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The Tipsy Muse Hall of Light

 

 


Event I Awards for
The Tipsy Muse Poetry Contest
Spring 2001

Contest Judge:
A. E. Stallings

 

 

The topic
And the envelope please...
The winners' circle
The current Tipsy Muse Poetry Contest guidelines

 

 

The Topic

Topic #1: A dramatic monologue of not more than 32 lines, with an ascertainable rhyme scheme and meter, in the voice of our own Tipsy Muse. The monologue urges editors to publish more light verse.

 

And the envelope please...
The Awards Speech from Topic #1 Judge, A. E. Stallings:

As Goethe reminded us on his death bed, what the world needs is more light. This excellent series of contests seeks to remedy the situation, and is already off to a bright start. Virtually all of the entries had their pleasures, and there were countless memorable lines, as, for instance, "Show me Poseidon in a leaky faucet," "Snigger, chuckle, chortle," and the brilliant couplet, "And those who follow classical callings/ To comedy like A. E. Stallings." (Indeed, this last poem should get some sort of prize for dropping the most names of potential contest judges, and Alex Pepple's to boot.)

Weirdly, the two front runners both contained references to Euripides, not usually known for his punch lines, (and whose wry sense of humor is such that even cross-dressing is an instrument of destruction.) Despite my not being entirely clear that the speaker is indeed the Tipsy Muse, and DESPITE the questionable Tipsy/ Pepsi rime, I feel I must award first prize to the brilliant "The Blot of Mustard." The surreal update of Dickens made me laugh out loud on the first reading (the biggest guffaw at the heretical "Agile Snooze"), and giggle on subsequent ones. I should perhaps confess here, though, to a soft spot for fourteeners.

As there can be only one first place, and no second, "Terspichore (Tipsy) Addresses the Poetry Editors" is relegated to one of the Honorable Mentions. Nonetheless, I feel the witty and polished poet who rimed "wacky" and "Bacchae" deserves a special accolade.

Another honorable mention to "For the Birds." Darker and sharper than the other offerings, it managed to include reference to all my favorite bird poems, and the pun on Shelley's blithe spirit is worth a champagne toast. And as we know, any poem that contains the word "darkling" is destined for the anthologies.

A last honorable mention to "Tipsy the Terrible," with its delightful bawdiness, non-standard grammar, and drunken meter. Or maybe just for the coinage "glee-verse."

I wish I had more honorable mentions to dispense, as there were so many I enjoyed. Give yourselves a round of applause! Or maybe a round of drinks is in order.

Alicia


 

The Winners' Circle


The First Prize Winner ($200.00)
Susan Vaughan

The Honorable Mentions ($20.00 each)
Christopher Wagner
Deborah Warren
Sharon Kourous


 

First Prize

A Blot of Mustard, or Message from E-zine Editor Passed
By Susan Vaughan
           
                                  (read by Susan Vaughan in Real Audio) click to hear Susan Vaughan read ‘A Blot of Mustard, or Message from E-zine Editor Passed’ in Real Audio

Dear Editors: Last night a fearsome figure, arms akimbo,
came right up to my barstool, moaning, "Literary limbo,

my wretched prison! Tippling poet, you must not refuse
to pass this damned soul's message to the staff at Agile Snooze!"

or something like that; it was hard to hear with all the clanging
of chains he dragged behind him and my head already banging,

for I had just been toasting one who'd labored in our medium
till suddenly, while editing his zine, he'd died of tedium.

(They say he'd started meetings with a prayer: "Now let us bore.")
And then I realized it was he, more lifeless than before

in fact, quite dead. So he was pretty hard to understand;
he wailed and gnashed his teeth to beat the Famous Who-How Band,

who quickly saw that he could make their artistry complete
and dragged him up onstage to join their Flute With Chainsaw Suite.

And as he gibbered on, I thought I heard some comic pillar
Euripides, if I recall, or maybe Phyllis Diller

warn: "Food for thought won't last till dinner, brilliant lines must fade,
all hubris dies, and laughter is the highest accolade."

And by the way, what witless clump decided I was Tipsy
for merely adding thimblefuls to sweeten up my Pepsi?

But anyhow, if you should doubt my story, heed this bribe:
make them laugh and you might even get them to subscribe.


