Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Your Commemorative Award Medallion

First and foremost, heres a big up to everyone who left a letter to the Universe on yesterday's post. Reading so many heartfelt, tender, kind, and not creepy (I'm lookin' at you, Brad) wishes has reminded me that as a mere mortal it would be unfair for me to assign superiority to one wish above the others. Therefore, I've arrived at a compromise, whereby instead of awarding a single letter to the Universe with a present from this gal right here, I will send a personal, handmade valentine--hand-dropped-off at the post office by my personal mom--to everyone who responded, provided they send their mailing address (even international ones) to me in a timely fashion. As anyone who has received a valentine from me in the past couple of years can attest, your card will be a treasure to be cherished through the ages. I've had a collagin' itch, and I think this may be the perfect way to scratch it. As a caveat: your card will be mailed as soon as I can make it, so there is the slight chance that it will arrive after Valentine's day, but rest assured the sentiment will not expire like so much Velveeta left in the sun.

Now let's get down to business.

A couple of days ago, I received a piece of junk mail so ridiculous, so absurd, so completely bizarre that I felt it needed to be shared with the many, many (read: six) people who read this. I think I wound up on their mailing list through one of those "CLICK MY LINK PLEASE AND I'LL GET A FREE iPOD AND YOU'LL GET A FREE iPOD AND THERE ARE FREE iPODS FOR EVERYONE THEY'LL ACTUALLY JUST START RAINING FROM THE SKY SO GETCHER iPOD UMBRELLA OUT!!" schemes. Needless to say, no iPod was received by any participating party, but I have, apparently, been nominated for a very prestigious award instead. I give you my notification letter, slightly shortened because it gets real repetitive towards the end, and amended only a tiny bit by narration from yours truly:

Dear Katharine,

Because you requested that we notify you of important poetic events [like the Pulitzer?], I am delighted to inform you that in just a few weeks, we will be honoring your poetic accomplishments at poetry.com’s and the International Society of Poets’ Spring 2005 Convention and Symposium [so, not the Pulitzer. Close second, though, I'm sure.], to be held at the Walt Disney World Resort [famous for its poetic locale and writers' colony], Orlando, FL, from February 25-27, 2005.

When you attend the Convention and Symposium, you will present your poetry in front of your fellow poets from around the world (our last convention was celebrated by over 2000 poets from 46 countries worldwide!), and you will be presented with your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Bowl [Award Bowl? Also, only the silver? I guess I shouldn't complain, seeing as I didn't ever submit a poem.].

The Award is a magnificent work of art (a $200.00 value) [Do you even KNOW how much good A-R-T two-hunnert clams'll gitcha?] that measures over 10 inches across and over 11 inches high [Do you EVEN UNDERSTAND how many cans of Spaghetti-O's will fit inside your award bowl? ELEVEN.], handcrafted in silver, with your name custom-engraved on a beautiful cherry-wood base. I’m sure it will merit a special place of pride in your home. Your award is so large and heavy that you may wish to bring an extra suitcase to carry it home!

And Katharine . . . there's much more . .. [No, can it BE? BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKER.]

In recognition of your poetry presentation at this prestigious International Symposium, we will also create and present to you a beautiful and colorful Commemorative Award Medallion to honor your poetic dedication and achievements [Will the prestigious Commemorative Award Medallion allow me to cut the line at Space Mountain?].

36 POETS WILL SHARE $74,000.00 TOTAL IN PRIZES--INCLUDING
THE SINGLE LARGEST POETRY CASH PRIZE EVER AWARDED--$20,000.00!

And don't forget the most lucrative amateur poetry contest ever! Your contest entry poem can be written in any style [How about "bad"?] on any subject [How about "Human Papilloma Virus"?].. . and can be up to 40 lines long.

Your society is also encouraging today's youth to develop and utilize their poetic talents in a positive manner [Instead of letting them fall into that all too familiar pattern of negative poetic development--joining a vicious youth gang of sonnet-penning hooligans]. This year we will award five $1,000.00 cash [cash, for ease in purchase of coke--or as we like to call it, "poetry Fun-Dip"] scholarships to talented young poets attending the Symposium.

