Archive for the ‘Forms’ Tag

Lit Chaos   Leave a comment

Lady Lake, Fla., February 6, 2007 -- A blue ta...

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To read my poems in Lit Chaos, click here

Sadly, Lit Chaos is no more. Well, the online journal known as Lit Chaos is no more, in my daily life, in the life of the literary world, there is still enough chaos to go around. But the Lit Chaos crew were always friendly, they had a nice little press going for awhile. And then, without warning, they just weren’t there, not updating the website, not responding to emails. I’ve been involved with other publications that have quit, but usually there is a very sad email that comes, filled with valid reasons, stuffed with regrets and assurances that the website will remain archived for as long as they can, but that nothing on it will change.

And so it is with Lit Chaos. I click on the site and it’s a veritable ghost town. Nothing changes, and yet you can feel a presence… somewhere…

One of the reasons I loved Lit Chaos so much is the two poems of mine they published in 2008, “Detroit Joe” and “Hands Down“. Both of these poems are fun to read out loud, if you don’t believe me go ahead, try it.

I don’t often write in form, most of my poetry is free verse, but occasionally I find a topic, or dream up a line, that just fits into one form or another. Hands Down is just such a poem, a villanelle, its anthem style fits well as a protest against homelessness, poverty, the inability in the face of disaster to help the most helpless amongst us.

Detroit Joe isn’t written in form, but it is based on a beat. I have a soft spot for Motown, and Detroit Joe takes that influence and writes a story to its beat, another anthem of sorts for the working man, just trying to make the weekend stretch as long as he can.

What are you angry about this week? What irks you, gets your goat? Write about it this week, look into different poetry forms, pantoum, villanelle, sestina, sonnet, haiku, and see if a form fits your anger. Use repetition to your advantage, drive your points home.

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Slow Trains   Leave a comment

Boston Red Sox Cap Logo

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http://www.slowtrains.com/vol9issue4/petersonvol9issue4.html

Haiku is something that all poetry editors dread. Trust me. No, really.  As the managing editor for Chopper Poetry, the two things that automatically got put in the slush pile were the haiku and iambic pentameter. The  thing you want as an editor is the thing that is going to make people think, something they’ve never seen before. And the rules of haiku are so simple, everyone thinks they can write a good one. As my good friend and former co-editor Tom Weigel once said when we got a whole sheet covered with haiku, “that isn’t haiku. It’s a sentence.” Or, a Buzz Lightyear might say, “a sentence.. with style!”

All that being said, yes. I’ve published haiku. I write some haiku from time to time. And, on rare occasions, another editor publishes my haiku. Like the good folks at Slow Trains did this past spring, when they published “Sox-ku”.

Yes, haiku about baseball. Who knew such a thing was even possible? If you know me, you know about my undying love for the Boston Red Sox. NESN is a popular channel here in the Peterson residence. But one night, piling on the couch with the kids and the popcorn, prepping for a Big Papi night, we turned on the TV to discover that while the skies were blue down here in Connecticut, they were gray and pouring in Boston.

So it goes. I switched the TV to Cartoon Network, stole half the bowl of popcorn, and wrote this haiku instead. Anything can be a poem. Dieting, motherhood, and baseball. Sometimes all in the same afternoon. Who knew?

So tonight, on this sleepy Sunday, turn on the TV and write haiku, or sonnets, or even, if you’re ambitious, a sestina or two. Work those brains for tomorrow. Who knows, maybe you’ll come up with something different enough to escape the slush.