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Winning Poems for April 2009
Judge Duncan Mercredi

Czamy Polewka (Black Soup)
by Emily Brink The Writers Block I heard the crack of his boots in the snow. My heart rabbit-swift because "No" was under my tongue. He is a coward blowing his foul kielbasa breath and weeping to the Beatles. I knew he would never make a faithful husband. I watched my mother in the slimness of the dusk make Black Soup. I watched her chop the duck and drain its blood. The blood dripped into a pan, black as all mortal sin. Next, chopped plums, like a smashed thumb, color of the priest's robe on Passion Friday. A little vinegar and honey together because every curse contains a blessing. The Day the Caterpillars Came by Steve Meador FreeWrights Peer Review We lazed on the west bank of the Auglaize, till days met, fished, buzzed on warm Blatz stolen from Treat's garage and puked foam after inhaling roll-your-own cigarettes. We believed Tecumseh, the boy, had climbed the oaks across the river and Tecumseh, the man, had commanded the canopies to silence screams from settlers slaughtered by his hand. But the Cats came, 'dozed down the old trees. Diesel fumes suffocated the excitement stoked by the "miracle stone" with its twenty-seven skips, skims and skitters over water's glycerin surface. Centuries, sucked up through roots now exposed to a death dance of sun and air, awaited rites at a lumber mill. Columnar trunks that once supported clouds and stars would relive as flimsy veneer and spindly table legs. With nothing to prop it up, the plum-colored universe met the ground and morning blues would drop onto the east bank. We didn't know whether to invoke the name of Jesus or a Shawnee sachem, cry out loud to the world, "Look at the sky! It is falling." A Rush of Clouds by Laurel K. Dodge The Writers Block Night after night, you pry your dog off your wife then try to mold your body to hers, never wondering what it must be like to be that small, to be a whole, contained world, that, despite your best attempts to gain entry remains impenetrable. In the secretive dark, plums fall. You, who refuse to eat bruised fruit. You, who cover your ears during thunder storms. In his dreams, your dog trembles and growls. Each morning, she looks into your face as if she was searching the sky for stars. Each morning, you survey your perfect little garden as if you were god. Last night, you paused to look out the window and saw the moon, obscured then revealed by a rush of clouds. Your dog digs a hole under the fence and doesn't come back when called. You pick up what you view as ruined fruit. Your wife will eat the windfall. After AIDS by Shawn Nacona Stroud Desert Moon Review Not even the moon can light your path tonight, nor the stars that wince down on you like eyes behind which a terrible migraine flexes the brain. They are the eyes of Gods' stupidly staring as they have for centuries—you pay no mind. You are lost to them in your death frock: the whitened skin that settles in, blooming on you the way a bruise gradually darkens. The sky too pales through our window squares, from pink to blue just like you. Ferrying the sounds of birds and cars into our bedroom where you lie in a puddle of night sweats. The sounds of 6:00 a.m. cumulate as your breath rattles to a halt. You are porcelain now; a doll, hardened all over as you cast your death-stench about the room. The cold you give makes a morgue- slab out of our bed, and issues from a realm as unattainable as life. Baseball Season by Andrew Dufresne Wild Poetry A New York Times is the day rolled under an arm as it begins to rain. The player catches a baseball to win the game, celebrates a death. It's all over. She loves you for who you are. You don't know it yet but you are loved by everyone for dying. There's no other reason. The story of your life is above the fold. Column four, next to a coffee stain. The baseball rises, rises, into the thin air. Everyone holds, holds, their breath. It begins. You and her are through. You take a slow pull on a cigarette and stare for hours at the sun, denying. It's baseball season. Red Romance Dancing by Allen Fogel SplashHall Poetry 1 It was a magical night and wondrously strange Ahead on the path and just in range Came into view a most stunning vixen Illuminated by red sky and a moon of crimson. Approaching her a shift in perception And to my senses a major deception For in front of me did tread A most enchanting woman, dressed in red. To her an attraction so strong and fierce That surely without her, my heart would pierce If to this apparition I could not talk Then this would be my very last walk. As my lustful desires and fate, I desperately pondered What appeared to be a magical archway, I wondered Materialized ahead of me and came into soft focus A mystical ruby red structure of converging fixed locus. All around the pink night light was enveloping And in the arch was slowly developing A fuzzy image of beckoning bright red Through which swiftly, we must surely tread. Finding courage from where I know not To her I admitted: "With you I'm besot Hold my hand and with me march And come with me through this magical arch." Eye to eye and hand in hand Euphoric feelings unbelievably grand To the arch I led My mysterious woman in red. 2 Apparating with a small boom We found ourselves in a magic ballroom With red lighting and an enchanted ceiling Looking up, crimson moon, most appealing. With me now my nubile maid For with me she had stayed But her red dress above her rump For some peculiar reason, had done a bunk. As I gazed upon her form I foresaw the coming of a storm As if the gods were setting most pernicious tests To me were revealed her magnificent breasts. Maestro waved, orchestra played, the music cast its spell Romance grew, excitement built, some energy to expel Thigh to thigh, chest to breast, side by side we danced Round and round, back and forth, totally entranced. A dancing nymph of such angelic grace It was quite a challenge to keep up with her pace With all the moving, swaying, gyrating and prancing There could be no doubt she was red romance dancing. Adrenaline rushing, hormones raging, coming morning, In lust and for each other fawning Looking for another place, with great haste For time together we could not waste In the corner as if on command An arch appeared to the side of the band. Pushing each other on the wazoo Sprinting to the arch we flew. 3 Apparating again, together we did clamber Into a magnificent and great chamber A thousand burning red candles placed in the room And in the enchanted ceiling, a crimson moon. In the red glow in the corner recessed A scented bathtub for us to be de-stressed. In another recess lay a king size bed Dressed with the most exotic linens, all in red. Nearby to satiate a desire Were all kinds of fruits placed to inspire. Strawberries, bananas, and lots of whipped cream For whatever hunger we might dream. All day and all of the night Imagine the happenings as hard as you might No matter what things you might wish to sight I will not tell you, her virtue to keep tight For the reputation of my lovely lady, I will not slight. For that, my friends, would not be right.

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