Heartbreak in Room 7

I am no poet. To call me one would be an insult to all poets.

What is "The Poet Jen McConnell?" Things you won't ever hear me called.

What is “The Poet Jen McConnell?” Things you won’t ever hear me called.

But I can’t control how the story comes out – usually it’s a short story, often a novel, sometimes a screenplay, and very rarely a poem.

I have such admiration for poets. How they can convey so much with such economy of words. But I haven’t always liked poetry.

In college, I hated poetry – Ode on a Grecian Urn, The Rape of the Lock, etc. – I despised those weeks of classes.  I especially hated writing papers about poems. Why write a poem if I need ten pages to explain it? Give  me 900 pages of Dickens any day.

(I do admit, however, that I have always liked The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.)

But once I was in grad school, I listened live to the poetry of my classmates. It was there that I grew to appreciate modern poetry, about real life, about experiences and emotions I could understand at face value and didn’t need another person or Wikipedia page to explain it to me.

So I opened up to the idea of poetry. Stopped crossing my arms against it. And sometimes the muse speaks to me in poetry. Not often but just enough to remind me she’s there.

A few weeks ago, I looked back at a poem I wrote about ten years ago. Fiddled with a couple of lines and sent it off.

The editors of The Olentangy Review accepted that poem, “Heartbreak in Room 7,” just before deadline for their summer 2014 issue, which is now available online.

It’s weird to see my name under the poetry section of a literary magazine, but I am thrilled just the same!

5 thoughts on “Heartbreak in Room 7

  1. Now you are legally obliged, I believe, to acquire and wear a black turtleneck, beret and smoke French cigarettes all the while snapping your fingers at baseball games. Legally.

  2. Have always been and will always be so proud of you my dear niece.

    Things here with your West Coast families are doing well. I have Sunday dinners with Craig and Cathy on a regular basis except not this week. Your cousin Keith has done an excellent job of raising his three children on his own because his ex-wife told him: “I no longer want you and I no longer want those children!” That was several years ago and his three are grown now.

    Keith’s ex all of a sudden had two surprises occur after the age of forty-two, she had two more little girls, different fathers, out of wedlock. She told Keith that should anything happen to her he was to raise the girls. I gasped when he told me and he promptly said: “Dad, those little girls are my children’s sisters. If they ever need a place to go I will be joyfully be there to raise them. All I could say was “God bless you my son!”

    Maria and family come up at least once a month to have Sunday dinner with us at Craig & Cathy’s. They are doing well except for the fact that Maria has been un-employed for a few months so their money is very tight.

    Anna still lives in Florida and is apparently happy there. Keith got upset with me because I didn’t insist she move back to California after her divorce. I told him she was happy where she was and that I had no right to interfere as long as she was happy.

    Your dear old uncle is doing as well as can be expected for someone who will be turning eighty in December.

    Peace and love always, Uncle Eric

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