Archive for the ‘literary’ Tag

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

 

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Elephant   Leave a comment

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

Image via Wikipedia

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.

The View From Here   Leave a comment

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/78743

In May, in honor of Mother’s Day, The View From Here published my poem The Problem With Mother’s Day. Most of my poems on motherhood have a positive slant to them, this one not so much. There is dark humor here in this  little poem, because a lot of people, especially those that do not have children, idealize motherhood and paint a picture that mothers can do no wrong. Then, when some mother does something truly horrific, it’s plastered all over the news, talking heads decrying the tarnishing of the sanctity of Mother. For a mom who is not going to murder her children or sell them into white slavery, but does have her moments where the makeup isn’t pristine, the children aren’t angels on the playground, and dinner is leftover meatloaf, this idea that anything less than the Perfect Mommy is a sin is an uncomfortable one. So, I wrote a little poem about it, and the folks at The View From Here must have a mother or two amongst them, because they accepted it and published it.

Have some dark days? Not living up to the ideals others plaster all over you? Write about it this weekend, get it off your chest.

Poetry Quarterly   Leave a comment

http://poetryquarterly.com/?page_id=7

As summer draws to a close and the weather here in New England begins to cool, I’m eager to look back on poems written about or during the summer time. The poem that Poetry Quarterly published in their Spring edition, “My Children Smell of Sea Salt Air”, is perfect for these high wind chill days, when all you want to do is curl up with a good book under your snuggli with a cup of tea and a bowl of chili. If you’re short a book, Poetry Quarterly also comes in a convenient print edition.

I wrote this poem late in the school year, when I was stuck counting books and calling parents with overdues, getting the library ready for its long summer’s nap. I would come home, hot, sweaty, and over caffeinated, to hear my children talk about the walks they’d taken with their dad on the boardwalk that day. I would gather them up in hugs and just inhale; it was enough to feel the sunshine on their skin to bring me back to myself.

And so, refreshed, I wrote this poem. I come back to it often this time of year, right before I throw on that extra sweater in the morning.

What was your summer like? On a cold night like tonight, journal about all the things you did, how it felt. Use your notes to write a poem, or a short essay, about the experience. It’s guaranteed to chase away the chill, for one night at least.

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.