The Atlanta Queer Literature Festival is proud to announce this year's winner of our annual broadside competition:
Ed has been invited to read the poem as part of the opening night/keynote ceremonies. The work will also be illustrated and designed into a broadside by a noted local Atlanta artist and printed as part of the AQLF broadside series. Copies will be available at the festival (and online).
"To take Christopher Smart's odd and oddly wonderful poem and "revise" it with a queer sensibility is a daring move, but it works and works beautifully. I love the way this poem stands on its own and casually nods at its forebear. The poem is gorgeous in the way it is both playful and serious, comic and heartbreaking. And in the end, it is a metaphysical poem that questions our perceptions of what is right and what is not. It ends with that stunning couplet: "For what you do when you are confused / will make you certain", a true queer metaphysical statement if I have ever heard one. "
So we are thrilled to present the winning work by Ed Madden:
For I will read queer things in punk magazines in English.
For we will talk about David Bowie and Rod Stewart in art.
For I will watch Sting sing ‘Don’t stand so close to me’ on Friday Night Videos
as I lie on a bed in Sheryl Honey’s house my senior year,
for I will lie on the bed with Elizabeth, who loaned me the magazines,
for I will lie on the bed with Paul, the quarterback with perfect hair and tanned ankles,
for we will watch Sting sing ‘Don’t stand so close to me.’
Let us rejoice with Rod Stewart, who says
no point in talking when there’s nobody listening.
Let us rejoice with Sting, who sings,
don’t stand so, don’t stand, don’t stand.
Copa Cabana, Mama Mia, Amen.
For there is a bar in Oxford called the Jolly Farmer.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandest my thought afar off.
For there I will meet a man named David,
for we will hear the Pet Shop Boys sing, ‘Take a chance on me.’
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me—
For we will wait in line to enter Heaven, where I will dance with David—
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there—
for I will hear a remix of ‘Even better than the real thing’
and we will leave together—
if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there.
For what you do when you are confused
will make you certain.
Runner up was Jim Nawrocki with his fine work, Thomas Eakins unveils his painting, Swimming, for Walt Whitman (1885), we will feature Thomas Eakin's piece in a later posting.