich, Robert Lowell, Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, W.H. Auden, Etheridge Knight, etc.) -Other artists such as Keith Haring (although mostly 80's) Jean-Michael Basquiat (although mostly 80's) , Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Marcel Durchamp, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Georgia O'Keefe, -Retro Photography or newer photos (your own) manipulated to look retro. - Digital Poetry/art Other themes -Retro tv (American Bandstand, etc) Old Horror Movies - Activists/Movements (Gloria Steinem, Malcolm X, MLK, Woodstock, JFK, changing 60's, Vietnam War) Of course other musicians/bands including not limited to since I love so many (David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles/John Lennon, Funkadelic, Bob Marley, The Who, Blondie, Loudon Wainwright III, McGarrigle Sisters, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Sandy Denny, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd, Townes Van Zandt, Frank Zappa, T Rex, Miles Davis, The Clash, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Joy Division/Ian Curtis, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Glen Campbell, Beach Boys, Prog Rock, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Devo, Gary Numan, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, Fleetwood Mac, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, The Byrds, British folk music, Big Star, 70's Bruce Springsteen, 70's Elton John, Ramones, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Queen, Allman Brothers Band, Eagles, Abba, The Carpenters, Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Wings, The Kinks, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Wall of Sound (Specter), Joe Meek, CCR, Roxy Music, Heart, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Janis Joplin, Dusty Springfield, The Doors/Jim Morrison, early Prince, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Robert Johnson, Aretha Franklin, Buddy Holly, Darby Crash of the Germs, Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Patsy Cline, Tim Buckley, Bon Scott, Steve Earle, Jaco Pastorius, If you have any more and would like to question e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Work Breakrooms In breakrooms While everyone dresses their smiles for the holidays I am feeling powerless With poetry pounding in my head And nowhere to turn, or write This would have been my father's 76th birthday Today I choke in thought And damage my ears in music. Little Nerves Explosions throughout my little nerves Blankets of skin wrap around my aching body And my December eyes Listen, watching the snow As it pops on electrical wires Holding gifts Shake out all the air Missing pieces The heart needs repaired To burn away As ugly as money. Revelry Through all the revelry lay fragile ghost-skinned Poison ivy on a frostbite A dancing fool on a train track A zipper away from my skeleton A dream that became reality in the same room, the same nightmare From nightmares before Vaporates the idea of dream We are all riven loners. The Overlook A dirty minded storm approaching And my mind is rambling I've got police car flashes burning my retina, And I feel my disease is spreading Head to the angry waters of the river in some lost park, An overlook For the drifters Pen in my hand I write my sins down to be forgiven. Stones of Heaven Limping through slain sand Spreading birdseed from a cup over a Carolina beach Life is a fool's gold When you have a collection of photos to get you from morning to a grave Your love still etched into the stones of Heaven Where is her touch, now? Feeding the seagulls and I wait. Statues Shiver out my concrete heart Crumbled statues that rest as cuts inside my glove In mad genius hideaways Sometimes the world stops The mirror breaks The reflection becomes your shadow Rearrange my jigsaw puzzle As it unravels, frayed and dull pieces missing. Nameless Woman She was the nameless woman on a Greyhound bus Going from the twin cities to the beach Escapes from the cold cemetery Of all the blemishes and bruises From the tremors and sweats The whipping of an evening knife Escapes to Jesus Unite her with a breeze To heal and to love. Prayer Pose Questions written in the lines of our hands Gold implanted these answers in these lines In codes, of language we may not know Crooked energy, blurs our visions bend away our faithful devotion Now ask another question Do your hands respond? Form me into a prayer pose. The Park The park has become a spy Of nature We watch as the day becomes a blur From beauty to an armageddon A wonder as the past to future vanishes in a flash Our eyes are the guides The search for mazes, in twists & turns Love is all we have as we fade. Wonderland What are your true feelings? A cryptic wonderland we swim in Tears of saltwater cuts through the oceans And now free the sharks, to feast on our death in our shells, we hide And hope the fog will mask our scent. Left to feel nothing. Pellets. Mutual A branding of pain hits the city sidewalks A blind rain A wail heard like a sting from a scorpion Residuals heard in wind A mutual terror shakes us all Defamation of a storm which never materialized - into a superiority complex It never knew all the graves they dug. I was Told I was told to magnify