Poem of the Week: ‘Resting On a Flat Universe’ by Gabriel Ricard
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.
‘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
‘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?
‘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 making do.
Valentine’s Day isn’t going to be
the shock show it usually is.