Saturday, August 11, 2012

The 12 Winners (KPV State Fair Poems)

One day I was sitting with Finley in his kitchen, and somehow we had an idea that we should sponser a poetry contest for the State Fair.

We decided that since the venue I would be working from would be a Demo Kitchen, that perhaps the poems should focus around food.

Finley usually isn't big on rules, but he did suggest that we limit each contestant to 3 submissions, none of which should have more than 100 words.

Oh yeah....the entire contest took place on Facebook.

Here you go, submitted in no particular order are the winning 12.

#1 -

JoyandDubblex Leftow

 Apples in Seatlle

I smell like an apple
Today just for you
Only you're not here so I

Smell my apple scent
Myself and imagine you
Smell it instead of I

#2 -

Jana Anima

To know the melon's soul, choose
The large knife, the heavy blade
With swift stroke, a rupture of the dull globe

Two suns that wobble
And slosh, their slippery afterbirths ready to spill
From the hollows of their bellies

You will think you see it, pulsing in that blaze
Of fruited orange. But its all show
And dazzle. You cannot see the melon's soul.

You will not know it until the moment it
Explodes upon your tongue.

#3 -

Ethna McKiernan


She loved that stove, high backed,
Black, old, the one she's written poems
On forever, gas, not electric. her neighbors
Worried she would burn the kitchen down

So many papers, so many words
No casserole to speak of
The boys were young, but even after
She could afford a desk

She persisted in the kitchen
Writing, dreaming, At ease
With spices to her left, the notebook
To her right, the harmony of writing at the stove

#4 -

Kim Ode

At The Great Get-Together

The concession stands in Heaven
Have nothing on the Fair
While ascended souls from Nevada
Or Kentucky, or New Hampshire
Marvel at bags of warm tollhouse

Ears of butter-drenched corn
And pikes of deep fried candy bars
Minnesotans who have passed on
Silently give thanks
For pockets no longer lined with sticky change

#5 -

Jeannie Piekos

Sunday Dinner

After mom left him
My dad began to cook
It was 1969

Man had walked on the moon
America survivied three days of peace and music
Richard Nixon was President

And my father made Chicken Cacciatore
He cleaved the breast from back, thigh from leg

He stirred and stewed then took me to church
Where I contemplated
The transformation of father

With shrimp cocktail to begin
We sat down to dinner
I peeled back the hard pink shell

Finally understanding the sacrament
For here in my father's kitchen
Was resurrection

Redemption and, best of all

#6 -

Susan Koefod

Free Samples

Vivian pitches the pleated sample cups
in the Pardeeville Piggly Wiggly,
Her hair net jaunty over her perky perm

This week it's salmon with slivered almonds
And harissa-smothered sirloin
Though Viv's quick to say that the the sirloin's a dollar off
And salmon's half price
She never pushes the hard sell

So there's no need to scurry off after slurping your sample
Because Vivian lives for that guilty look you give
When you help yourself to seconds

#7 -

Tim Nolan

Roasted Chicken

I'm writing on the cutting board after
One hour of the Amish chicken roasting in the oven

How can I say this other than directly
He is beautiful, brown and still cooking here

On the cutting board, he's so beautiful, all fat
In the breast, his legs sticking out, I salted him

All over, upside and down, in the dark cavity of him
The salt draws in the moisture of him

Praise be to his absent little brain, his beak
His pecking intentions for the bit of grain, I'm sorry

But hungry, writing here in red ink
The splotched grease of him, smeared here with my words

#8 -

MaryAnn Franta Moenick


This dream has no wings
Keep it warm

#9 -

Loren Niemi


The circumference of the world is no bigger
Than this bowl, nor the stars any further
Than the length of this spoon

The sun embracing summer is no warmer
Than love, even that of wife, mother, father
Or children any less filling than this soup

#10 -

Erin Boylan

Yin Bread Yang

This morning I burnt the bottom
Of something I was cooking up

While the top stayed golden
And the rest laid charred

Neither crumbled in the flip

#11 -

N.M. Kelby

Dinner in Havana

The orange blossem air is little consolation; the kitchen does not want you.
The stove turns the other cheek.
Oysters here are salty pearls. Mangoes bleed pink sugar.
The word "hot dish" cannot be translated - no one is sorry for that.
After rum, and more rum, small spiny lobsters marinate in sour orange and garlic.
Black beans and amethyst. Annatto bleeds saffron into the rice.
Outside, peacocks shed their iridescent plumage without poetry.
Nothing here needs you for its beauty, and there is mercy in that.
The ravenous crchids thrive in the salt air alone.

#12 -

Julie Wheeler

Good Gravy

Some were impressed
When water turned into wine
Not me

Water and wine into gravy
That's the miracle, performed yearly

Three days and three nights
From roasting to ressurrection
Lesser cooks lose faith
Or never had any
Or resort to a flavor packet

I draw a faithful crowd
Giving thanks and praise
Renouncing their low-fat ways for the good-good gravy
Only the bird is sad to be invited
But his sacrifice serves us all


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