Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Tag

Everyday Poets September 2012   1 comment

New interrobang tattoo

Interrobang tattooed on the arm of a fellow punctuation lover. (Photo credit: Emily Lewis)

Last week I talked about my recent move to Michigan. The reason for the move was because my new husband, the short story writer Gavin Broom, had gotten a job with a subsidiary of his company in that state. Gav and I have been friends for many years, both belonging to the same online writers’ workshop. A native of Scotland, he visited the US in August 2011, and we were able to meet face to face for the first time.

The attraction, which had been building gradually via email, text message, and Facebook, blossomed into a full-blown relationship.  Five transatlantic flights later, we decided our carbon footprint had grown wide enough, and he proposed in the baggage claim of Logan International Airport in Boston.

My poem in Everyday Poets on September 28th, Interrobang, deconstructs our relationship. It speaks of the questions that are brought up when one marries for the second, or even third, time. How two people used to having their own way come together as one, forging new ways of arranging a living room, folding clothes, raising children.

An interrobang is a unique form of punctuation, which is used for something that is both a question and an exclamation. I thought it summed up perfectly the feelings one has right before a move, a wedding. That feeling of excitement, with so many possibilities ahead of you that you feel the need to question every one. It’s the first form of punctuation that I’ve ever written a poem around, though I have challenged myself to write more.

To read the poem, follow this link, feel free to rate it and leave a comment!

http://www.everydaypoets.com/interrobang-by-helen-r-peterson/

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Wilderness House Literary Review 2011   3 comments

pregnancy tests

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To read the issue, click here 

WHLR very nicely printed five, yes FIVE! of my poems in their latest issue. I feel loved.

Agamous is another one of those three dollar poems. Agamous is a word that can mean asexual, it can also mean a metal free of impurities. In this poem, I play on both definitions to detail the end of a marriage, when one goes through a period of feeling asexual, almost as if the sexual being is ripped, painfully, from one’s identity, a process not unlike the extreme heat and pressure required to purify a metal.

How I Knew is a humorous take on pregnancy, the discovery by a woman that she is with child, and the attempt to explain to her partner exactly what it was that inspired her to purchase the pregnancy test in the first place.  The answer is, of course, unsatisfying and enlightening at the same time.

The next poem is also a humorous poem, and a 3 dollar one as well. The English Major Comes Home is different from the other 3 dollar poems in that the big expensive words come not in the title, but in the poem itself. There are eight of these words in total, including my favorite, windelstraw. I’ve met English majors like this, in fact, if I were totally honest with myself, I guess I was one. Still am.

The last two take a turn in the opposite direction.

Laying it Down/Picking it Up was a poem inspired by the heartbreaking death of a former student of mine. She was only in 6th grade when she died suddenly during what was supposed to be a routine surgery. Later it was discovered that she had undiagnosed leukemia, and would have died soon, tragically, anyway. The memorial service, however, was a beautiful celebration of a wonderful little girl, and I felt it deserved to live on.

The last poem, You Cut Me Deep, is sad, bitter, using a favorite girlhood toy and the folklore of unicorns. What can I say, I’m a student of folklore, I use it a lot. And yes, okay, I haven’t exactly been successful in discerning the wheat from the chaff when it comes to relationships. I do believe I am getting better. Maybe.

So there you go. A pretty successful and wide ranging collection of poems. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. They’ll all, hopefully, make you think. Enjoy.

 

NaNoWRiMo, Day 2   Leave a comment

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the U.S.

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The word today was halcyon, a place or state of calm. I free wrote ideas for a poem during lunch at a local Chinese buffet, which was at that hour quite calm and peaceful for me. Those notes evolved into a poem about zodiacs and grandparents.

I did not get to Cain. Due to a sugar crash from pilfered Halloween candy, I just wasn’t able. I plan on getting to it again tomorrow. One problem is, is that the part I’m working on involves a character I’m just not invested in. He’s quite a cliche, a stereotype, so I’m thinking of cutting the whole section, but I’m not sure. Ergo, no action whatsoever taken.

In the works as well this month, continued work on a short story I began a few months ago about a woman divorcing her zombie husband. It’s good, and deserves some face time. So, maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow if I’m still on the fence about Cain’s latest disciple.

Halcyon, it’s a good word. At the very least, use it in a sentence sometime tonight or tomorrow. Find yourself a halcyon of your own to work in. Escape the misanthropes.

Elephant   Leave a comment

"Man, and the elephant" Plate from H...

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Elephant does not have a website. There is no Elephant Facebook page. The Elephant does not Tweet.

What Elephant is is a throwback to the underground literary culture of old, when poets put their work together and printed them out by hand, mimeograph machine, and then copier, stapled the pages together and handed them out on the streets. A zine of the truest kind, almost a broadside, no spine, just a staple in the corner. There is no price on Elephant, if you email the editor, he’ll email you an issue for free. If  you ever visit New London CT, you can find piles of copies available in almost every art gallery and all of the bars. You can also find it hiding out incognito in other cities, City Lights in San Francisco tends to carry a copy or two.

