‘serPina biNary

by Carmela Cohen
Highly Commended, April 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson

                                                 barely rains, rarely, but for the morning residue
                                                                                                                       of grapes. wine
                                                                                                                  chased down
                                                                                                           by apple gait
                                                                                     by dappled tannin bombs
                                                                      replacing the very sour
                    hours. delinquent hours. bald refrain of arpeggio
          pain replete with teething,
   antecedent shame
and windows, windows
     plagued by
        gaping thoughts
            of trains, derailed
                                weather vanes span the mottled
                                                                      stretchers. here the masters cluster
                                                                                                     disapproving stares
                                                                                                                     shuffle whispers;
                                                                                                        the glaring difference
                                                                                           in years. here the gilt
                                                              ridden host of clear coasts
                    begins to burn cinnamon, the toast. fenestration
    for opportunity’s sake. the spur
of the prosperous moment
    casts aspersions
         aside while focusing
                 on desire’s bloodshot eye.
                                 tell me, tell me obliquely, about getting laid
                                                                                          off feeling infinitely
                                                                                                   screwed, used. maturity's
                                                                                                                  security. making do
                                                                                                    with defense mechanism’s
                                                                                       helium cocoon. mulling over-
                                                     heard mentalities in the corral of modality. baby
              baby. me metatarsenal. smash. come from hind baal
     bush, shellack. i grow down goose-
bound. mustachioed
        splashed brackish kitsch
            koosh? to waste away dusty,
                   douche without tasting
                                 touching tipsy lip to
                                                     lip, pipslip hip to big dipper shlook your butterfly zipped a
                                                                                                               smidgeon a smudge
                                                                                                      of vulnerability. tish
                                                                                toosh splishplash of eyelash,
                                                  chance come prance, compress. stress
                                 test love. my flower. bed.

Highly commended or its elegant shape (among shaped concrete poems); for its successful accumulation of thoughts, tropes and things from small-town anomie; and for its incidental wit – “fenestration / for opportunity’s sake”. --Fiona Sampson