the disease From a scramble to a destruction They were always telling me to Become the evil wisp of air unseen, And intravenously become one with the blood Infect the roots And feast on the freedom now I'm a fugitive locked in a cage, silent. Riddles Old men speaking in riddles On floral print recliners that their wives bought in 1974 They joke about how they used to have long Partridge Family hair, And could drink all night and sleep 'til the afternoon Then they cry endlessly as bbq chips spill all over the floor A heart attack by the toilet foiled Wheel of Fortune that night. Maine Timbers When born to the wild You are the comfort with sunlight And the hell of a meteor A vigilante disguise Bullets for eyes Cloudy ash tears Death of old cigarette breath But you are the running fawn A run into the Maine Timbers And they are just a sniper who stepped on a nail. Alpha Hero or Bipolar Drifter Growing scared like a pretender, I am Show the tough leather skin of an alpha hero Whilst I cry in the hands of night When only truth, we look inside Pull away at my mask Begin the cuffing The weakling survived the fight, but inside he melted to ash. Sunday becomes cool and drips of rain Ripped jeans sipping in the dryness, of the room Gaze out of the window Only to see clouds that look like a staggering despair, A broken manic depressive drifter Shooting stars of spittle meanders to the sidewalks And he trips over a pile of bricks in the slick wind The militant march of a hangover. Bravo Bravo, good job, Romeo You smell like old fish and piss Well aren't you a tiger? With your emotional bullshit I'm sure all the ladies had quivering mouths and hands Ready to twist your chord. Did you feed them all of these feelings? I mean, feelings Do you have feelings? Never have had feelings? Come on sting me, talking bee, sting me! After a Mother's Funeral Being baby talked to, Is so annoying at her funeral. I wanted nothing but the nausea and the feelings of Stabbings in my own backside. I felt like I needed to be a lone wolf now I went into this day not expecting to cry, Not to have a flush of memories. To just close a chapter on an inconvenient life. However, I felt the day feeling like I'm the only one there - that knew anything of her. I just stared for what seemed like an hour At this beautiful woman who apparently was my mother. I went home with dad around 9 p.m. that night Dad suffering from food poison Stomach cramps from poisoned funeral lunch meat. Provided by an unknown family of strangers. Omen Breath Freewriting Capturing beauty with a blind eye Stuck my hand out to the guiding light I'm full of potential and set for life But i'm caught in these blended bees buzzing in my mind. Drained of life and drained to thought I'm stuck here dry Looking at dry clouds They look so crispy And i'm so thirsty I want to just poke one like a cactus And see if it is worthy. I will climb that invisible rope, and reach towards the hands of an unspoken leech That'll suck away at my blood And I will be loved by the Omen breath that lingers above. Fever 32 (about my dad and his battle with ALS) I am aware of light above me Unaware of the darkness that is eating away inside of me Then I look at my family Why are they full of tears? Why has my body defeated me? When my mind is still young God saved me 34 years before Now he needs me. Flames And we entered the flames tied in a knot, mouth on mouth, heartbeats tumbling like dominoes. Battling the Roses A wrinkling face A cheek to the window Electrical light now dimming Everything used to be brighter My head is a swimming ocean Full of endless drownings. I rest on the pane, inside screaming No energy left I can only watch The surge of rain battling the roses. Orange Sea Over the plaid mountain In the windy orange sea with long Emerald Green drapes For waves, for eyes millions of miles into Space shuttle dreams You meet a Bob Dylan impersonator Playing harmonica in a wheelchair Jim Beam bottles bouncing off the beach. Miracle Parlors We lament in miracle parlors In coffee domiciles Your neurosis becomes a camera to capture us all, as your vision Hiding miracles in your mind sleeves Collision of thoughts Deliberate in your laughter and ridicule I am the naive wave, and you now vigilant. Maroon Clouds The earth was shaking Maroon clouds clogged with a sick mix of green We all hoped for the unzipping of destruction, the apocalyptic dream scenario. Disappointed to find out no angels, just the falsetto of fainting divorcees hoping for a Hollywood sixpence. Minnesota Winter So, you image yourself a clydesdale, Strong and free Narcosis breakdown - in the flattening of a Minnesota winter Takes you by the skin, and leaves you the dinner for a blizzard. Stay away from your dreams of escapes with Dorothy Parker And realize your strength is in the clear. A Hobo and a Nun From mud puddles it spawns - a hobo and a nun Chased by the breath of hornets The hobo, smokes wet cigarettes The nun, burned all her bridges. They met in a spin of lightning Near the sewer by the hustlers Near a Gay pride parade in the conservative side of town. And like magic, now they are one And always were Personalities evolved from a grip of vapor. Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan much more posts if you just look up my name in search.
