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Old 12-04-2012, 01:41 AM View Post #1 (Link) Biweekly Poetry Contest 12/3 - 12/17
Isis (Offline)
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First place:

all the crows of Karachi– the heater lady

I watched the evening print clouds on the walls,
dark as if the wear would break and weep
itself from a hundred year hinge.
From the balcony my eyes watched them,
cracked to the top like tittering old men
stuttering under their own weight-
I thought their locked limbs would
at any moment break, brick by brick,
into pieces of relief; they wore over their heads
scarves of barbed wire-
I thought if I touch them I might
myself break into drought.

In the last spit of sundown I heard
ten thousand bird calls vault
over the walls,
as if in a moment's mourning
all the crows of Karachi
shrieked to me in cawing
I saw one caught in the wires,
wearing them like a crown
cracked at the rim,
bleating off-beat as its beak
brushed a wire like a hand across braille,
in the right key
its call would have melted with the others
like candles in summer load shedding-
I thought if its feathers fell any further
it would break into the limpest limbo
and bleed a bruised calligraphy
to the cold cement.

(I think in that moment I cried for you too,
felt as if any minute I could march off the edge
and join your feathers in a flightless fete.)

Second place:

Whorses - Squint
tongue-tied savage
with a bit between your teeth,

you could chew at your tether
but where would you go?
Mother's womb is cold

and you're sick of waiting.
Carve your name into the ground
(just to be remembered)
and wait

for the rabbit hole to open.

Third place:

no title – Julian
I see that heaven inside of you,
alluded in hues of red and blue through
the outside of your window, in your farm
where the perennial tree sits like fire,
leafless and brown veinal, under that overcast
Sunday of December, in a sky hunkered
with grey clouds that bulge more snow.

Yet the clarity of your light remains
insufficient for transcendence;
perfect transparency must be
impenetrable; free from cathedral
confines where stained glasses
on which absolute notions on shards,
veiled as truths are held, veil you in darkness;
free from that pentacle of virginity
that covered you like liquid gold.

But, alas, you are but a farmer, perceptible,
and the face of a farmer has one eye on
the crop and belief on the other. You
bow, kneel, bend deeply, your lips, with
its infinite potential for compassion, tightly
sealed. You will keep yourself pious until
your body will allow.

I touch your skin, and you quiver like a child,
with one hand on a lily and the other on
your heart. Oh, Lord, let me
take your lover to your kingdom.
My love doesn’t need sunlight.

That evening, you look at me sheepishly
as we eat, as I nurse you, as I tell you liquory
lies until I’m lying in your bed. Like a child
I watch it ebb, full of emotions.
My dress is red in ribbons.

The next morning, the Farmer is outside, planting winter plums--an apple in the mouth.

She greets the Farmer through a window, and the Farmer looks at her.

She seemed to have that tendency to fall for shining eyes and crescent smiles, but
before her longing starts, she’d already been planted in that land.

Honorable mention:

Bus window - bookworm
I dream of minds
I am that kind of dreamer
I dream all kinds of minds
my eyes dream minds
my mind dreams eyes
what I never dream
and what never dreams of me
is the rhyme that distinguishes
formal from free
Structure is a tree of Good Evil Mediocrity
while I am the combined, collected, foreworded, afterworded, finally condensed sum of my dreams, hardback in the sun. I salute the buses that drive in and out of this sun every morning, and their passengers throwing apple cores perpetually onto the perpetual pavement.
Yet I feel more metaphysical today. I have more to give to this hungry finite pavement. As my hair falls onto the wet screen behind which reality waits, Out of the window I throw my solid breath, my poem, my mind, my dream

Congratulations to the winners! And thank you, everyone who entered. Winners should look for their thank points later today, and everyone should look out for critiques in their inboxes soon.

Rules and stuff:
Thank you all for bearing with our much-needed hiatus - the biweekly contest is back! If you're waiting for critiques and judging from the last contest, never fear: we're working on it, but it was a really hard one to judge.

We're using your feedback in this poll and thread to design the themes, so please vote or comment if you haven't already. We really appreciate the awesome amount of feedback we've gotten so far. It seems like content and questions are the types of prompts people are interested in most, so...

The theme for this contest is out your window. Where is your window, or a window that you like to think of as yours? Is it in your car, the train or bus you take to school or work each morning, your bedroom, that one classroom in school that always makes you daydream? Is your windows someplace you've only been once, but remember vividly? What do you see when you look out?

There are lots of ways to approach this one: you could describe what you see and let the poem develop from there - what do you know is out there that you can't see from your window? You could write about what you DON'T see - what is missing? Or you could write about the window you wish you had. Where do you want your window to be, and what do you wish you could see through the glass each morning? You could even write from the point of view of a character if you like to write persona poems. What is out their window, and how can you use that to convey their personality or tell their story?

And, if you're stuck but want to write a poem, plop yourself down in front of that special window and just GO! See what happens. Let your mind open to what's out the window. You'll probably surprise yourself. Then submit your poem to us!

If anyone finds a published poem about windows or looking out them that they want to share, please post in this thread. Here are some to get you started:

Monday by Billy Collins
Windows by Charles Baudelaire

The judges are Isis, mfarr1992, and lalodragon.

