(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

  • 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