January 29, 2008

Literary LEO 2008: Poetry

Poetry • 1st Place BlackBy Rebecca HendersonMammoth Cave with no flashlights, candles, or even a lanternBlack filled with everything…Black thick Black wound dark healingBlack night October full moon drama white against Black nightBlack Black Black mist in the dark of the moonBlack velvet Black dressesBlack hairs on the white bathroom sinkBlack rooting to the earthBlack skin so rich in hueBlack bile that spills from lips thru Black telephonesBlack and dark treachery where passion has gone rottenBlack cold lips of deathRich Black soil composted to grow the most amazing colorsMammoth Cave with no flashlights candles or even a lantern……        “Oh night that was my guide, oh night much blacker than the darkest night”Black that joins the lover to the beloved one.Black cape of velvet and silk to enfold my white skin.I’ll be buried in a Black crocheted dress of trash bagsSo that when my flesh rots_____a long time from now, my white bones will be dressed in designer Black plastic.Crows line the highway to the funeral...I hold the last living crow on my arm.Mammoth Cave with no flashlights, candles or even a lantern.Poetry • 2nd Place The Juniper TreeBy Nettie FarrisAll morning I have sat beneath the juniperpeeling this oneperfect apple,its skin flushed with crimson.Even the fruit itself harbors minutetraces of color,a multitude of thinthreadlike trails of vermilionmoving silently inward.The snow, today, piles up around melike a mournful white sighbut winter herselfrefuses to shareher diaphanous secrets.Look: I have cut myself on the knife,and one drop of bloodhas quietly fallen;one miniature red radish takes rootin the snow.  I think I could sit here all day,under the juniper.  I think I could sit here forever.Poetry • 3rd Place Avocet CoupBy Richard BoedaRefugees, second wives, and cowled monks squeeze through blear tourists. A corpse floatson the surface of the Seine. Water chops and gulps, pounds the scorched breasts and face. Birds swarmover. Fledged men on bridges try to snag the body from the water with hooking ash-poles and nets. Timbery sirens callall to notice. Police arrive with shotguns. They fire at the chalky sky; abate the birds from devouring.Poetry • Honorable Mention Number ProblemBy Katie CaswellPonytail dangling, a jingle of bangle bracelets against the desktopShe sits swallowed in a narrow student deskStruggling to focus on the algebra worksheet in front of herA thin yellow pencil in her thinner white handsThe radiator growls, filling the empty room with heatAnd she cannot concentrate.NumbersNumbersThey fill her mind—104Her weight10The pounds she must shed3The times she has purged this week0Days she feels in controlNumbers numbingHer vision blursHer hunger erupts within herIf only someone would noticeHow thin her wrists areHow her uniform skirt slides down from her waistHow her brown hair is thinning with the rest of her.A bell shouts in the hallwayLoud students file in groups into the classroomLunch is over“Today in class we’ll be graphing equations,” she hearsNo one has seen her—she has disappearedIn a sea of ponytails and uniform skirts24/7It is her number problemAlone.