COMPETITIONS, CONTESTS, PIPSQUEAKS & POPPYCOCK 

“Great poem, let’s publish it!  Sue…Imagine your poem featured on a page by itself within a beautiful coffee-table edition!  You are a semi-finalist for a major prize!”   

Prices for leather-bound editions ranged from $49.95 to $194.00 depending upon how many enhancements such as photographs, bios, and vanity-illustrations might be added?  “Society of World Poetry” or some such beast!  “You COULD be a winner!”  Sure thing, pirates…the check’s in the mail!

I felt like Jacqueline Bisset clutching her Golden Globe award on January 12th, 2014, as she nervously growled — punctuated by several weary sighs — that it’s been a long spell (populated with a plethora of jack-asses) between her previous trophy as “Most Promising Newcomer and this present accolade at the advanced age of 69!  Her acceptance speech soared to viral status due to questionable reasoning that she seemed either inebriated or crazy.  What she was…was honest!  Both Lou Grant and I admire SPUNK!I

Contests and popularity polls are lame, dumb, manipulative, desperate, needy, rigged gimmickry.  Just ask Oscar-nominated Bruce Dern starring as boozy, dotty, old codger Woody Grant in a best film contender entitled “Nebraska” — we first meet this lost soul hell-bent on hoofing it from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim some million dollar sweepstakes booty that he’s convinced will be his (rather than a lifetime committed to magazine subscriptions!)

I had gotten involved in this aforementioned poetryfest-scam through innocent composition of a suitably reverential poem in 2011 (me and zillions of other verse crafters) which required focusing upon Comedy Central’s  Stephen Colbert!  To garner one of ten prizes, I needed to pay a little something up front?  I did not bite…and consequently, I must have gotten wadded up and tossed into the nearest wastebasket.  However, I kept a copy all tidily folded up and tucked into the hilarious comedian’s dog-eared best seller entitled  “And Nothing but the Truthiness –The Rise (and further rise) of Stephen Colbert”.  Proudly, I am willing to share…my tribute to Stephen Colbert!  

EACH EVE WITH STEVE:  An Ode to Stephen Colbert

How do I love him?
Let me count the ways:
Sparkling eyes—not dim,
Piercing as they gaze.
Strong chin, classic nose,
Svelte frame, graceful stride!
I admire the pose
Which can barely hide
Jabs at nasty foes—
Political hacks
Marching us to Hell
Who deserve bold whacks
Or a “punny” yell!
Brave super-hero
Battling grizzly bears!
Never some Nero
Fiddling! Stephen cares!
We all laugh, yet learn—
From a master clown—
We ain’t gonna burn
When the chips are down!
Colbert’s nightly gift
Of mirth and word-play
Provides such a lift
To our… “U.S.A.”!!!!!!!!
If I had my way…
(Taurus to Taurus ;D) —
On my knees, I’d pray
(With fans in chorus):
“Dear Jesus, hear me:
THIS genius deserves
His own damned Emmy
For pitching grand curves!!!!”

After much quality time spent studying to become a Language Arts instructor, tediously grading oodles of themes and research papers, composing publicity releases and letters to assorted editors in addition to several years’ worth of columns and now two books, not to mention advocating —  via Facebook — for animal rights and welfare ranging all the way to protecting puffins from starvation (due to climate change!) on islands along the coast of Maine, I am both annoyed and exhausted by bullying challenges from hustlers, nay-sayers and pooh-poohers.  Braving the brisk winter Polar Vortex wind while scattering some stale soup-crackers — which landed atop the constantly accumulating snow — among a flock of gorgeous, shivering cardinals simply to reward them for being alive — for surviving, I thought on these things.  And decided I could one day die totally satisfied with having exerted my best efforts even though I probably never would be featured in a “come-on” table-top leather-bound volume of claptrap.  I refuse to pay … for the right to play!  I am happily NOT the Koch Brothers! 

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