Archive for the ‘Romance’ Tag

The Joys of Marriage for Writers   Leave a comment

 

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Gavin Broom and Helen R. Peterson.

Writers are a fickle bunch. By necessity, we grow a tough skin, but we can still be sensitive to criticism, especially from other writers. I’ve co-edited projects with other writers with whom I’d been best friends before the project began, and no longer on speaking terms with after. It happens. So just imagine living and working with another writer. Co-editing a transatlantic literary journal. Lots could go wrong in that scenario.

It doesn’t always work, sometimes when one of you gets a story accepted in that journal that NO ONE gets accepted into, the other one can’t help but ask, “why not me?” But it’s nice to have an extra pair of eyes in the house to tell you when you’re getting it right, and wrong. It’s good to live with someone who understands, when you’ve got the notebooks and pens out, when the laptop is turned on, they shut the door, take the kids out for ice cream, and give you your space for a few hours.

Gavin and I have, so far, made it work. We were friends when we started working on Waterhouse together, and we’re still friends. More than friends in fact. We look forward to seeing how our life together is reflected in one another’s writing from now on, and seeing how working so closely together will improve the Waterhouse further.

We invite you to share this journey with us, by keeping an eye on this blog, the Melons and Memory Facebook page, and the Waterhouse Review ( www.waterhousereview.co.uk  ). Let’s enjoy this ride together!

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Zygote in my Coffee April 2012   1 comment

Rossetti was interested in figures locked in e...

Zygote in My Coffee April 2012

 

To read the issue, go here: http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue137contentsradnads.html

 

First, let me just say how happy I am that Zygote came back. They were one of the first to publish me, and so many of those early online zines have gone dark. I’m ecstatic they’ve published my poems, Sapiosexual and Glottophagy, this month in issue #137.

 

Both Sapiosexual and Glottophagy continue the series I’ve been working on of Three Dollar Poems, poems that have long and/or archaic words for titles that then go on in the body of the poem to define the word in some way.

 

A sapiosexual is a person who is turned on by another person’s intellect, and not their physical appearance. Glottophagy is a term that refers to when a language is completely taken over by another, so that the words themselves are lost. This is commonly referred to as language death, but glottophagy, let’s admit it, is a lot more fun to say.

 

I am so excited to see these two poems published together, as they are both inspired by the new man in my life, and the impact these changes have had in both my point of view and in my writing. Glottophagy especially encapsulates this, since I had been in such destructive relationships previously, it was hard for me to reclaim the language necessary to write poems and fiction that reflect happiness and true love. Working through the poem was a gateway for me to a whole new range of images and metaphors that had been closed off to me before.

 

I am eager to see what new poems will be inspired by this amazing new journey in my life, and I can’t wait to share them with you, my fans and supporters. I think, in times like these, we can all use a few more happy poems, don’t you?

 

 

Wilderness House Literary Review 2011   3 comments

pregnancy tests

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To read the issue, click here 

WHLR very nicely printed five, yes FIVE! of my poems in their latest issue. I feel loved.

Agamous is another one of those three dollar poems. Agamous is a word that can mean asexual, it can also mean a metal free of impurities. In this poem, I play on both definitions to detail the end of a marriage, when one goes through a period of feeling asexual, almost as if the sexual being is ripped, painfully, from one’s identity, a process not unlike the extreme heat and pressure required to purify a metal.

How I Knew is a humorous take on pregnancy, the discovery by a woman that she is with child, and the attempt to explain to her partner exactly what it was that inspired her to purchase the pregnancy test in the first place.  The answer is, of course, unsatisfying and enlightening at the same time.

The next poem is also a humorous poem, and a 3 dollar one as well. The English Major Comes Home is different from the other 3 dollar poems in that the big expensive words come not in the title, but in the poem itself. There are eight of these words in total, including my favorite, windelstraw. I’ve met English majors like this, in fact, if I were totally honest with myself, I guess I was one. Still am.

The last two take a turn in the opposite direction.

Laying it Down/Picking it Up was a poem inspired by the heartbreaking death of a former student of mine. She was only in 6th grade when she died suddenly during what was supposed to be a routine surgery. Later it was discovered that she had undiagnosed leukemia, and would have died soon, tragically, anyway. The memorial service, however, was a beautiful celebration of a wonderful little girl, and I felt it deserved to live on.

The last poem, You Cut Me Deep, is sad, bitter, using a favorite girlhood toy and the folklore of unicorns. What can I say, I’m a student of folklore, I use it a lot. And yes, okay, I haven’t exactly been successful in discerning the wheat from the chaff when it comes to relationships. I do believe I am getting better. Maybe.

So there you go. A pretty successful and wide ranging collection of poems. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. They’ll all, hopefully, make you think. Enjoy.

 

Apparatus Magazine   Leave a comment

Jack Kerouac by photographer Tom Palumbo, circ...

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http://www.apparatusmagazine.com/V1I10HelenPeterson.html

Apparatus Magazine published two of my poems in April, “Bargain Bin Blues” and “Jack and Me”.  Both poems really owe a lot to my life experiences, but both approach them from very different times in my life, and in different ways.

“Bargain Bin Blues” is all about the soundtrack of my college years in Lynchburg, Virginia. A lot of jam bands, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, and the campfires and freedoms of a person’s late teens and early twenties, where the rules are few, and so is the money. It doesn’t say in the poem, but the CD in question is the soundtrack for the film White Man’s Burden.

Where Bargain Bin riffs off of the musical soundtrack of my life, Jack and Me is all about the poetry that influenced me in the beginning, specifically that of the Beats. I was in love with Jack Kerouac in high school. Crazy dark-haired alcoholic mama’s boy is an acquired taste for some, but has been a type that has always gotten me into trouble. I blame Jack.

In Gerald Nicosia‘s critical biography Memory Babe, he relates a story about how Jack  at a young age would play a mental game with himself while riding in his father’s car, pretending to mow trees down, counting mailboxes, things like that. I would do the same thing. The character Galatea in On the Road was based on a woman named Helen. My Roman name in Latin class was Galatea. Freaky coincidences that don’t really mean much now, but to an easily swayed sixteen year old it was a sign from above, that I would be a writer. Not just a writer, but a Writer!!!!!

So, time changes everything. I got my dark-haired doe eyed drunk, and it was not a happy ending. Is it ever? I wrote a poem poking fun at myself a little, taking off the rosy glasses that romanticized the short life of a man who in the end was rather sad, and setting an expiration date for my life, many many years into the future. Stay tuned to see how that turns out.

Now it’s your turn. Has a childhood hero let you down? Have your ideals changed with time, wisdom, responsibilities and paychecks? Write about it, and let me know how it turns out.