Today I did something that I don’t usually do – I competed in a contest. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am not competitive, I just don’t like vying for prizes. Most competitions make me think it’s gym class again and I’m being picked last for Dodge Ball…no, I can’t dodge a wrench so please don’t throw that!
This contest was different though…it was a poetry contest. Okay so people compete in poetry contests all the time, how can this one be any different? Because they let me enter a poem that was born here – in Sympathy For.
The competition started off fiercely, you could see the poets measuring each other up like a they were about to cage fight! One guy gave me a look that said, “hey man, you’re pretty cool” so I responded with a look that said “oh yeah, well up yours too, buddy.” One of the poet’s went to grab my arm under the guise of wishing me luck, sure she said she was just going to shake my hand but I know how hard it is to read with a broken wrist! I saw through their smiles and knew that secretly they were sneering…like wolves waiting for a calf to stray from the herd – I knew I had to be vigilant! I responded with a smug expression that let the whole world know – I got this.
One by one, they read their poems…then it was my turn. I got up and looked into the audience – and after suppressing the urge to vomit, scream for my mother, and run from the room…I glanced at my poem.
I knew it was good because I had written it using my blogs as source material . I had compiled an avant-garde poem (a poem meant to push boundaries of what is acceptable). I built this poem line by line taking random sentences from random blogs linked together in a way that was meant to amaze and stun. With all the grace of a drunken reindeer, I began to read. My goal here was to shock and awe the audience and not let on that I was afraid that the bears could burst in and end our gathering at any minute…
And I succeeded (also the bears didn’t burst in and end our gathering).
No, I didn’t win (as my title suggests) but they felt so bad for me that they created a whole new category: Most Creative Use of Imagery. They awarded me this title, along with a gift card to Barnes & Noble, snapped my picture and shook my hand.
The other participants were good and each deserved to win. I am, after all, not a poet…as you will soon see.
Maybe if I had talked about that guy that loved dolphins, or maybe if I had mentioned my take on Valemercialism Day, I would have stood a better chance at winning.
Maybe…or maybe I should stick to what I do best…