Poem of the Week: ‘Resting On a Flat Universe’ by Gabriel Ricard

Cultured Vultures Poem of the Week

After the phenomenal success of last week’s competition, we were taken aback with the even greater response to our calls for submission this time out. With many more poems to get through, we had an even harder task to pick the winning entry for this week, but we know we chose the right one.

Let’s take a look at those fantastic runners-up first.


3rd Place

‘The Blues Man’ by John Kaniecki

Popcorn snapping fingers

An emancipated heart

Sing for your victuals wage slave

Separate but equal Jim Crow iron walls

See yonder mansion, see yonder manger

As united in birth welded in life

Nailed to a cross

Agony as the soldier penetrates his side

Nobody’s seen the troubles I’ve seen

They call it the blues

In the chord of c


2nd Place

‘Cuckoo’s Song’ by Steve Kelepetar

“What’s on your mind?” the cuckoo sang.

“Carve it out on a thick oak branch

glistening with ice on this November day.”

Chimes ring out the hour, walkers crunch

along cobblestones, young and brazen,

not afraid to fall.  A comet races through space

touched by a metal hand. Everywhere

tanks roll, borders shrink and shift

and disappear.  The wind is ripe with smoke.

What’s on your mind, friend, on this day

of work and cold? Is yours a cuckoo’s

mouth, echoing orifice breathing clouds?


1st Place

‘Resting on a Flat Universe’ by Gabriel Ricard

The way some people reacted

to the unexpected appearance of that train station,

you would think they were just finding

out this town isn’t resting on a flat universe.


No one knows where it came from.

No one on the city council is talking.

No one wants to talk about the sobbing mess

the mayor has become.


If this were 1940,

and only a few think it is,

the train station would be a modern marvel.



public response remains divided.


Drop by the Laundromat,

the strip club, the haunted house,

the Arnold Camp Memorial Literature Museum,

the busted-ass traveling show,

the McDonalds, or the ongoing football game,

and you’re going to find dwindling support for daily life.


Those railroad tracks shine during the hotter days,

but you can’t really appreciate that,

without disturbing the bodies resting in the center,

or the tents that have sprung up all over the place.


Rumors/arguments about when the schedule will start

have become the kind of religion that distrusts more

than ten minutes of sleep a week.


Bunch of others bought cars, stole cars,

built borderline impossible motorcycles,

begged for rides,

and just took off for lost places with weird names.


Six small piles of salt are still there,

four miles outside of town.


Those who stayed are detached,

and irritable,

and making do.


Valentine’s Day isn’t going to be

the shock show it usually is.


Want to take part in next week’s jam? Be sure to check out the Poem of the Week page here and send any poems to [email protected] before the 18th of January to take part.

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