Postcard Poetry Contest
Bending Genres Postcard Poetry Contest—January 2018
Guest Judge: Samuel Fox
Postcard Poetry is Bending Genres first 2018 contest.
The premise of the contest is simple: write a poem, one page or less, using the front and back of the postcard as a prompt. You could be the person that sends it, the postperson who delivers it, or the one who receives it. Really, it’s up to you. Be creative and have fun!
Besides their poem being published, the winner also receives (if desired), a “box of shit” via snail mail.
At the Tipping Point
Remember that movie, where the tough-as-nails
heroine revs a chainsaw
to hack off her dead father’s hands, bagged
proof of his misfortune?
Your limbs, verdigrised by water-skin, are not at risk
even though you (we) are
as unlucky. Some time ago, we went awry,
perhaps even as we tangled
among roots, lips slow gastropods trailing wet.
That we belonged
to others didn’t stop us from fingering dark places,
didn’t avert our slow slide.
Now, neither of us have our children and can do nothing
to halt the drip
of venom in their ears. Bottom feeding, you tempt the weight
of a hundred summers,
a massy trunk tipped almost earthward, just a breath
separating your bones.
I do not know whether to slip beside you in your almost-
coffin or add my bulk
to the fulcrum, putting you cleanly
out of your misery.
this morning’s amber hue resists optimism
though the chains have crawled back into their trunk
and the trunk has pulled shut its lid and turned the key
the pillow where you laid your head forgets your shape
but not pheromones where the cat insists on nesting
all you leave behind is a woody scented ghost
sprinkled from a crystal-cut bottle and slapped against
freshly hewn face after setting your morning razor down
we would hate you if only that were possible
anyone would hate the half-windsor way you knot your tie
precise and casual the way the devil mixes a martini
the way an alcoholic pretends he isn’t begging for another
morning’s amber will harden into another buzzing day
so only those looking too close will ever spy your name
trapped inside and placed on that shelf we never dust
This might be last
I have gone too
Closed eyes and dreamed
Cama agua, gentle caress of back
And I’m fine here.
Branch between branch chest
Rotten wood rub right this flesh
I notice your leaving.
Por qué te vas?
Notice no sleeping, nightmare
I no longer myself
I no name myself
Do you wish this appetite undone?
I am free
Sheltered blue transparent in painful distance
Hand on wet letter wrong piece.
Write me no words I will not listen
Some pretty place bent brightness into black
Cariño, tu amarías este sitio.
Come be with me. Wet reminder of life
we left river run right through
I leave come back
Never tame in rough idea
Mind no mind me
Pero es así, sin ti
yo no soy nadie.
Robert Vaughan teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction at locations like UWM, Red Oak Writing, The Clearing, Synergia Ranch and Mabel Dodge Luhan House. He leads roundtables in Milwaukee, WI. He was a finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction (2013, 2014). He was the head judge for the Bath International Flash Fiction Awards, 2016. His short fiction, ‘A Box’ was selected for Best Small Fictions 2016 (Queen’s Ferry Press). Vaughan is the author of five books: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (CCM); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press) and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press). www.robert-vaughan.com.