Archive for the ‘People’ Tag

Inwood Indiana   Leave a comment

William Blake's The Body of Abel Found by Adam...

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You can read “Cain: A Life” and “Mother” here

You can buy a copy of Issue 2, Hawthorn Road here

I have been working on my first novel. Well, not a novel, really. Don’t think I have the attention span for a novel yet. Let’s call it a novella. It’s about Cain, son of Adam and Eve, cursed to walk the earth without rest for all of time. It’s also about the people he meets along the way in modern times, mostly in the midwest section of the United States, and how they react to meeting a man who keeps moving, has no moral code good or bad, possibly no soul, and no goals. Slowly witnessing his emptiness allows them to realize, and to fill, the emptiness in their own lives. It’s happy for them, sad for Cain, who must keep moving and has no idea about the good he has done.

I started writing Cain around the end of last year, but I’d had the idea in my head for quite some time. Unfortunately, I can only work on it from time to time, here and there, before life, or other ideas for other stories and poems, overtake it for awhile. I came to a standstill around the time that I was sending out a batch of work, and decided to send what I had so far out, in the hopes that seeing it in print might encourage Cain to emerge.

So, now that it’s out, I’m patiently waiting. If you get a chance to read it, and like it, please don’t be shy about letting me know. Likewise if you hate it. I want to know what you like as well as what you hate, both will help me out a lot in getting the other 90+ pages written.

Mother is a good scary poem, perfect for this time of year. Especially if you suffer from arachnophobia.

Enjoy!

 

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The Battered Suitcase, 2009   Leave a comment

Ganesh festival in India

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To read the poems, click here

I have always had a fascination for Indian culture. I love Bollywood films, Indian novels, Hinduism. A lifelong Christian, polytheism has always seemed exotic, mysterious. Of the Hindu gods, Ganesha has always been my favorite, human body with an elephant head, he physically embodied India to me.

So then why would I write the poor guy into a political satire?

I guess the simple answer was, no one had done it yet. It seemed so obvious to me, the elephant god who symbolizes tolerance and learning, sought after by the Republican party for all the wrong reasons.

I don’t usually write satire, but some of my favorite authors have been satirists.  I guess, sometimes, their influence rubs off on me.  For example, the other poem Battered Suitcase published of mine in 2009, “A Caution for Horny Wizards”, is not only a satirical quip on all things Harry Potter, it’s a mini homage to Terry Pratchett, and the witches and wizards of the Discworld.

Today, flex your creative muscles into the world of satire. Pull something into a world that is its complete opposite, turn a critical eye on that world. Have fun with it. I know I did.

 

Tonopah Review   Leave a comment

A campfire

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http://www.tonopahreview.org/one-of-the-boys.html

In 2009, the Tonopah Review published one of my favorite poems I’ve ever written, called “One of the Boys”.  Full disclosure, I am not an orphan, I do have two older half brothers, but they didn’t raise me, in fact I didn’t even meet them until I was 12.  And I didn’t write this for them, though I love both of them dearly.

No, this poem was written after a long weekend away with writer friends, out in the woods of the Catskill Mountains. One thing you may not know about me, I build a darn good fire.  On the last night out, I built a large bonfire from wood carried in from the surrounding forest by three of the gentlemen on the trip. One of them, walking up behind me as I nudged some seasoned branches into place, told me it was “a damn good fire.” I don’t think I’ve ever received a nicer compliment.

Many times on camping trips in groups, there seems to be a gender gap, wherein the men do some jobs, the women do others. Typically, it’s an unwritten rule that the men build the fire, although our ancestors I’m sure would disagree with this. Even in the back yard, it’s the men who rule the grill, play with fire, take the risks, while the ladies spoon the potato salad. So, I knew the compliment was solid, and hard won.

The next day, before heading home to my kids, I wrote the beginnings of this poem, dedicated to Colin, Scott, and in memory of Glenn.

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.

Bull Spec   Leave a comment

Bill Hinzman as the cemetery zombie from Night...

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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……..