Politics & Social Commentary

the sixth asinine poetry contest:

politics & social commentary


In these insecure times, we live in fear of terrorists and our own government, and our points of view are so sharply divided, no one can see straight. Who better to help us sort it this sorry mess than the sorriest of us all — poets! And since these are perhaps the most asinine times the world has ever seen, even better that they be asinine poets.

So with this in mind, we gerrymandered a contest. The rules were this: The asinine poems must be about politics and social commentary. That means anything about elections, corruption, congress, patriotism, sexism, racism, homelessism, subways, mayors, laws, lawyers, governors, guns, taxes, the media, presidents, war, famine, poverty, culture, issues, issues, issues, ad infinitum e pluribus unum. The chads closed on April 30, 2004.

We received close to 130 entries. During special primaries held at the home of our loverly leader Houghton Piker, the editors here narrowed down the entries to a total of 15. On the site we listed four poems eliminated from our top 15. Then special invited judges Ron Milon, Finny Deerfield, and Katie Lewis took over from here. Over flavored saki and heaps and heaps of sushi, they pondered and pondered and chose the final list.

Thus, for the second elimination round, the runners up were:
11. "Ode to Stomach Stapling" by V.S. Frimmit
10. "My Oyster" by Casey
9. "Happy Times" by G. Nash
8. "Hillbillymerick No. 1 & No. 2" by ern modern

For the third elimination round, the runners up were:
7. "Sorority World" by Dustin Michael
Says judge Deerfield, ''Tell little Earth I used to have a bulging America, too, but the amazing whiskey diet helped shrink it right up.''
6. "On the Right" by Bev Harris
Judge Milon calls this ''Excellent! This poem made we think how asinine this country really is in promoting a culture of fear.''
5. "Villanelle for Villains" by Easter Cathay
''Catchy! Catchy!'' says judge Deerfield. ''Let's put this to music!'' While judge Milon adds, ''This poem captures the tone of the middle-aged liberals (like myself) who in the 1980s thought of Ronald Reagan as the anti-Christ.''
4. "Dimension Blues" by Robert McNamara
Judge Lewis notes: ''It references a unique, holistic identity politique that can appear as both a counter-reality to the 'one' we're living AND point to the most central political issues in this Bush-era of self-defeat and escapism. In that sense, the poem is refreshingly insightful, even if not optimistic. Compelling science fiction component and popular culture references.'' While judge Milon says, ''Reminded me of the confusion in my life I get older.''

And, finally, the prize winners are:
3. "Why I Really Need to Win This Contest*" by April Clinton
Judge Milon says: ''Great ability to relate multiple issues to the goal of winning. What a corporate view.'' Judge Lewis calls it ''funny, poignant, and stylistically consistent. Cute, fun, and solid rhymes. Hilarious title, and original linking of contest and politics. Topically daring.'' And judge Deerfield says, ''You remembered my dear friend Jack LaLanne!''
2. "A Healthy Argument for Human Cloning*" by Quint McGuinley
Judge Lewis calls it ''witty, politically fun, and asinine.'' Judge Deerfield notes, ''I'd rather not involve the law! And if you get any answers, please place them into a paper sack and stick them at fitness station no. 12 on the parkway . . . no reason . . . no reason at all.'' And judge Milon says, ''Makes me think of the Hawke and Thurman movie. What was it?''
1. "That Ain't Mud They're Slingin'*" by Colonel Drunky Bob
Judge Lewis says it's ''funny, political, original, and ASININE.'' Judge Milon says, ''Excellent. Politicians and monkeys, just the same old shit.'' And judge Deerfield notes, ''This begs for illustrations! It's positively Suessenine. Hoorah!''

Thanks to all our entrants, thanks to all our judges, and thanks to all of you for reading!