Winter 2012 Writing Regimen Contest Winner
At the end of every month-long writing regimen, participants are invited to submit up to three of their best regimen-inspired pieces for a chance at publication in SER Online. After sifting through the many excellent submissions from this winter’s run, we managed to select just one poem to display. We are proud to announce that Kimberly L. Wright is our most recent winner.
Kimberly L. Wright, Winter 2012 Winner
Kimberly’s poetry has been published in literary journals such as Blood Lotus Journal, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, El Locofoco, Arrowsmith, Doggerel, and Dicat Libre. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Used Furniture Review, and in the late 90s, she reviewed websites for Pif Magazine.
A journalist for more than a decade, Kimberly is currently employed as a digital content producer near the top of the tallest building in Montgomery, Alabama.
This poem was inspired by Day Seventeen’s Riff Word: collapse. In Kimberly’s words: “During an afternoon walk in my neighborhood, I ventured down an ominous-looking path and possibly trespassed onto city property. Let it be our secret.
In this margin area, I witnessed an obvious physical collapse via erosion into one of the city’s deep ravines, as well as a collapse of suburban, consumer sensibilities. This rough, seemingly forgotten area is a very rich, active place where human and natural artifacts are repurposed in evocative ways.”
Down the path at the end of Gardenia cut out
by trespassing feet like mine, I wound
next to a ravine so unmarked and unremarkable
Google Maps couldn’t tell me where I’d been,
sewer caps like bellboy hats sessile and half-buried
poking out of red clay, armies of ants, the cut bank sliding
into tire ruts intermingled with raccoon prints,
a blanket of calico leaves annoyed into patches
of sullen dirt that grooves itself into
the trenches of sneakers, back yards
and brushy trees, tilting oaks swooning,
undermined by landscape erased sooty drop
by sooty drop, destined to collapse
into a chasm with aquamarine PVC pipe teeth,
tarmac and concrete shanks, a deep yaw
100 feet behind a row of indifferent houses,
windows unblinking, dormant,
and at the beginning of the trail
a glimmering graveyard of plastic bottles
blossoming like mushrooms feeding on damp,
aluminum cans too forgotten to hold slogans,
solemn rubber tires like evergreen wreaths
in memory of usefulness and trail-blazing
tossed pell-mell to tumble downhill
to this nonrecycling collection point.