This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Poem of the Year — for your consideration

This Magazine Staff

As noted on Monday, THIS Mag contributors are up for a number of National Magazine Awards this year (It is a human number, and the number is 5). Completely without prejudice, I hereby submit to you the poem that should win this year’s award for poetry, in my humble opinion—by THIS contributor Kevin Connolly.

Contractual obligation

Good afternoon. I’m a little baby.
I know I don’t look like a little baby,
but I can assure you that I am.
I thank you all for coming this evening.
I’d also like to thank this afternoon’s sponsors:
the sun, walnuts, Parma ham,
and the Woody Permanence of Chairs.
And I’m sure you’ll join me
in expressing your sincere gratitude for
bending, stretching and branding,
for rain, wind and rectitude.

I’d like to thank you all for coming
on this windy evening, full of promise;
I’d thank you not merely
on behalf of myself, a little ham,
but on behalf of our guests – sun,
wind and the woody rectitude
of permanent rain. I’m grateful for
your gratitude, for your bending
and your wilting, and especially for
your support of our major sponsor,
Sunny Walnuts.

I’d like to thank you all for coming,
but remind you to clean up after yourselves.
Did I mention the little baby?
That I have the great good fortune of being
he on this rainy, woody afternoon?
Of course, quite right, I mentioned that
in closing, before we welcomed
our guests, but after we thanked our
sponsors: wind, rain and branding.

Thanks for coming, thanks. Really,
if you’d all just shut up and take your
seats, our breathless evening of thanks
and sincere gratitude might finally begin.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to
turn your attention to the woody clearing
at the opposite edge of the stage.
On any other windy evening, it is Rectitude that
would be sitting there, but of course,
on grounds I’m sure are repugnant to you
and I, both as loyal babies and as little hams
in your own right, Rectitude is playing
rock hockey in a foreign country none of us
could pronounce correctly if we tried,
so let’s stop trying, shall we?

Good morning, I’m a little baby.
I’d like to thank our sponsors,
who I believe you now know personally,
and I’d especially like to thank you all
for coming on this windy evening.
Thank you all. If you’d please, please,
please, just take your seats in the
clearing, we’re ready to begin.

—Kevin Connolly

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