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These Foolish Games:
The Jewel Poetry Slam Winners

Hosted by the Style Live Staff
Wednesday, August 4, 1999


These hands they are her own – but these poems are yours.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that's not what most of the participants in our Jewel Poetry Slam seemed to have in mind. More than 150 of you responded to our call to create a Jewel-esque poem of your own. Some were whimsical, some were overt mockery, some were heartfelt tributes to the Alaskan artisan.

Recurring themes included Jewel's rags to riches story, her teeth (and other physical attributes), her sense of self, love and life, the van, and curiously, Washington-area traffic.

We pored over the entries, and have published the "winners" below. Congratulations to Ann Marie Parsons, Shannon Hunt and Michael Kentoff for your superior verses. We will contact you in a separate note to award your prizes.

We have also published a selection of honorable mentions. Thank you to all who participated.

Second Runner-Up

dear Princess Walmart
I cry bittersweet tears that taste of Alaskan snow
and smell like the back of a VW bug you once slept in.
Horses run free through my living room
while I blow dandelion puffs into the whispering wind.
I wish to void my supper.
No one understands how deep I am.

Ann Marie Parsons
Alexandria, Va.

First Runner-Up


I never cared about my hair
I am too creative for that
I live in a van, alone in solitude
Just me and my guitar
My songs more important than my hair
People snicker at my hair's dirtyness
Do they know what it's like to shower in an Exxon sink?
Once, my head got stuck under the faucet
and I got an idea.
I'm going to shoot my first video in that very bathroom and show them all.

Shannon Hunt
Columbia, Md.

And the Winner . . .


The trees called me Snaggletooth
Because I was a dewey rose petal,
Alone in quiet desolation
While they, windbleached, made fun
To compensate for having no leaves.

The trees howled "Snaggletooth"
So I slayed them with my
Guitar, my voice, my body, my pen
Smiled a crooked shoreline
& celebrated a quiet treeless peace.

Michael Kentoff
Silver Spring, Md.

Honorable Mentions

Slaughtered bovine friend
who mourns for you
with lettuce flower,
a plate of death
on sesame seed bun?
My roadie

David Phillips
Alexandria, Va.

How silent are the eyes
which listen
without true sight
avoid my seeking glance
Gazing instead
at my guitar
No, not at my guitar
Just above my guitar
Yes, right there
I breathe
What are you looking at?

Don Campbell
Arlington, Va.


making more of me than me might be
loosing the chains of a world grown cold
like that time you so saved me, scraping granola from corners of my mouth -whew!-

destroying my self-confidence and pride
degrading me, my mother, and aunt helen
declaring war on indonesia – though they were just starting free-market reforms –
breaking my yoke, making no smiley face.

one thing i'd say, it's that you're ok.

Adam Joyce
Brooklyn, N.Y.

I used to write poetry
About my feelings
It seemed sappy and I felt guilty
Now there's a contest
To write my sappy feeling poems

I like contests

Evan Burfield
Fairfax, Va.

God's miracle moon is so
round, as am I-
Round like my own big face.
Coyotes shriek
whiny country-western songs
as do I.
Me Me Me
So deep.

Emily Bell
St. Paul, Minn.

Bathing in rest stops
The Sink is my tub
Strange looks from people as I strip
But I don't care.
What do they know, these
Travelers to and fro
For I have no To. And no Fro.
Just here. And now.
So I continue cleaning,
Moving closer to cleanliness.
Closer to godliness.
I am the goddess of the rest stop.

Kevin Cuddihy
Fairfax Va.

When I was a kid
I listened, breathless, to Top 40 radio
I was with you all the way
I never thought it'd be like this
How can I thank you?

Fascination with things obscure
Often leads to unexplained success
But where is my sainted one
Now that I've told all that there is to see in Anchorage

O Stevie, O Stevie Nicks, dark goddess,
Have I obsessed enough this time?

Scott Maid
Front Royal, Va.


My eyes are open
My fingers soft
Cowboy visions
Are caressing my

The motel window is open
The wind is whirling in
The American night is
Hovering above me

Tapio Christiansen
Washington, D.C.

like it or not
Jewell (sic) speaks for many girls
who haven't found their own voices
in your snobbery
and your mean spirited ad hominims (sic)
you fail to recognize
your own daughters

Mark Phillips
Foster City, Calif.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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