Judge's Comments

“12:15 and Anonymity Perishes” knows some things about the world and arranges those things into a piece that deliberately fails to cohere in some very interesting ways. Knowledge? Well, there’s this acknowledgment, by way of simile—“Like nature knows to sell itself.”

—C.S. Giscombe


2nd Prize

Poetry Radio/Euphemism 1st Annual Poetry Prize


12: 15 and Anonymity Perishes

Kevin McKenzie

Train stops. Happy folks least not mad no fights walk out the vine trellis doors into a jade castle with hanging gardens and the whole of Babylon. Wet feet under waterfalls don’t matters because salarymen and feminists alike go bearfoot and the salmon are cool with that.


Up the stairs up the stairs! The zephyr waits it’ll fly it’ll fly without us but it’ll smile with us I’m sure, eyes like glowsticks out the rave in the embrace of a hot hot California sun. The last steps are harder than the first spongey few and the Zephyr with steel claws and wings of steam trills a bird song.


The pianist a good guy I knew from school entertains a dining car I hear through the compact collisions of wind and metal. Makes good counterpoint I hear him say three miles ago the air and the melody. Like nature knows to sell itself.


Like Christmas eve turn to early Christmas morning I sleep and wait on the stars to turn friendly and interested and friends. They still look distracted when I close my eyes, but I’m sure they’ll sing a different tune come morning.

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