Friday, June 24, 2005

Wrapped Up Like an Anniversary Poetry Contest
Well, the results are in, and I have to say that each time I throw something out there that invites audience participation, I get a few more responses, which makes me feel like a little bit less of a loser. Little bit.

Anyway, the WULAD Poetry Police received a total of six entries, which, when padded out with commentary, is easily enough to fill an entire post. Hooray for me not having to come up with anything else today!

We’ll examine each of the poems and assign them ratings (on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0), end with the winner, and then life will go on as it always has, except that one fortunate soul will go to bed believing him- or herself to be just slightly more worthy of consuming the Earth’s precious air, water, food, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil than the rest of us. Also they’ll get a nifty award! Let’s begin.

We kick things off with three haiku, the first of which is from Gijyun:

not sure exactly
what it means to be wrapped up
like a douche, per se.
Hm. Doesn’t blow one away, does it? But I appreciate the simplicity, as well as ending a haiku with a little syllable-eating tag like "per se." We’ll give it a 6.5.

Next we have a contribution from Seamus:
Wrapped Up Like a Douche
Years since they traded Dykstra
But the Mets still blow
Mm-hm. I’m going to have to rake this one across the coals, if only because it seems designed to provoke that sort of a response anyway. So we’ll start with 5.0 points for spelling the name of the site right, plus 2.5 for dropping a Nails reference, then subtract 3.0 for leaving said site name sitting there at the top of the poem with its thumb up its proverbial butt, minus another 3.5 for trying to rub my nose in the result of last week’s A’s/Mets series, plus 1.5 for ballsiness in doing so. Total: 2.5.

Next up is Mr. C. Monks:
Happy Anniverse, flower
Your blog's name proves that
Manfred Mann sings Springsteen bad
Mr. Monks has crafted what appears to be an inverse haiku (7-5-7 rather than the usual 5-7-5 syllable arrangement), so kudos for mixing it up a little. Also, C. is no doubt still smarting from the thrashing he received in our recent Blog Battle, so I have to give him credit for showing up. And is "flower" a Ulysses reference ("Henry Flower" was L. Bloom’ s naughty-letter-writing alter ego), or just a random term of endearment, ironic or otherwise? All in all, a good effort, but I did say that the next person making reference to the song would get a visit from Mr. Icepick. Manfred who? Spring-who-steen? 5.5.

And now to the medal round. It was a very narrow margin between the top three, but coming in with the Bronze is the convalescent Gene, who crafted a sonnet entitled "Wrapped Up Like a Strong Smell":
WULAD smell over the sky, my lovers!
Like a big blue garbage truck with rockets
and wings, or a cat with horrid flatulence,
it spans a place where all time and smell meet.

The grenades of internet wisdom hurl
old spaghetti and mom's meatloaf dinner
all over the inside of my laptop
screen, like the internet just vomited,

or put a diaper in the microwave -
But I take that back, Ian's not that foul.
He's more like that promotional advert
for Axe Body Spray, with the women all

gaa-gaa bat-shit over awesome pit smell,
and me jumping atop, like a sexy bitch.
Hey now! Gene has really outdone himself this time. "Horrid flatulence... hurl... meatloaf... vomited... diaper... bat-shit... bitch..." I must say the imagery is quite vivid. Maybe it’s the painkillers. Speaking of awesome pit smell, yesterday, while practicing in the park during my lunch hour, I saw a pair of hippie lovers looking in need of a shower. The man was lifting his shirt while his dreadlocked girlfriend repeatedly stuck her nose into his armpit. It was among the nastiest things I’ve seen in a public place. In any case, excellent, Gene—9.0.

Taking the silver medal is Dale, who contributed this piece of free-verse:
WULAD was born three long years ago.
It soars with the mighty eagles on winds blown from god.
In these times of doubt, like a beacon it shines into this dark chasm of pain and loneliness which I euphemistically refer to as a life.
Holy fuck, I hate my parents.
Sweeeet. Dale really channeled his inner premenstrual fifteen-year old for this fine poem. I believe that to over-analyze it would be to destroy it. 9.5.

Which brings us to the Palm D’Or of this word rally. The judges went back and forth between the three medalists, but in the end the appeal to our literary snobbery won out. This time. From Eponymagain:
The internet's a fearful Circe that
Always leads wayward travellers to dine
Upon the meat and upon the fat
Of wayward sailors turned to swine.

Then there is the sailor tied up fast
Who hasn't yet thrown in the towel
Wrapped Up tightly to the mast
And finally untied by dear Gerty McDowell.
Wow. For those non-Homer fans (who probably have already clicked over to Fark anyway), Circe was a sorceress who turned her guests into pigs; Odysseus had his men tie him to the mast of his ship to resist the songs of the sirens (who you may remember as those hot country-singin’ ladies from that one movie), and Gerty McDowell (a.k.a. Nausicaa) is the pretty young (but gimpy) thang who, in Joyce’s version, inspires Mr. Bloom to play a little "pocket pinball" at the beach. The heroic imagery is pretty damned stirring. It almost makes me wish I still gave a shit about this website. 10.0.

Well, we come to the end of this tournament of poetic prowess, and I must say I consider it a rousing success. The WULAD Prize Patrol will be sending along the awards to the medal winners, and would like to encourage the other contributors to keep at it, and avoid insulting the judges’ favorite team next time. Excelsior!