Archive for June 2012

Jmww 2012   Leave a comment

 

To read Jack and Jill Get a Mortgage, click here: http://jmww.150m.com/PetersonH.html

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)

Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was thrilled, after two years of trying, to finally have a story accepted into jmww this past year. Jack and Jill Get a Mortgage, published in the Winter 2012 issue, is a modern take on the old nursery rhyme, imagining how Jack and Jill might have grown up.

 

I wrote this flash during Hurricane Irene, while I myself was brewing tea with FEMA water and cooking sausages out on the grill. Besides cooking and eating al fresco, there wasn’t much else to do but write while the light was good. I was also in the middle of writing a collection of short stories and poetry based upon nursery rhymes and fairy tales. During a trip to town hall to charge my cell phone, catch up on town news, and fetch a pail of water, it occurred to me that Jack and Jill would be a perfect fit for the situation my family and I were currently in.

 

Rewriting and retelling fairy tales seem to be all the rage these days, look how there’s been two Snow White movies this year. I try to be a little different with mine, find stories and rhymes that may get overlooked by more mainstream writers, and taking the characters and putting them in situations they’d never find themselves in the original stories. It’s great fun to research folktales and legends. You learn more about how we’ve come to think about life, where the tales got their start; it’s interesting to see how these cautionary tales can still be applied to life today, when there are still wolves to avoid and hills to tumble down.

Dire Literary Series, June 1st 2012   2 comments

I was delighted this past month to be invited to feature at the Dire Literary Series, hosted by Timothy Gager. It’s one of my favorite readings to attend on the east coast. For good reason, the features are always well chosen, and the open mic never fails to surprise and delight. Add to it Gager’s monologues, and you’ve got the best night out in Cambridge.

Writer Tim Gager speaking at teh Out of the Blue Gallery in Cambridge Mass.

Tim Gager, warming up the audience

Tim opened the night by sharing his thoughts on the recent incident in Miami involving a man eating another man’s face. He was able to make a very gruesome story humorous and entertaining. The highlight of the open mic portion was series regular Shannon O’Connor reading from her collection of vignettes on riding the T. Shannon’s stories and her deadpan presentations of them are always engaging.

Shannon O’Connor reading during the open mic portion.

The difficult thing for me that night was to find something new to read, while still promoting my new book, Melons and Memory. I’d read a good chuck of it already at Dire during open mics last year, so the material was already familiar to the majority of the audience. I chose to begin with two new poems, The Fear of Big Words and Migratory Patterns. Big Words is especially tricky, as it begins with a word that’s 15 syllables long, and I’d never attempted it live before.

Explaining to the audience that I’m about to pronounce a really big word, for the first time.

Overall it was a fantastic night. As with Long Island, I will probably not have a chance to get back up to Cambridge before the big move to Michigan. It was a great way to end my New England career, surrounded by friends and fellow writers whose work I admire.

So long Out of the Blue Gallery!

The Legendary 2012   Leave a comment

The Legendary 2012

On a number of occasions over the years, I’ve been honored to be included in the pages of The Legendary, edited by the sassy Katie Moore. This year, in February, she published my poems Eros and Phileo.

Both poems take their titles from two of the three aspects of love as defined by the ancient Greeks. Eros is romantic, physical love, and phileo is fraternal love, it’s why we say Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love. There is a third poem in this series, called Agape, on the last aspect of love, but Katie passed on this one and it was published instead by Dead Mule in April, but that’s for another blog post in a couple of weeks.

I wrote these poems towards the end of a brief relationship. After my divorce, I began to date an old friend, someone I had met 18 years ago in high school, and there were times where it was difficult to separate the 33 year old man from the 16 year old boy in the band room.

Writing these poems made me realize that what both of us were looking for was a return to the innocence we’d lost over the years, and the relationship ended soon after. This is one of the advantages of being a poet. Writing gives clarity to the reality that inspires the writing.

To read Eros and Phileo, as well as everything else of mine that the Legendary has ever published, visit their archives here:

http://www.downdirtyword.com/authors/helenpeterson.html