with Elliot Harper:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Elliot: I’ve only recently found writing. I’ve been a reader all my life, but never found the time or confidence to start writing, something which has always been a dream of mine. In 2016, I moved to Houston, Texas with my wife, and this afforded me the opportunity to explore that dream. Although I don’t like to stick to any particular genre, my early influences are the Science Fiction of Ursula Le Guin and Iain M Banks, and the weird fiction of China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, and Steph Swainston, as well as the dream-like works of Haruki Murakami.
Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?
Elliot: Currently, my biggest influence is still China Mieville. His use of vocabulary and language in the Bas-lag series of books still blows me away no matter how many times I read them. I’ve recently written a dark fantasy book which is heavily influenced by his work.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Elliot: I grew up in a little seaside town called Scarborough, Yorkshire, in the northeast of England. My hometown is the basis for the fictional seaside town I’ve created that features in some of my writing and four of my unpublished books called Eastborough-on-Sea.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?
Elliot: Me and my wife love to travel. For our honeymoon, we went backpacking around the world in 2011-12. Seeing all those cultures first-hand changed my life and I’m always thinking about what I saw and did in that year. When I write I remember back to the bustling markets and cities and it gives me my inspiration.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Elliot: I think the pivotal moment for me was when a friend of mine was published. It was at that moment that I realised that it can happen to real people that I actually know in my life. It gave me the confidence to believe that I could possibly do it as well.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Elliot: My favorite activities when not writing are reading (currently dark fantasy), playing games (currently The Witcher 3), and watching movies and series (mostly horror, Carpenter, Cronenberg, Aster, etc, but also anything by Denis Villeneuve, and eagerly awaiting the Dune movie in November)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9xhJrPXop4 to preview Dune
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming work you’d like to promote?
Elliot: I recently won a flash fiction competition, the Flash Vision contest by The Molotov Cocktail. This was the first time I’ve ever won anything for my writing. The story will be available to read on their website, https://themolotovcocktail.com/ within the next few weeks.
Q8: What is a favorite line of yours or others?
Elliot: Favorite quote is from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking”
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Elliot: The people who have helped me most in my writing by their constant support and willingness to read my work (and listen to me talk about it endlessly) are my wife, Naomi, and my friends, Rob, John and Will.
Elliot Harper is the author of two self-published books, the dark science-fiction novella, The City around the World, and the speculative short story collection, On Time Travel and Tardiness.
His story, In the Garden, was the winner of the Flash Vision 2021 story contest by The Molotov Cocktail.
He has short stories in print as follows: Into the Forest appears in Air and Nothingness Press’s, The Wild Hunt: Stories of the Chase anthology, There’s a Dead Bear in the Pool features in Clash Book’s Black Telephone Issue 1, and Blackout features in Popshot Quarterly Magazine, The Protest Issue.
