memorial for a brilliant woman

Friday, January 06, 2006

My poem that won the Poesia contest and the $500? It wasn't Cistern-
it was Clear Lake- I misunderstood over the phone. Not to mention I
rechecked my submission list and I must have recorded it wrong.

Here's the winner: (I got the check today, and the official press
release- copies of the quarterly to come)

Clear Lake

Even when the surface reflects
perfection in hyaline brilliance
I navigate the gumbo soil beneath,
culling mistakes from misgivings,
scraping my belly on obligations,
payments in arrears, little lies
constrained by night vision.

Even if the stars were aligned
at my back to make me holy,
erase every intricate implication,
dereliction, bad substitution,
expedient intervention,
shame would hold my face
to the mirror for atonement.

Even if the God of my childhood
made this limpid prayer ardent,
granting me what I will not bear
willingly now, overcome by fear
I have been abandoned again,
the sting of reproach would stay
its weary stripes across my back.

For Richmond locals-
Art After Hours starts next Thursday at the
Virginia Museum-poets this year are: Susan Hankla (1-12), Leigh
Hadaway (1-19), Elizabeth Seydel Morgan (1-26), Remica Bingham (2-2),
Derek Kannemeyer (2-9), d.l. hopkins (2-16), and Brian Henry (who
doesn't return email BTW, the new Creative writing prof at UR and
gosh, I'll miss his reading because I'll be directing music for "A is for
Alice" more info to come 2-23) Check FlashPaperPoetry for more info
soon! or go here

It looks like they are getting a few more folks from around here to read- maybe next year they'll pick ME.

small aside- the Second Place winner for the contest Kirby Estes "Nothing of What You Say", Honorable mention Len Krisak. with "Bird From Afar"- some pretty classy company!

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