Archive for the ‘Germany’ Tag

Pirene’s Fountain 2011   Leave a comment

This image was taken in 1986 by Thierry Noir a...

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To read the poem, click here

Middle school is never easy. It’s especially tough when you’ve always been a little socially awkward. As I was. And, ok, continue to be. I think most writers, most creative people, live within their minds to a degree that interacting with other people isn’t always easy. Add to that an embarrassing childhood illness, and you’ve got a made for tv movie in the making.

Or, in my case, fodder for good poetry. A great example is the poem Pirene‘s Fountain published of mine earlier this year, entitled “When the Wall Came Down”. The wall of course refers to one of the big historical moments during my youth, Perestroika, and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Also, great fodder. Especially when you combine it with preteen angst.

Today, make a list of all the defining historical moments of your youth. Thinks about where you were, what you were doing, how it impacted you, how it didn’t. Start brainstorming how one thing mirrored the other, how history could be used as a metaphor for the first person you kissed, the bully that pushed you into the mud, the joy of making the soccer team, the defeat of not gaining a part in the school play.

 

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Pirene’s Fountain   Leave a comment

Lincoln's death bed

http://pirenesfountain.com/archives/issue_05/current_issue/peterson_helen.html

Tomb Painter, the first of the two poems of mine that Pirene‘s Fountain published in May of 2009, was written after a pretty horrific prompt. A friend of mine, who at the time was working for a cleaning service, had been called to clean a home after a suicide, and had taken a picture of the bed where the person had shot themselves. It was pretty gruesome, but all I could think of, looking at this picture being passed around, is the inn in Washington DC where they took Lincoln after he was shot, across from the theater, and how, as an eighth grader, it had deeply affected me, walking around the bed, seeing the pillow with its faint brown stain.

I thought about this weird connection, how a person might fit in both places, how one place could lead to another. It lead me to images of Lincoln, his death mask, which lead me to the death masks and photographs of other dead persons, photographed in their coffins. I thought about the person behind the camera, was it a relative, a professional brought in, an employee of the funeral home? What about crime scenes, suicides, who dreams of being a photographer of the dead, as opposed to babies and weddings and school children?

The result of all of these threads, after free writing, sketching out a character, cutting and pasting, was the poem Tomb Painter.

What intrigues you? Have you seen a photograph, read a poem or short story, that reminded you of something else? Explore the threads that bind them together in your mind, see what other associations you can make from them. Create a story or poem of your own, using these threads.