Friday, April 27, 2007

Time for Infinite Tea

I've joined the Oxford Book Club discussion about
Alice in Wonderland, it's off to a good start, though
I wish it would go a little faster. Lots I could say about
that book, I've been hooked on both Alice books since
I first read them at age eight or so.

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that can come out
of your pen when you grow up in Alice-Land...

On A Night Like This

Walking at night, down the streets
of quiet houses,
the air is misty,
the night is mystery.

In a lighted window, a silver tea service gleams.
I can see how nice it would be,
sitting there, taking tea,
eating little cakes
that make you grow taller or smaller
or even stay the same.
Somewhere a dog barks,
my soft footsteps, so seldom heard
on the street at night,
threaten his world.

Someone drives up, stops his car,
sits there staring at me, as if he's waiting
for a sign. I make my escape,
crossing the street quickly,
eyes straight ahead into the mist.

What if I had gone with him?
On a night like this, anything can happen.
That man with the beckoning eyes
might have been the Mad Hatter
in disguise, looking for an Alice
to partake with him, at that lighted window,
an impromptu
Tea For Two.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Poetry Contests


I've been looking at a list of poetry contests at the Poets and Writers
site (, wondering if I ought to try my luck.

And it struck me that the very act of writing a poem is a contest of sorts--
a contest between inertia and the urge for self-expression, between
settling for mediocrity or reaching for one's personal best. Of
course, that could be said of any art or discipline.
And the "prize" is the satisfaction (short-lived though
it may be) of in one way or another, giving form to our vision...

Well, poetic philosophizing aside, I have entered a couple of poetry
contests in my time. The first, when I was 19, was sponsored
by the so-called National Library of Poetry,(now gone "international"):

This is the poem I submitted:


The seeds of my uncertainty
were strewn by a drunken gardener,
flinging great handfuls
into the welcoming soil.
He waters the plants with good red wine
and they daily grow taller.
It's quite an exotic assortment,
wouldn't you like to see my prize psychoses?
My delicate pink-and-blue neuroses?

My father, who has also written poetry among other things,
and actually won a poetry prize in college, was inspired to
enter the contest, too! (I don't recall his poem--sorry, Dad.)
Of course, he was accepted as a semi-
finalist, as was I, along with everyone else who entered,
and published in an anthology, which of course we bought.

Now there's a contest for this contest! Clearly this is the kind of thing
that feeds on itself.

Info about the contest:

From that page:

Guidelines for the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Now in its sixth year. We seek the best humor poem that has been sent to a "vanity poetry contest" as a joke. Cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded, up from $1,609 in the previous contest. This contest is free to enter. Click here to read the winning entries from our 2006 contest.


The Wergle Flomp Poetry Contest is inspired by Wergle's creator, poet David Taub. Mr. Taub submitted "Flubblebop" to's ongoing contest to see what would happen.

by Wergle Flomp

flobble bobble blop
yim yam widdley woooo
oshtenpopple gurby
yip yip yip
nish-nash nockle nockle
opfem magurby voey
Ahh! "Wurby tictoc?"
"quefoxenjib masaloouterp!"
bim-burm nurgle shliptog
afttowicky wicky wicky
erm addmuksle slibberyjert!
Reqi stoobery bup dinhhk
yibberdy yobberdy hif twizzum moshlap
dwisty fujefti coppen smoppen dob
tigtog turjemy fydel
saxtenvurskej brisleywum
swiggy swiggy swug
yumostipijjle dobers!

--end quote.

Of course, Wergle got a very encouraging reply from, assuring him he was in the running as a semi-finalist,
and mentioning the beautiful coffee-table anthology of beautiful poems,
including Wergle's of course, that they planned on publishing, just in case
he wanted to purchase one. (It seems these anthologies now go
for about $50.) The title had already been chosen: Promises of
Love. (It strikes me that "Flubblebop" is particularly apropos to that theme...)

Perhaps I will enter this in the Wergle Flomp Contest. Isn't it beautiful?


I slink up to you
in the corridor of dreams
you stare straight ahead
and I ask myself:
what's the point of it all?
Why be? Why me?

I've been thrust into a world
I never knew
a world I never felt was true
I miss you
though you are here beside me
staring straight ahead
in the corridor of dreams

the corridor that leads somewhere,
someday, somehow,
and I am somebody,
everybody, nobody
in the eternal now,
slinking through the corridor of dreams
that's all I know
but i time perhaps I will know more
or perhaps no more will I know
quoth the raven