-

by Eric Rhohenstein
criticalpoet.org
Third Place, February 2009
Judged by Elena Karina Byrne


This

       only matters in that your eyes see it. Others like it don’t exist, are 
crumpled in a figurative corner: a paper-moat around a bin. They are 
bits of a scene in a lousy movie in which a man courts

              It is not a moat, but a ring. . .

                                                             his stubborn bit of less-than-genius 
as if it were a butterfly worth netting.

(Every x number of pupations, it stands to reason that a creature must 
emerge discolored, missing a wing – wholly not itself – as if by mandate:

              rise like the cream does! remember what the dream was!

                                                                                    Perhaps in a movie 
it would be allowable to consider

the more definite.)

              -slit-

I gut it. It bleeds out the bottom.

              No. It’s

                              the phantom wing, rising

              Scratch that. Have it

                                                   falling where only one person hears it; the 
universe expands a bit
                         /
                              swallows nothing, this, sound

This third place poem crosses its own tightrope in a "figurative corner" of the mind. It's a compelling example of how art averts its subject matter. The psychology becomes an essential part of the material: as a writer struggles, a metaphysical angel/Gregor Samsa "creature must emerge" and its the unfolding process of discovery, of creation, which involves the maker, the maker standing back watching himself/herself, and the other unseen viewer, in a triad of perception. Yes, this marvelous "universe expands a bit" as we read it. --Elena Karina Byrne

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block