Dr. Pachango’s Mango

by Jim Fowler
Third Place, December 2020
Judged by Jim McGarrah

My lady Sally, don’ you dally
wit no poet mans!
Needs yo carin’, so you be rarin’
fo easy lovin wit dees hans!
When we tango, ma hand on your mango,
soft bottom, so sweet an’ low!
Poets they tight, jus don’ feel right
to a sweet womans like you, I kno.
Music at night, me squeezin’ you tite
moon showin’ new love thru.
Sally, o Sally, don’ you dally,
sachet wit dis man, loves you tru.

Sometimes in the creation of poems, ambition is important. I don’t mean commercial ambition, but rather the desire to take a big risk, to do something no one else around you is doing. Uniqueness, a fresh perspective, is one aspect that can make writing become art. I’m not saying poems written in dialect are new. One of the most often quoted lines of poetry ever written comes from Robert Burns in the 18th century—"O wad some Power the giftie gie us / To see oursels as ithers see us!”—Oh what a precious gift he gives us / to see ourselves as others see us. I’m saying it’s a big risk to try and write them in a fresh way that appeals to a universal audience. This effort must be applauded. The dialect in this poem goes a long way in characterizing the narrator, which is one of the things dialect poems are good for. To listen to him talking gives us a more intimate emotional connection with him and therefore with the poem itself than having a third person narrator describe this. He is a passionate man who values physical touch and emotionally expressive activity. You can feel his desire for love as well as being told it exists. --Jim McGarrah