 
Click here to visit Susan Vaughan's start page.


 

Honorable Mention

Terpsichore, "Tipsy" Addresses Poetry Editors New York, March 21, 2001
by Christopher Wagner
           
                                   (read by Christopher Wagner in Real Audio) click to hear Christopher Wagner read ‘Terpsichore, “Tipsy” Addresses Poetry Editors New York, March 21, 2001’ in Real Audio

Since, gentlemen, you’ve been neglecting my offices,
I’m visiting yours to exact some respect.
My lightness of touch is no license to scoffas is
Often assumed by your humorless sect.

It’s Truth that you’re afternot laughsno, not you!
And spring water makes me a teeensy bit liquory
But supposejust supposethat the world is askew
Reflecting such worlds is a job for Terps[hic!]chore!

But no!you’re too sober for Nashes or Suesses
You plug earnest ears as you dash by my grotto.
But the graver the muse is, the worse her abuses:
I’m merely tipsyErato is blotto!

Still, argument’s hardly good form for immortals.
At least when addressing you mayflies below,
A goddess should never defend why she chortles:
One sends a murrainthat’s more comme il faut.

But that leaves the question of how I should plague you
What punishment fits your excessive sobriety?
Cold sores or crabs? Warts, acne or ague?
I’ve got it! I’ll give you each other’s society!

Or, taking my cue from Euripides’ Bacchae
(Absurdity too will return when repressed),
I’ll tangle your metaphors, make them sound wacky.
I’ll bury some puns and explode them in jest.

Your odes will turn odious, villanelles, vile.
Your rondeaus will lumber like Tian Tian, the panda.
I’ll dictate your love-songs in high legal style
Your sonnets will channel George Bush memoranda.

When your hero is dashing, your heroine siren-y,
Your meter will moomaybe squeal like bad brakes
And your epic will crash against bathos or irony.
I’ll make your verse light, by inspiring mistakes!


 
Click here to visit Christopher Wagner's start page.


 

Honorable Mention

For the Birds
by Deborah Warren
           
                                (read by Deborah Warren in Real Audio) click to hear Deborah Warren read ‘For the Birds’ in Real Audio

What sounded like the perfect sinecure
(shove an idea at a poet and call it art)
has turned into a job I can’t endure;
it’s not a business for the light of heart.

I’d quitthis midnight dreary busying
myself with weighty words is too much work . . .
the winesI mean the linestoo dizzying
except that, now and then, there is one perk:

Sometimes a bit of levity saves the day.
There are times when I say to the Raven: Flit! Exert
yourself. Fly off. Windhover, flap away.
Skylark, take wingthough bird thou never wert

along with the darklings, Nightingale and Thrush;
I swap the hemlock for the eau-de-vie.
The poets, reeling, wonder, Who’s that lush?
And the pallid bust of Pallas envies me.

Ready your pages, dyspeptic editors.
I’m teaching my sober clients how to play
and earning my wages slinging them light verse
inspired by blither spirits: Chardonnay.


 
Click here to visit Deborah Warren's start page.


 

Honorable Mention

Tipsy the Terrible
by Sharon Kourous
           
                                  (read by Sharon Kourous in Real Audio) click to hear Sharon Kourous read ‘Tipsy the Terrible’ in Real Audio

What can amuse a Muse in her booze
who's feeling a little bit tiddily?
A writer who writes with a bit of a bite
and ends all his poems quite wittily.

And what I desires for lighting my fires
is simply some verve in the verse.
For that's what arouses in this madam's houses
a quatrain that's stiff but still terse.

Whatever the size is, the meter that rises
will please me while downing a glass.
Unbutton your humor and come to my room for
light rhythm that rouses a lass.

Though I'm not for hire I sure can inspire
by making your funnybone sizable.
and I'll haunt some editors by posing as creditors
till they publish poetry risible

So all of you blokes who won't publish jokes
and Viagra's the drug of your choice:
don't be so uptight; make way for the light,
or you'll droop at the sound of my voice.

If you snooze you will lose says this Muse.
The Terrible Tipsy has spoke:
Forget all that free-verse and just publish glee-verse
and prove that you CAN take a joke.


 
Click here to visit Sharon Kourous' start page.


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The Tipsy Muse Poetry Contest - Event II Awards

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