His fiction has appeared online in Issue 3 of Clash Book’s Black Telephone Magazine, Maudlin House, Neon Magazine’s Battery Pack Volume 4, Horrified Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, FIVE:2:ONE Magazine’s #thesideshow, Storgy, Queen Mobs Teahouse, the Ghost City Review, Akashic Book’s #FriSciFi, Back Patio Press, Litro Magazine’s #StorySunday, Selcouth Station’s #2 Food Edition, Dream Noir Lit Magazine, Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones Volume 8 and Riggwelter Press.
He currently lives in Houston, Texas with my wife, Naomi, but he’s originally from Scarborough, England, although he considers Leeds to be his home. He likes to write fiction that isn’t confined by any particular genre, but leans towards the dark, the transgressive and the surreal. Find him at his website, https://www.elliotharper.com/, and on Twitter, @E_Harper_Author.
I once lived in a canyon As a starved mannequin I felt nude As my clothes melted into my plastic skeleton You will not feel my shakes As i'm a mute to you, But, inside i'm an earthquake I will not revisit the canyon. Now that I've found gold in superiority God smiling over our field of life And you can go back - To wearing your dirty stained robes Asleep in your coalmine chambers Your Cassavetes movies on repeat On a television screen Green with cobwebs whisping You will awake in thorns The prickling stabbing will leave you to - moments of incompletion. I once lived in a heartbreak, as a drowning boat To the last breath of the lively sea. I was teased by hearsay I was dressed up in other's garments Whom were in the "more impressive" crowds I was a hipster on a day to be a gentleman I was a gentleman at the party, When you are supposed to scream for passion. I was an ocean that had no life formations I was only water Salt was a stranger. You want to live in a duel Parading town as the social clown You dream when it's convenient Your nightmares shape your eyes - To a sunken black tombstone. Good luck impressing your kings and queens With your coffee stained Santa beard However, you'll never know if they will applaud Once you create a dynasty out of your cheap imitations. A lollipop for the mob. Sure, you can impress By making grenades out of seashells But, can you pull the needles from your chest - when you're robbed from all that you've loved. I once polluted this Earth with a squalor empire Spilling drips and drops of toxins over a circular sun Well, I was told by God himself That you should learn to run Run away from the burns and scum That follow you into a shun. Are you following me? Always and always will Always it the word that means eternal. Even when hidden below the mountains, And you're the forgotten mister. The old cracking skin, Picking lines from the bible and tattooing them on your brain. To recite to all shabby crocodile hearts - That walk by pounding on that narcissism drum. You call for peace When the world explodes in sin. And, where are you? Still watching Cassavetes films On your broken waterbed. Popsicles melted all over the damn creation. Sloppy and drooling, How elite are you? In your painted brain. 1928 Skin Disease Are we all heart attacks? As Midwestern flu epidemics rips the town to shreds We are cold, we are infernos We are light, we are black and white In Photographs We look like we hate life. Soothe me with old stresses New stress is just new shit, a new grind And they will take our drinks away and watch us sell off our families To protect us from the war sirens. I'm not even sure we're alive, Picking potatoes by burning coals With copperheads swirling around the tractor It must be a good feeling To shed this disease. Feeling death melt over the river And watch the skies green up and shred away the clouds. In 1928, the great grandfathers had to fight The silver wind and the knives of the night. To protect the women and children from unknown wraths And the film negatives that leave the ill imprint. Battling the Stars in the Brothel Every day. He lives the grandiose Vegas life. Always tossing the dice around floating hearts He still lives in the cool amongst the foolish While all the good men are pedaling in quicksand He fights the unkempt, With the ugliness that runs in his blood. He bribes the orchestra He winks to the greasy hands Now is that absurd? In Vegas blinders Every day at the brothel, Drinks all the expensive champagne His habits are a smash hit. While he displays all his truths and lies While on the floor broken Watching soggy stars spin around - the Vulgar room In Pink Neon. Every day, the puffy possessions Stems of