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Last month I participated in a poetry slam at Bona Fide Books, for the opening of Benjamin Arnold’s exhibit “Breathing Rusted Rivets.” Us volunteer poets had to get up before an audience and judging panel, spouting out poems we created from words pulled from a hat in mere minutes.

Here are the words and the poems I created from them. Vernon Lee, whose back is pictured in the photo at left, crushed the competition to take first, but I ended up landing second place, just a point or two above two other fierce poets, Heather Kenison (pictured at right) and Janet Smith (pictured at left).

SOUL

(An ode to Erin Bechtol, Bona Fide’s editorial assistant who is leaving later this month for Seoul, Korea)

Seoul, Soul

Erin’s moving to Seoul,

the goddess of book fairs,

the queen of the Bona Fide knoll,

the heart, the

soul, soul,

Erin’s leaving for Seoul

for a canoli with kimchi,

for an adventure, for a new way to roll

with soul, soul,

Erin’s really leaving for Seoul

Erin, we’ll miss your soul!

SEX

(My rendition on this word is inspired by someone once telling me that pollen in the air was like watching flower sex. I might work on this poem to convey that more, but here it is as written/performed.)

Spring opens up her dewey arms

petals say yes to the light

my nostrils tingle

a stinging tear in my eye

a-a-a-choo!

The air’s thick with…

FLOWER SEX.

KNUCKLE

When my pen’s lazy

it snuggles with my knuckle.

Right on in there

between the bony joints

like a slothful cigarette

biding its time for the burn.

Oh how I try to coerce it

into that prolific

threesome with the thumb,

but it just wants to snuggle,

with the knuckle.

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