Tuesday, June 28, 2005

IBPC June 2005 Winning Poems

(please note that this is the announcement for last month's entries, not this month's. We will know about this month's entry sometime in late July)


InterBoard Poetry Community June Winners!
Judge: Aaron Wellborn


First Place:

T.J.
by Yolanda Calderon-Horn
Writer's Block

Second Place:

Last Minute Chore
by Jim Fowler
The Versifier Online Poetry and Art Forum

Third Place:

Old Silverware on Parade
by John Eivaz
The Versifier Online Poetry and Art Forum

Honorable Mention:

On Finding Trilliums
by Kathy Paupore
Wild Poetry Forum


Winning Poems with Commentary:


T.J.
by Yolanda Calderon-Horn

He gave me to drink from his dented tin can.
It was surprisingly cool: not bad for tap water.
The living/kitchen area was vastly infertile-
with two lawn chairs posing as rainy-day furniture
and a gooseneck sink next to a circa 50’s icebox.
The place was clean.

One ill fitted window on a wall
faced a faded-yellow sheet that dangled
in place of a bedroom door.
He grabbed a towel, rinsed it;
with his hand quietly on my elbow,
he led me through the managing curtain.
My trembling stopped.

A twin bed, stack of law books and
nightstand huddled in the center of the room.
There was lunch neatly tucked in a napkin on the table
along with the leather box monogrammed T.J.
That's where he kept the old letters.
I dared to ask how he came to save them
when everything else was lost.

I must have appeared as an apparition
that traveled from the past and arrived
in pulled smoke- whose accident outside
the front yard disturbed a valley silence.
He wiped drying blood from my forehead,
asked if I was hungry. Before I answered,
he tore the cheese sandwich in half.


~~


Commentary:

Coincidence is a vital force. It can't be stopped--only marveled at. The marvel of this poem is its willingness to let us inhabit the moment of a coincidence coming together, with all the disorientation, alertness, and wonder of the speaker--and without explaining too much. The careful attention to detail allows actions and images to speak for themselves, and we're left to luxuriate in the unanswered mysteries of the poem. Who is T.J.? What sort of letters are in that box? In the end, the answers are not important. The moment is. --Aaron Welborn


~~~~~~~~

Last Minute Chore - Jim Fowler

We were embarrassed by what
you wanted to do. You made us
promise, strong hands now weak,
wringing the deed out of us.

We drank, laughed self-consciously
that summer afternoon, hot as the red
peppers you considered fertilizing,
in a mad fit of immortality.

Instead, your ashes, sifted fine
to feel, were nervously placed
and stirred in two gallons of paint.
Bone white that matched no chip.

You on the shed. Two coats cover
the tears of our craziness

~~

Commentary:

Elegies ought to be simple. (How many words can ever pay adequate tribute to a life?) Nothing fancy here. But the spartan simplicity of these fourteen lines is only their second-greatest virtue. First and foremost is their humor. As is often the case in life, the ending here comes as a surprise, with one of the funniest lines I've read in a while: "You on the shed." A clever homage to a man of few words, as I imagine the subject of this poem to be. What more needs to be said?--Aaron Welborn

~~~~~~~



Old Silverware on Parade
by John Eivaz

The wishbone snapped, marginally amended
to two bits in a hand full of snaps, fingers scratch
and bleed to songs of blood
on the winsome organ. Magdalene, please.
Would you like dessert,
perhaps pie, my reclusive waiter queried
in a sudden tone of terror, want of
further words. You know me, my mainstay:
how horrible it is to admit hunger.
The world, yes it's flat
beyond the horizon of the beloved
sunset, grey ends of the
manic skydrop hug a warty moon.
These few last beans trouble me,
call to all I've eaten.
I've lost my appetite now,
could you find it for me please,
crossing against an indeterminate light
in a meringue shroud. Pass on by,
bon appetit. Heartburn and all
that jazz, is the head
free yet?

~~

Commentary:

The relationship most of us have to language--that is, our reliance on it as an everyday tool--can be thrillingly fun to dismantle, up-end, and disturb, in order to show off the more plastic properties of words. All of us are familiar with poems that are more thought than feeling, more concept than image, more platitude than play. Here is one that reads as if it were made by a freed imagination, and for that reason I'm willing to go wherever it takes me.--Aaron Welborn


~~~~~~~~


On Finding Trilliums
by Kathy Paupore


She walks the woods along the road,
the air is cold, rain comes and goes.
There at the base of the pine, a glimpse.

The wait has been short or long, depends
on your perception of time and its demands.
That tease of white could be a scrap

of birch bark, discarded paper, a patch
of snow. Other ephemerals have come
and gone, most too quickly, unless

you watch for their bloom. Maybe these two
were here yesterday, but she walked
this same path, saw no signs. Perhaps the leaves

were close on the ground, tiny buds still green.
Today they must be taller, three leaves
open, white petals curved back to drink rain.

~~

Commentary:

The careful construction of this poem reflects the fineness of the situation it describes: that moment of discovering something so delicate, so ephemeral, and so minute, chances are that no one else will ever know about it. How to hold on to something so fragile? With a poem.



Congrats to all,

Cherilyn Ferroggiaro
Assistant Editor IBPC

2 comments:

Pris said...

Good choices of poems. I especially like Jim Fowler's. It's time that he had recognition for his poetry. Other good ones, too. This one just resonated with the mix of humour with serious content.

Rae Pater said...

Congrats to you all.
Esp. Jim, who well deserves the recognition (I actually thought you had won this a time or two Jim?).