-- Entries should be sent to one of the judges via Personal Message (special love if you send entries to all judges).
-- There are no physical prizes, but there are three places for winners: first place gets five thank points, second place gets three thank points, third place gets one thank point, and runners-up get a peck on the cheek (or a fist bump if pecks are not your thing)

						Last edited by Isis; 12-21-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:19 AM View Post #2 (Link)
Julian (Offline)
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Count me in! Yes, I finally managed to participate at the very start, haha!

And if I can, I'll try to hunt more English-translated versions of that Baudelaire poem.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:23 PM View Post #3 (Link)
Ares (Offline)
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customary 'approval' post.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:27 PM View Post #4 (Link)
lostbookworm (Offline)
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I wish to tell you all I will be participating.
and he saw himself nailed to the cross of his own cradle and coffin
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:15 PM View Post #5 (Link)
Arko (Offline)
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1) Consider me in.
2) Those two poems by Billy Collins and Baudelaire are really beautiful. (Need I say more?)
3) The following *ahem* spoilers include what I found over the net. They are window poems, of course!

Looking out the Window Poem

The sounds of traffic
die over the back lawn
to occur again in the low

The voices, risen, of
the neighborhood cannot
maintain that pitch
and fail briefly, start
up again.

Similarly my breathing rises
and falls while I look out
the window of apartment
number three in this slum,
hoping for rage, or sorrow.

They don’t come to me
anymore. How can I lament
anything? It is all
so proper, so much
as it should be, now

the nearing cumulus
clouds, ominous,
shift, they are like the
curtains, billowy,
veering at the apex
of their intrusion on the room.
If I am alive now,
it is only

to be in all this
making all possible.
I am glad to be
finally a part
of such machinery. I was
after all not so fond
of living, and there comes
into me, when I see
how little I liked
being a man, a great joy.

Look out our astounding
clear windows before evening.
It is almost as if
the world were blue
with some lubricant,
it shines so.

by Denis Johnson


I Sit by the Window

I said fate plays a game without a score,
and who needs fish if you've got caviar?
The triumph of the Gothic style would come to pass
and turn you on--no need for coke, or grass.
I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen.
When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn't often.

I said the forest's only part of a tree.
Who needs the whole girl if you've got her knee?
Sick of the dust raised by the modern era,
the Russian eye would rest on an Estonian spire.
I sit by the window. The dishes are done.
I was happy here. But I won't be again.

I wrote: The bulb looks at the flower in fear,
and love, as an act, lacks a verb; the zer-
o Euclid thought the vanishing point became
wasn't math--it was the nothingness of Time.
I sit by the window. And while I sit
my youth comes back. Sometimes I'd smile. Or spit.

I said that the leaf may destory the bud;
what's fertile falls in fallow soil--a dud;
that on the flat field, the unshadowed plain
nature spills the seeds of trees in vain.
I sit by the window. Hands lock my knees.
My heavy shadow's my squat company.

My song was out of tune, my voice was cracked,
but at least no chorus can ever sing it back.
That talk like this reaps no reward bewilders
no one--no one's legs rest on my sholders.
I sit by the window in the dark. Like an express,
the waves behind the wavelike curtain crash.

A loyal subject of these second-rate years,
I proudly admit that my finest ideas
are second-rate, and may the future take them
as trophies of my struggle against suffocation.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.

by Joseph Brodsky
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:20 PM View Post #6 (Link)
lalodragon (Offline)
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Thank you Arko for contributing poems Thank you all for promising to enter!
From the prose thread, but worth reading again:
Just Listen
by Peter Johnson

I sit by the window and watch a great mythological bird go down in flames. In fact, it’s a kite the neighborhood troublemaker has set on fire. Twenty-one and still living at home, deciding when to cut through a screen and chop us into little pieces. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” his mother would say, as they packed our parts into black antiseptic body bags. I explain this possibility to the garbage men. I’m trying to make friends with them, unable to understand why they leave our empty cans in the middle of the driveway, then laugh as they walk away. One says, “Another name for moving air is wind, and shade is just a very large shadow”—perhaps a nice way to make me feel less eclipsed. It’s not working, it’s not working. I’m scared for children yet to be abducted, scared for the pregnant woman raped at knife point on the New Jersey Turnpike, scared for what violence does to one’s life, how it squats inside the hollow heart like a dead cricket. My son and his friends found a dead cricket, coffined it in a plastic Easter egg and buried it in the backyard. It was a kind of time capsule, they explained—a surprise for some future boy archeologist, someone much happier than us, who will live during a time when trees don’t look so depressed, and birds and dogs don’t chatter and growl like the chorus in an undiscovered Greek tragedy.
						Last edited by lalodragon; 12-07-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:46 PM View Post #7 (Link)
Squint (Offline)
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Interesting... I'm in!
Most of my poetry is smut these days.
Epic narcoleptic.
I like giving crits
VM me if you want one
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:48 PM View Post #8 (Link)
sbenzing (Offline)
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I will be participating in this one!! This will be fun. Could someone tell me who the other two judges are?
"The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn't believe what he's seeing. And you can quote me." - Stephen King

If you wish me to critique your poetry or prose just PM/VM me.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:02 PM View Post #9 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Isis View Post

The judges are Isis, mfarr1992, and lalodragon.
This is awesome - I'm really looking forward to seeing work from all of you.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:51 PM View Post #10 (Link)
sbenzing (Offline)
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Damn! I've only got a week left to work this. Ideas ideas. Whatever.
"The definition of an asshole is a guy who doesn't believe what he's seeing. And you can quote me." - Stephen King

If you wish me to critique your poetry or prose just PM/VM me.
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