Archive for the ‘Google’ Tag

Girls With Insurance 2011   Leave a comment

My First Laptop

Image by TonZ via Flickr

To read the poem, “Never Leave Your Toys On”, click here

I don’t normally play with form poems, but sometimes, like in the middle of April when you’re trying to knock out a poem a day, you just gotta. And so, mid April in 2009, I wrote this shadorma. A shadorma is a six-line poem with with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5, this particular one has twelve lines, repeating the syllable count. The poem was based on a little purple laptop toy my son has, which has a game in which you have to move the mouse over to catch the raining letters. It was just one of the many toys that, if you forgot to turn them off, would start talking by itself in the middle of the night, or when someone walked by heavy enough to cause a vibration, or, in the case of a puzzle that made animal noises when you put the pieces in, if the sun went down and shadows covered empty spaces. Always unnerving, especially in the pitch black, when one’s head is addled by sleep and just wants to take a pee, or get a warm drink and a Tylenol PM.

Oh yes, I was quite proud of my little shadorma. I submitted it all over the place for two years, and no one wanted it. It wasn’t until I sent it to GwI, and editor Dawn Corrigan pointed out that my syllable count was off.  Now, Dawn hadn’t heard of a shadorma before I sent this to her. She took the time to Google it, count my syllables, and email me back to point out my mistake, giving me the opportunity to either rewrite it with the correct syllable count, or take the shadorma label off.

I chose to rewrite and, I think, improve the whole thing. The result is what you’ll find on the GwI website. Girls with Insurance is a quality online journal, in great part to the skills of the editors, who really care about what they put out. Read it, submit to it. Enjoy it.

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Bull Spec   Leave a comment

Bill Hinzman as the cemetery zombie from Night...

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.bullspec.com/

So yes, I do some speculative fiction here and there. In this case, I’ve got a zombie love poem, thought you won’t actually see the word “zombie” in the actual poem. This poem is all thanks to my favorite source of inspiration, Black and WTF, who at one point early in the year had a black and white photo of a nude woman on a settee, embracing a skeleton. Now, this skeleton was not looking at the woman, hunger in its hollow eyes, but I thought about why on earth a person would keep a rotting corpse around the house.  Not only around the house, but out in the open. And embrace it. Naked. The least disturbing idea was that the skeleton was indeed a zombie, one who at one point had been the woman’s lover, or husband. It was fun to write, fun to imagine…. from a safe distance of course. Ax at my side……..

The Moronic Ox   2 comments

WPA poster by Kenneth Whitley, 1939.

Image via Wikipedia

http://moronicox.com/peterson.html

Seriously, could there be a better name for a literary journal than Moronic Ox? When I first heard about them, I knew a group of editors with such a funny and clever name would appreciate my writing. And I was right! How about that?

A few days ago I wrote about my love for fold and fairy tales on the Velvet Chamber post. There I deconstructed a princess. In the story on the Moronic Ox entitled A Little Red, I turn that sweet little girl on her way to grandma’s house into a feminist and a carnivore.

Of course, I’m not the first person to think of Little Red in this way. In her book, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked, Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, Catherine Orenstein explores the history of the story, how it was initially written to warn young women about the “wolves” lurking around in the palaces of Europe, and how it has evolved, (or some would say, devolved), into porn, comedy, cartoons, popular music, and slang.

And so, after reading this book, it was only a matter of time before I took the matter into my own hands and twisted the tale. In my story, there is no kindly woodcutter, just a smart girl picking her teeth, a wolfish grin on her face and a message in blood written across the wall.

I really like playing around with old stories. Soon I will begin work on a Goldilocks tale, keeping the old thief and losing the little girl. Someday perhaps I’ll have enough of these to collect into a book. Someday perhaps I will be able to find a publisher willing to produce that book.

What about you? Is there an old story that you love enough to rewrite, making it your own? Try it sometime, old characters you thought you knew will become interesting, and sometimes dangerous, strangers.