Archive for July 2012

A Few Lines Magazine 2012   Leave a comment

 

Refridgerator with character

Who knows what lurks in the fridge? 

 

 

 

 

 

There are times when the influence of the poets that have come before you become very apparent in your work. You write a poem or a story, and you can see Emily Dickinson or Wallace Stevens or Robert Frost in there, somewhere. In my poem, To My Recent Ex, recently published by A Few Lines Magazine, there is a glimmer of William Carlos Williams’ “This is Just to Say”.

 

 

 

There are two very different camps when it comes to the interpretation of Williams’ poem. Some believe it to be a simple and moving look into a loving relationship. The other camp, where I stand, sees the chill and formality within it. Forgiveness is not asked, it is demanded. Ending with the word cold implies, to me, a chilly relationship, where communication is handled solely by notes left on the fridge.

 

 

 

My poem was written at a time when my soon to be ex-husband and I were communicating in like manner, though with us it was texting, we no longer shared a fridge. The isolation in Williams’ poem resonated with me, and I wanted to take it farther, more graphic, more cynical.

 

 

 

And so, instead of sweet fruit, the persona in my poem eats a bowl of spaghetti past its prime instead. The results are stomach turning, in more ways than one.

 

 

 

You can read my poem, and the other great poetry in Issue IV of a Few Lines, by following this link here to the pdf:

 

 

 

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4016299/vol1iss4-pdf-may-22-2012-12-13-am-1-4-meg?da=y&dnad=y

 

Gone Sane by Christal Rice Cooper   Leave a comment

 

Ms Cooper’s new book, Gone Sane, is a 197 page collection of poems based upon the lives of the famous and infamous. The book is split into six sections, each focusing on a particular point of view.

 

Christal’s experience as an editor and a free lance journalist is quite apparent throughout the book. There is a level of confidence in the facts of these cases that can only come from thorough research. At the same time, there’s an empathy that transcends the “just the facts” attitude of a reporter. Nowhere in the book is this more evident than in the poem Mark. It is prefaced by a quote from Cooper’s own story in the Altus Times about the case. Mark Gomez, at the age of one, was beaten to death. In the quote the journalist lists the injuries, in the poem the poet relates the purchase of a baby’s outfit which is then laid out over the grave,

 

as if I were dressing a baby

 

just before he climbs on a beer stained couch

to sit by Mommy’s boyfriend,

to feel his whiskered face.

 

The poem ends with Mark Gomez’s murderer’s death penalty sentence carried out, and the poet visiting her own child’s bedroom

 

His clothes are laid out for tomorrow:

red onesie, toddler jeans.

 

Someday I’ll say I knew

I’d hold him safe-

 

The skillful way she pulls the story full circle, into her own home, touches the heart and soul of every parent without being over sentimental.

 

If there’s anything to criticize within the book, it’s that certain sections don’t seem to mesh with the overall mood of the book. I’m not sure, for example, what a poem about Jim Carrey or the band U2 contributes to a book where the majority of the poems deal with murderers, rapists, and massacres.

 

Along the same lines, while most of the poems dealing with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are quite lovely, they dominate the first half of the book to the point where you turn the page and groan to see yet another one. For the purposes of this book, Cooper and Onassis would have been better served focusing on either her life immediately after the assassination of JFK, or her life with Aristotle Onassis, but not both.

 

Finally, the artwork in the book, pencil sketches, appears unfinished alongside the professionalism of the poems they are meant to enhance. It might have been better for the artist to create artwork that more closely mimicked photography, or the heavier, cleaner lines of pen and ink drawings.

 

Overall, Gone Sane is a book that will make you think and make you feel in equal parts. It is well worth the read, and is available on Amazon as both a paperback:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gone-sane-christal-rice-cooper/dp/096507644X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342543371&sr=8-1&keywords=gone+sane

 

and an E-book:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gone-sane-ebook/dp/B007HDVGNI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342543371&sr=8-2&keywords=gone+sane

The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature   Leave a comment

Agape

Agape (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

In April, Dead Mule published my poem Agape. This is the third poem in the Love triad with Phileo and Eros, both published in February by The Legendary.

 

While an overtly religious poem, I believe Agape offers hope for everyone. It was written, as were the other two, for the friend turned briefly lover, reminding him in the darkest hour of the hope he’d found in the renewal of his own faith, and to keep trudging ahead, no matter the dips in the road.

 

But I find, especially at this time in my life, that I too need this reminder on a daily basis. No matter what life throws at you, there is hope somewhere. Nothing is all bad, you cling to the good to pull you out.

 

My belief in Christ has never let me down, no matter what the circumstances. May you find something in your own life to hold on to and give you peace just as well.

 

http://www.deadmule.com/poetry/2012/04/helen-peterson-agape-a-poem/