So you might be asking yourself, why on earth would this writer, who has published all over, and actually gotten paid to do so, want to be in a little two page pamphlet of poetry? Because the work is quality, I am proud to share pages with the people I do in the January 2010 issue. Richard Martin of Boston MA, Diane Di Prima of San Francisco, who has been a hero of mine ever since my first husband gave me a copy of Women of the Beat Generation by Brenda Knight. The Elephant is in the Room, quietly reminding us why we became writers in the first place, to have a voice.

If you want a copy, or to submit some of your work, the Elephant does have an email address, jake_stjohn@hotmail.com, and snail mail:

Jake St. John

(Elephant)

152 St. John Rd.

Jewett City, CT

06351

Since you can’t find it online, the poem Mr. St. John published of mine in January, Omniscience, is below.

Omniscience

While every house on Broadway sleeps

St. Pats keeps watch, looming

silent as concrete while its spotlights

announce a higher power

to the taverns winking

out on Main.

Danse Macabre   Leave a comment

The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut,...

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http://dansemacabre.art.officelive.com/PoesieAuxBarricades.aspx

Danse Macabre has to be one of the most beautiful online literary sites up and running today. Every issue is so well put together, with the art and the words. So, I was pleased as punch they published a poem of mine earlier this year called “The Feminine Mystique“.

The poem was based upon something my good friend and fellow poet Katie Moore, editor of the Legendary posted on Facebook once, how she almost “drank” a brown recluse that had slipped into her coffee cup. The image was so vivid to me, a self-proclaimed arachnaphobe, that I had to write about it.  I thought about what I thought of as Katie’s strengths, as well as those of some of my other favorite ladies who write, and wove a simple tale about the recycling of a spider corpse. A bit creepy, a bit empowering. It’s all good.

Tonight, take someone’s status update and weave a tale through it. Share it here, or share it on your friends’ wall. Create unlikely dialogue through the time-sucking device of social networking. Make Facebook work for you for once.

Barnwood International   1 comment

http://web.mac.com/tomkoontz/Site_30/Peterson.html

Barnwood published two poems of mine this year, “Searching for Suzanne on Youtube” and “Dying is an Art”, both poems inspired by the art of someone else. The first one is actually a tribute to two people, Leonard Cohen wrote the song Suzanne, but it’s Nina Simone’s cover of the song that inspired me to write. A lot of people, when I began to workshop this poem, questioned my use of Youtube, whether social media of any kind belonged in poetry. It’s an interesting debate, one I would welcome continuing in this venue, but ultimately I decided using Youtube set the timing of the poem at a date later than the initial recording in a way that added emotion to the discovery, without spelling out that it was the year 2010.

“Dying is an Art…” uses a quote from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Lady Lazarus” as its title. Reading her poem, and writing down the quote, opened up for me a topic that I had not heretofore written about with success, though I had tried many times. It was an incident in my life that was too emotional to write about head on, even years afterward. Plath has always been a favorite of mine, and I’ve read Lady Lazarus many times before the inspiration hit me to build on it with my own personal experiences with suicide.

As a writing prompt today, write out your favorite poem written by someone else, and see if you can find parallels in your own life. Write them out, and feel free to share.

Tales of the Zombie War   Leave a comment

Fallen angels in Hell

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http://www.talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2010/08/10/little-surfle-grrrrrl-by-helen-r-peterson/
Today’s poem is called Little Surfle Grrrrl, a poem about zombies. A poem about surfing over a wave of zombies as they march forward in their quest for brains. No, really.
I didn’t start out to write a zombie poem, though I’d written a few before. I’ve been working on a project using unusual words, inspired initially by David Foster Wallace‘s dictionary. For more information on that list you can click  here:http://www.slate.com/id/2250784/. The word surfle, however, came from Weeb Heinrich of http://writingraw.com , who posts daily words of the day on his Facebook page. The word surfle means to wash, as the face, with a cosmetic supposed to have been prepared from sulphur or mercury, called surphuling water. When I think of cosmetics, I think of women, mostly teenaged women who typically experiment with weird concoctions to put on their face to remove acne. I myself slathered my face with mayonnaise, eggs, lemon juice and toothpaste between the ages of 13 and 18. When I think sulphur, I think of Hell, so I imagined a teenager in Hell, how she would try to have fun in that environment. Then a certain Beach Boys song came on the radio, and the rest, as they say, is history. The zombie slant was added in revision, as I tried, and failed, to explain how someone in Hell would be able to find a surfboard. A teenage zombie became much more believable. No, really.
I hope you click the link and enjoy everything zombie poetry has to offer. Afterwards, write down some of your favorite words from the Wallace list, look up their definitions, and weave your own poems and stories around them. Feel free to share them here. See you tomorrow!