flaky roses A melting superficial charm You're the private in the glitter army Sugar spoons begin to bend And your pain resonates In the women you've bedded You're the needless paper heart Aborted away the emotions Now all that money is running thin In a BMW suffering in starvation Even you could use a meal. Look at the magnificent Eating at the cheap diner again All the ladies at the brothel, are harmoniously singing - at the beauty of your severance. Oh, the sex symbol once dapper and proud is just a cobweb father With orbs lingering overhead. In those stars you've met the spider. J.D. Truckers Neglectful boys they became Women in nightgowns, children in He-Man pajamas With a Hi-C box dripping on the light brown carpet Those men, Romanticizing about Jack Daniels Some truckers whom believed they had wisdom. From London, Kentucky David and Jeff became friends A grandeur imposter, tough, and reedy They were, And they, were locks and chains Coughing, hacking, bleeding ulcer truckers. Mom never told them "I Love You" They were supposed to be at home when off from work, but they were shooting darts, Shooting Asian Carp in the lake They were all firecrackers and gasoline hands, Voyeurs at the maiden's motel. Grocery store riots, plastic flower playboys, truckers Empowered by the whiskey burns Lighting in the bottle during the whiskey storm. Torching the taste buds and watch Thelma and her sisters wave goodbye. They found her discount store bra and stolen carton of eggs in their Semis. Stained flannel shirts, Gamy newspapers, they couldn't cry Bruise out a tear. Because mom never told them "I Love You" They had to call Daniel Davis at the payphone So they can more Jack on the icy roads Riveting focus over the mountains to a new river, On a new day, and Double D had the money at least one more time - For these J.D. Truckers. They had kids at home begging for a stuffed animal, for a T.V. dinner. They had women at home circling ads for new men. They just sat in their trucks in the trashed depression. With a toasted cheese frozen to the dashboard. The open road was losing its freedom And all of their dancers they'd visit we're becoming old like them. Their buddies they used to brag about Were either skeletons or in jail. Because mom never said "I Love You" Old Boss on Friday On a morning that brewed the dust A flock of geese flew over the trees Above your militia hut You're the sore, An enabler of war The captain to a whipping shore All your people scare of your stare. You act the part of a corruptive clown Everyone believes your lies The genius that you say you are You have bought your charm Like a violation of the Hatch Act. The women you swoon The same way you puncture their heart, At the end of a bloody moon Leaving it pale. In a sinister snort of your "sugar dirt" You claim you have paved the way The gifts of your smile And the guns you pack Doesn't always make for a friendly holiday. Vacations with strangers On some pompous waters that you claim as your own Wicked and paralyzing You tell the young blondes what they want to hear. Promotions, Promotions, Promotions. A raise will come, follow me like the fading sun And you will be rewarded with the bed of gold And enfold you in my shield. shhhh...keep your mouth shut, Sign away your clarity for new fears The Captain is a burning room, full of many wardrobes and burning perfumes, Come with me in this hideaway scene In the glossy ghetto murdered by rain See you there in your anxious fear He laughs and makes you his comic book brain. You are not ripe anymore Too wrinkled and sour Your politics too dire to his ideal Pulling away, from his constraint He's got piles of red hats and snake flags. Packing to the rallies and the stores. And you are now just a wish elimination from your freedom The flight skidding into a slavery war Pumping at your brakes Now your mind is an earthquake. And your solidity as a king on Tuesday breaks down Like the skeleton of a storm Broken branches driven over by squealing tires Streetlights fade on your cocaine parade And your midas hands begin to fail Your mid-life crisis begins to feel more permanent. By Thursday, you're the talk of the scene. The words don't come out easily, You've been pawned and left raw. Those paisley shirts and Raybans can't hide your lies And false charms, What is secure? When the floor has been swept away from your feet? The week will not lay down like a lady at your beckoning dream DENIED in red ink! Remove and brush away Clouds spit out the greenish hue for you, the Old boss on Friday. Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan