Our first place winning poet of the month for January's Dark Poetry is @JamesPhKotsybar Jim Kotsybar has been called the bard of Mars because his haiku was chosen by NASA to orbit the planet-- and still does!
Sure it's high fame, but before we read his amazing bio, we picked this tiny button haiku because it fit everything we were looking for. Read it below, It's really lit. It's a great example of light in the dark on several levels and it's so short!
MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
Dominoes don’t know,
standing tall on their edges,
the fate that they tempt?
Jim's poem will appear in our softcover printed collection later this year (as yet title TBA because we want to title it after one of the winning poems!)
Don't worry if you haven't heard back yet after entering the poetry contests open right now. More poems from each contest will be selected as winners. And the February contests are open too!
Why is this poem so great? It alludes to two meanings for the word "matter." It creates images in the mind that relate to a game, but could also create associations with time and space because of the idea of those little white dots on a black background being like stars. It asks a good question about what we know and don't know, personifying the dominoes and serving then as a metaphor for the human condition about the knowledge of the future and our belief in fate. It is also a haiku with the 5/7/5 format with the number of syllables in each line. It doesn't feel like a haiku which makes it an even stronger one. You could say it has a tiny bit of zeugma because standing to to fate v. the idea of standing around like a block of wood waiting to be knocked over are two meanings or ideas hooked to to one verb. Again playing with the theme of game is another idea in this poem, why does life seem like a game of chance, or even a game of luck set up only to be knocked down.
Also there is a lot of movement or action in the imagery of this poem. The poem leaves the reader mid action. So many visual or auditory readers might see, feel or hear the dominos falling after the poem ends. Others types of readers might feel a sense of wait, hesitation, or suspense. All these things work together for an excellent poem!
As for the them of "dark poetry," whether fate exists, and the question of a dark, black object falling into nothingness, or loosing cohesion-- it's plenty dark visually and could lead to a great and equally dark debate on topics ranging from broken hearts, loss, death and any number of dark fates.
Thank you Jim for sharing with us. You are our first place poet for January! Congratulations. Have a great year of poetry.
Stay tuned for more poets you'll be glad you met...