Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My pffa sevenlings

... didn't win the 2006 pffa poetry competition - and, frankly, they didn't deserve to. You want proof?

Sevenling (As He Settles In His Pot)

As he settles in his pot his bones
migrate to the top, sorted by shakes
and caresses, the currents of time.

She hid him in the toilet, let spiders
weave him to the wall. His handles become
birth-chambers, banqueting halls, crypts.

She rubs tears on her chest to ease the pain.

... and for the final round I managed to write something even worse:

Sevenling (So the Devil's own cur)

So the Devil's own cur must hang, his command chain
hooked on the jibbet, a tight rope to swell his tongue
past blushing lips: Kuwait; Karbala; Dujal.

Old news; cold news; spun from a president's grave
desire for compassion in evil times: embryos must breathe,
sodomites repent, a Jesus embossed on each heart.

On every voter's card, a secret candidate: "J'accuse!"

The eventual winner fully deserved to win - I voted for it as soon as I read it. Go read it here. As for my contrived piles of dogshit, I'll be happy to let them descend into the obscurity they so fully deserve. I only posted them here to remind myself that, as the sainted Scavella keeps on telling me, "I'm not as good as I think I am". Amen!


  1. I thought your first round was pretty good, especially S1 - odd and unsettling.
    The second round poem isn't as bad as you think it is. I don't think its oddity works as well as the first.

  2. What Rob said. And what I say these days is I'm not as good as I think I am.

    And it's the last line of the second round poem that didn't work for me. I rather like the first and second stanzae.

    (stanzae??? egad!)

  3. I also think these both display a high level of writing - even if you didn't quite pull it off 100%.

    I'm going to download your chapbook too. So there.

    Scavella's mantra is good remedy for all poets before their ego goes down the drain with an enhanced understanding of how good poetry should be. At some point though one needs the corrective Artnam's Allevacs which goes: I'm not as bad as I think I am. Actually both should be administered at once in tiny sober sips.

  4. It's the form I have issues with. I don't like it. I've yet to see any sevenling which also works as a good poem. I think it's because the form forces the writer into lists with its insistence on using a rhetorical "rule of 3" in the first two strophes, followed by a haiku-esque final line attempting to connect the 2 strophes into something mystical.

    Sorry, but I can't take the form seriously. Hence my disrespect for my own efforts.