October 19-25, 2015: M. Brett Gaffney, Trish Hopkinson, and Helen Townsend

This week presenting the winners of the
2015 (18th annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

M. Brett Gaffney, Trish Hopkinson and Helen Townsend

 click here for submission guidelines.

M. Brett Gaffney

Bio (auto)

M. Brett Gaffney won first place in the 2015 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. She is originally from Houston, Texas, is an MFA student in poetry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and an associate editor of Gingerbread House literary magazine. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Medulla Review, Newfound, Ruminate, Psaltery & Lyre, Stone Highway Review, Slipstream, and Wind.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by M. Brett Gaffney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


When you come home tonight,
my right-sized lover, I’ll be
in your bed again, belly full
of porridge and pills. You know
I can’t sleep without you, you
who lock doors with the sound
of your voice. Diagnosed obsessive.
I need things just right, how I like
you shaved and finely dressed.
Honey bear, how long will you put up
with me? How long until I’m just
an intruder in your house, until you
grow angry and break my heart
as easily as a baby’s wooden chair?

Trish Hopkinson

Bio (auto)

Trish Hopkinson won second place in the 2015 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. She has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has two chapbooks Emissions and Pieced Into Treetops has been published in several anthologies and journals, including The Found Poetry Review, Chagrin River Review, and Reconnaissance Magazine. She is a project manager by profession and resides in Provo, Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at http://trishhopkinson.com/ or on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/trishhopkinsonpoet.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Trish Hopkinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Footnote to a Footnote

Jacuzzis are holy.
Garage door openers are holy.
Back-up cameras and recycle bins—all holy.
Putting the red flag up on the mailbox, waving at the elderly
getting my toes wet with dew—holy, holy, holy.
Keeping my eyelids open and trying to sleep like fish,
signing my name with less letters and more scribbles,
counting crows feet, counting yellow toenails,
counting haircuts, counting plucked whiskers,
counting constantly.
Bookshelves are holy.
Missing dust covers are holy,
magicians and black and white T.V. shows,
Penn Jillette theories and Andy Griffith justice,
Uncle Walt songs and Ginsberg poems—holy, holy, holy.
Drinking beer before noon, drinking liquor right after,
drinking it warm (or on ice) with a friend (or not).
Waking up drunk, waking up sober,
waking up tired, waking up hungry,
waking—always holy.
Table wine is holy.
Candle sticks are holy,
dishwashers and cloth napkins,
the folk art cricket made from wire and a railroad nail,
rock salt from the salt flats in a salt cellar—holy, holy, holy.
Opening an empty cedar chest to still moths and crumbs,
staring at stretched cobwebs immersed in the sun,
swallowing nests, swallowing nectar,
swallowing chimes, swallowing saliva,
swallows—always holy.
Self-portraits are holy.
Ceramic urns also are holy.
Tape recorders and keyboards,
drawing pads and gold-plated ball-point pens,
calligraphy and stipple—holy, holy, holy.
Unfolding a letter, unfolding a chair, unfolding
into downward dog, from child’s pose, into corpse pose.
Picking apricots, picking green grapes,
picking out a husband, a shower curtain,
selection—always holy.
Twist-off caps, dresser drawers, remote controls,
carpeted stairs, revolving doors, product recalls,
keycodes, passwords,
restaurant reservations,
last-minute invitations,
cell phones, voice recognition,
land minds, and secrets—holy,
holy word, holy water, holy book,
holy soap boxes, bathtubs, soap dishes—holy,
holy drains and draining, empty.

Helen Townsend

Bio (auto)

Helen Townsend won third place in the 2015 Poetry Super Highway poetry contest. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “One of my favorite things is sitting down to write or revise, and when I look at the clock, hours have gone by. Everyone who writes or makes art or has a great conversation has experienced that. It feels like a glimpse of eternity.”

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Helen Townsend and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Three Wishes

This dragonfly I followed in traffic,
he flew over a spoiler in front of me
then veered left toward grass and water.
If his magic wings had angled my direction
I could have imagined him a gift
wishing lamp. I would have begged
with all the sincerity I own
Can I please learn to love my own life before I die?
The naked wants
The fumbled ideas about love
The kisses I mistook for something else
turning them into things like tumors that kill
because they want to live so bad
Can I learn to love this body
that is my house, my animal companion?
Can I learn to love the singular majesty of alone?
These eyes that notice dragonflies in the quiet
This magnificent self-breathing apparatus of go


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