Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Christal Ann Rice Cooper
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Six Cash-Prize Winners In Fitzgerald Museum's 2014 Mad Poet's Poetry Contest . . .

Christal Cooper   985 Words

         On December 13, 2014 the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum (http://fitzgeraldmuseum.net),located at 719 Felder Avenue, in Montgomery, Alabama hosted its second annual 2014 The Mad Poet’s Poetry Contest Event.  Executive Director Willie Thompson, presented the winners who were present with cash prizes.  There were six winners in this contest.
         In this feature we are presenting the winners, the place his/her poem was placed, the winning cash prize amount, and the poet’s contact information.   

1st Place $50
The 1st Place Winner wishes to remain anonymous and not have his/her poem included in this feature.


2nd Place Winner $150
MP Jones IV



*Fish Tale was previously published in Harpur Palate and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize

Fish Tale

My brother died with a trunk full of fish
       
        and beer bottles crashing together—
                 in the Mother’s Day darkness—
I am endlessly returning

                 as if to a worn photograph,
a lure drifting along the lake’s rim
                          in Vermont,
a place I’ve never seen, and so

can only imagine some dim shore growing certain
        in torn threads of afternoon light.

I go back to those improbable stories

he would tell, eyes alight with the consuming
fire of beer and bourbon,

like the one where he is driving through the desert
all night,
just driving through the sand, until finally he stops
at noon—perhaps in Arizona,
                          perhaps nowhere at all—

on a waterless sea of solid glass,
supposedly the wake of some explosives test.

Walking over the burnt sand-lake’s surface, breaking apart
                 frozen waves and currents
beneath his boots,
crumbling like some hopeless metaphor for certainty.

I listen as he wavers—wanting only to fix some narrative
over the near end—
                          recounting as his slurring sways,
circling to the moment just before the hooks are set,

before the surface quivers,
the bottles break,
        and everything is finished.

And everything is finished:
                                    the bottles break
        before the surface quivers,

circling to the moment just before the hooks are set,
        recounting as his slurring sways

                                   over the near end,

I listen as he wavers, wanting only to fix some narrative.

Crumbling. Like some hopeless metaphor for certainty
beneath his boots,
        frozen waves and currents.


Walking over the burnt sand-lake’s surface, breaking apart—
        supposedly the wake of some explosives test—

                                    on a waterless sea of solid glass.
Perhaps nowhere at all

        at noon, perhaps in Arizona,
just driving through the sand, until finally he stops
all night.

Like the one where he is driving through the desert
                                    fire of beer and bourbon.

He would tell, eyes alight with the consuming.

I go back to those improbable stories
        in torn threads of afternoon light,

can only imagine some dim shore growing certain—
        a place I’ve never seen—and so,

in Vermont,
        a lure drifting along the lake’s rim
as if to a worn photograph—
                           I am endlessly returning

in the Mother’s day darkness

        and beer bottles crashing together.

My brother died with a trunk full of fish.


3rd Place $100
Peter Huggins


The Harpist Plays Romeo and Juliet

In Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet
The dancers become the lovers they play.
I marvel at their ability to slough
Their age and inclination and assume

The role of that pair.
They glide together, unite,
Separate, and meld once more.
They whirl and spin but not for long.

These lovers must have each other to be
Who they must be. Then I play my part.
I pull my harp to me, run my hand
Along its curve, and pluck

Its strings which hum and vibrate.
In this pit and hall
These lovers are the music I play.
I play until the music and the body are one,

Until the music and the body are at rest.



4th Place Winner $75
Maya Perry


1921

We are the electric youth of a lost generation.

With wedding rings placed delicately on our fingers, we frolic with friends and turn
a revolving door into an infinite merry-go-round.

Drunk with happiness and pregnant with child,
our favorite hobby has become wrecking hotels.
Missing spoons here, stolen pin cushion there,

a putrid Armenian goat skin thrown lackadaisically,
An ice cream bowl left out in the sun, and postcards filthy with neglect.

We have a torrent zest for life.

Our daily amusements were at will to our capriciousness.
The love between us spins like a whirlwind.

So, give us the gold painted filigree and the summer wines!

Immerse us in the tales of men drowned in their own sorrows because the war was
too much to bear.

Then show us to Hemmingway; he’ll lead us there.

We will only die

when we have lost it all

and that tearful eye on the wall gazes upon us.
Until then, drinks are on us.

*This poem was inspired by “Show Mr. And Mrs. F to number-“ by F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

5th Place $50
The 5th Place Winner wishes to remain anonymous and not have his/her poem included in this feature.


6th Place $25
Laura Hanna


Scott to Zelda, July 1918

“I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

If fear like the train tracks
came unbolted

and all the silence
inside me became the words

of a poem and words
I want to hear myself speak,

I would tell you
when you touched even my hand,

it was sweet electricity
like black sparkling hose

against carpet in cold midnight.
I would tell you

something so simple
that there is no way

to put it gently,
that I would give you

every word every poem I have,
tell you each one is about you,

that no words are enough
I would tell you that if you

cracked open my longing
from these strictures,

it would be enough
for a thousand years,

enough to set fire to my blood,
to give it life again,

but there are no
words for this


except yourself

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