Reading Preview PlopLop pays tribute to the surrealist movement begun by André Breton in France some 80 years ago. Started by John Clark in 1990 and taking a five-year break before recently releasing its 11th issue, PlopLop has remained true to its origins. ‘PlopLop’ is available at Luna Music’s north location or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Don’t call it a magazine. It is a “zine” in the underground, anti-literary sense. But where PlopLop likes to stand is above ground, sticking its tongue out at everyone who passes. It wants to be seen. It wants not to be seen. It wants to be read and enjoyed. It wants to remain unread and hated for its crudeness. It is the car wreck that, however gruesome, everyone stops to see.
PlopLop is made the old fashioned, cut-and-paste way with photocopiers, rubber stamps and Sharpies. Each cover is drawn individually. Collages and renderings by Jason Pierce and John Clark recall the wild surrealist drawings of the ’30s by Breton, Tristan Tzara and Andre Masson. And the poems aren’t presented in a conventional way either. Jim Walker’s poem “Ripe,” for example, is presented with fonts of varying size, which allows the reader to hear the poem as fragmented, as if she were listening in to various conversations in a crowded café.
The automatic drawings and creative collaborations based on the surrealist games mentioned earlier are accompanied by poetry that is at times serious and playful, meaningful and absurd. Kitrell Andis thumbs his nose at sentimentality in this final stanza from “The Clothes You Wore”:
you seemed shy
that first time
when I pulled you to me
your whole body was
like that picture in my mind
that kept jarring out
And Dan Grossman, the most serious of the poets here, writes about Spielberg, Yoko Ono and Rush Limbaugh, and Mel Gibson’s Passion.
In a time when everything is commercialized and sanitized to look and read alike, it is a relief to discover that there are still John Clarks drawing goatees on the faces of the Mona Lisas of our day while honoring the great French tradition of reinventing and reordering the world.
PlopLop contributors will read and engage attendees in surrealist activities tonight (Oct. 13) at the Writer’s Center of Indiana’s monthly reading, 7 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St.