Our editors and professors will also be searching for new poetic talent. Twenty poets will be "discovered" ["undressed and fondled"] in the contest reading sessions. These winners will be awarded publishing or recording contracts [following in the footsteps of Robert Frost's famous hip-hop debut, "Bitches like the Blank Verse"] that will generate international exposure for their poetic artistry.

In all, $74,000.00 in cash and prizes will be awarded at this single event!

LIGHTS . . . CAMERA . . . ACTION! [...TROCHAIC HEPTAMETER!]

And that's still just the beginning . . . we've got three very special days planned for you . . . ones you'll never forget!

**You will be officially inducted as an honorary "International Poet of Merit" for 2005.

**You and your poetic achievements will be honored at two Gala Banquets and Award Ceremonies.

**You will enjoy dazzling world class entertainment created especially for you featuring legendary Motown Singing group The Marvelettes. You will be up close and personal when The Marvelettes thrill us with their classic hits including "Please, Mr. Postman" and "Don't Mess With Bill". [and "The Canterbury Tales."] These special command performances will delight you. There will also be many other surprise Las Vegas Headliners and Midnight Dance Parties on both Friday and Saturday nights! [And y'all KNOW how the poets get D-oh-doubleya-EEYN.]

**Florence Henderson, legendary star of "The Brady Bunch" and long time friend of ISP, will be on hand all weekend long to inspire and entertain us. [Also on hand for your poetry inspiration and equally as related as Mrs. Brady is to the art form: a half-eaten bag of Cheetos! Dan Rather! A small piece of the Berlin Wall! Several vacuum cleaner bags! Enrico Fermi's grandson!]

**You will learn more about your craft in seminars, reading rooms, rap sessions [Yeah, just see them try to accuse us of being racist this year...] , and workshops, where you can read and discuss your poetry in informal settings with other poets from all over the world. Back by popular demand are the ISP rap rooms, our famous sunrise poetry readings, the ISP Coffee House, the ISP Open Microphone Rooms, [The ISP Make-Out Closet,] and workshops on how to fine-tune your poetic talents.

**You will have the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W. D. Snodgrass [YOU CAN LICK HIS ARM HAIR!] , Academy of American Poets Past Chancellor David Wagoner, Dr. Len Roberts, Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, and over twenty other poetry celebrities who will be in attendance.

**You will make friendships that will last a lifetime and will return home with wonderful memories, your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Bowl, your Commemorative Award Medallion, [your tattered dignity, your new case of HPV, that goddamn Mickey hat your goddamn kid wouldn't shut up about and you had to shoplift when that $5,000 second prize just didn't come through] and lots of other special gifts.

DON'T BE LEFT OUT [DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO]

Don't miss this opportunity. Space is limited, and our Conventions routinely sell out. Plan to join your fellow poets at the Most Magical Place on Earth, the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL, February 25-27, 2005, for the poetic event of the year [that has little to nothing to do with poetry]! I am also looking forward to meeting you and celebrating the power and beauty of poets and poetry [and those with disposable income who still, in this day and age, remain gullible enough to be preyed upon in a pyramid scheme]!

Sincerely,
Steve Michaels
International Society of Poets
Convention Chairperson

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got this same letter my senior year of high school. I remember that the Shangri-La's (of "Leader of the Pack" fame) would also be there performing alongside Florence Henderson. That song was already a running joke with my friends after my friends Maggie and Amanda did a karaoke version where they end up hysterically crying in the "LOOK OUT LOOK OUT LOOK OUT!" part of the song.

Anyway, I remember actually actively entering some contest through their website or Fastweb or something. My submission was based on a "dialogue" poem that I had to do for my creative writing class and was inspired by the Jenny Jones show.

Love and Respectby Mike McComb (c) 2001

"Don't hate! Don't hate!"
"Sit down!"
"Don't get mad 'cuz you got played!"
"Sit down! You jealous!"
"Jealous of what?"
"You jealous 'cuz you don't HAVE this!"
"Girl, you crazy!"
"Sit down, you jealous!"
"You need to learn respect."
"I got respect!"
"You need to respect yourself!"
"I do respect myself. Sit down!"
"You need to love yo mama!"
"I do love her, but she jealous!"
"If you don't wanna be played, don't hate!"
"Whatever."
"Don't hate!"
"Sit down!"
"Don't hate!"
"Whatever."

Yeah, it was fun performing this in class. I was accused of plagiarism.

Cheers,

~Mike

11:23 AM  

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