(untitled)

by Matt Moseman
conjunction
Third Place (tie), September 2009
Judged by George Szirtes


opening myself up is often
difficult on the order of opening
a can with only teeth and fingernails.

This, of course,
has little to do with anything

as if anything had anything to do.

a word I use far too much is
they.
I am obsessed with them and their workings and I hate them
and I am so sure that they are
responsible for all I despise.

I never found inspiration in the
stars
or any other celestial component
for that matter.
The constellations have only ever
gotten me the girl,
by way of dissimulating speech.

every god I ever brought down from the sky
has been a little mumpsimus
and I will not cut my hair ever again
unless one of these days
I imprecate a household god who
is honestly bigger than my middling pecker.


This, like the winner, is voiced for character, and has a real and convincing vigor that increases as the poem progresses. I think the verse form is a touch less substantial than it might be. There is real firmness in the voice and maybe the verse might have articulated that even more. I am not absolutely sure about the first three lines though I like them in themselves. I just don't see how they are developed as theme. The last two verses are the best of it - in fact the last two verses may actually BE the poem. And what a fine poem that would be. --George Szirtes

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Homeless
      by J.J. Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum