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Editors' Prize-Winning Poems.

Congratulations to the winners of the Editors' Prize for Emerging Poets. Out of each issue, the editors select poets who show exceptional promise. The recipients of the Editor's Prize for the issue 33.2 are Jono Tosch, George David Clark, and Stephanie Horvath

Ballad
Jono Tosch

I ate a shrimp for lunch.
The shrimp did not eat me.
For dinner I boiled a squid.
The squid did not boil me.

And then I went to bed
And dreamed of a big pot.
I dreamed of a giant pot
With a giant dumpling in it.

The dumpling called to me,
It said come and find me.
And I called to the dumpling,
Should I bring my hatchet?

The dumpling said to hurry.
I grabbed the only tool I could find.
I grabbed my ball peen hammer
And I hurried out the door.

I found an old love note.
It had grown into an oak.
I put my hand into the hollow
And there I removed your memory.

 

Prodigalia
George David Clark

When I first furnished my suite in the city
I had a cashmere hammock
hung between the tusks of a tremendous elephant
whose bust was mounted on the bedroom wall.
In that prodigious net young ladies
from the delta used to tumble like rabbits.
I could feel their hearts, like rabbits’ hearts,
beating through their chests,
and imagine, with some encouragement,
that I was God.

And there was too the elephant himself:
the leather blankets of his ears
that I’d detach to draw around my shoulders
while I slept; the hidden compartment
in his trunk where I kept a meerschaum pipe
and petty cash; the eye marbles—color of the lowest
gas flames—through which he glowered at me
his great suspicion, and, now and then,
flashed forth a look of obliterating tenderness
not unlike a father’s.

 

victim of rabid beaver tires of brush with fame
Stephanie Horvath

it has been good, dear friends, but enough
      is enough

because i had just turned twenty-seven
that morning sometime after 8am i was
responsible
       forgive deserters

for parents’ deeds

this room is ugly      i live
in memory

     because fewer men
driving their cars
had hailed me

     because passing by
became un-sex-like

because i was broke

because an afternoon nap

     i needed money

because i was broken

     because i became the biggest fan of being born      drop me
                                                                                                          from the sky

because recently an elderly woman
           was also attacked by a rabid beaver
    like i    when climbing out of the lake
where she’d swam everyday

for the last fifty

years because rabies is a thing you can survive

i can say      safely

i grow      and i also divide

                   farming is abandoned & gives way to early succession fields

because wetland is allowed to restore itself

more than once i have seen my mother’s cesarean scar
                                 from outside       in the light

wetland is allowed to restore itself      grasses      rushes & sedges grow here

wool grass             hop sedge        soft rush         barnyard grass

because the occasional rare fringeless purple orchid

                   because specific species colonize abandoned fields

                                    water areas become sedge meadows

they throw a girl in a bathtub of cold water
            to keep her alert

eventually shrubs & trees        buttonbush        red maple         green ash

beaver activity maintains wetland hydrology i want to cry

because the kirtland’s snake is endangered and i've never seen

                                             a thing look so long i enter the run-down cabin

because i have never seen what once was a home look so wrong

                                           beaver activity maintains wetland hydrology i want to cry

good friends,      i am more than the purple tunic of my bite
                                            burn all your town gazettes in a fire

     once bit i became the biggest fan
                       of being born drop me
                                            from the sky

where do babies come from
                    the slippage between sentences
                                                                     and “i”s

in early fall in the relative absence
                                            of leaves

because i had just turned twenty-seven
that morning sometime after 8am      i was
no longer all the way me

                         forgive deserters

for parents’ deeds

                                           drier fields are dominated by wildflower species

where do babies come from?       impossible
moments between silence and failed attempts
at reaching through speech the person who

                                                                                      beside you       sleeps

              beaver activity maintains wetland
                      hydrology i want to cry

some things bite and they foam
at the mouth      because       they prefer
                to stay alive i saw the scar
                                   in the slippage between sentences and eyes

where do mothers come from?

                 crumbs           that keep hobbling one-legged pigeons
                                            on the streets after dark alive

                                           dark alive yours truly and besides i became

                                     the biggest fan of being born      drop me
                                                                                                                   from the sky


      everytime it snowed      i knew
where the piss was and wasn’t i knew
anew where to fall      how to be alone how
                                                                                       safely to avoid footsteps and yellow

everytime it snowed
i ate

                                           everytime it snowed
                                                 it snowed       i shook in a fever
                                                                                     down from sky along with it

i like the curious elegance
       of zygotic moan because i became
the biggest fan of being born       drop me
from the sky

                                           where do babies
come from?       misunderstandings
pitch dark      rabies
                                            and snow

enter lonely refrain of sad lonely poem

                                           (beaver activity maintains wetland
                                                   hydrology i want to cry)

                                                               i saw every scar with my own true wet eyes

friends, enough is
                      enough because reporters tap
on the window at night

they peer into my bedroom

to see my raw wounds

         with their cameras unlensed

                        because friends because friends

i am tired.