After a real neck-and-neck horserace in our online voting for the worst poem in ND’s 2013 Bad Poetry Festival, prolific local poet “Harry Patalones” was elected the winner of this year’s contest for his four-part epic “National Flower.”
Mr. Pantalones won our online voting on Facebook by a twiggy margin of two votes over runners-up “Five-O Creepin’” and “Notes on how to write poems about drinking.”
Special mention goes to Nohan Filipicus, author of the poem “Dogs are Bubbles,” for cornering me on Saturday and delivering an impassioned argument—as I edged away from him, nodding compassionately—for why he should be named this year’s winner. Alas, despite Mr. Filipicus’ enthusiasm, he forgot to vote for himself on Facebook and thus finished with no votes in the competition. I’d also like to give a shout-out to the author of the “Hassidic Sandinista,” who apparently is the only bad poet who took the festival seriously enough to express genuine interest in who won (Alas, he too forgot to vote for himself, and thus didn’t).
There were also some rather disturbing incidents of unfair play in this year’s competition. The author of the poem “The Poopy-Pants Pigman” was disqualified from the festival when it came to the attention of The Nicaragua Dispatch that he died almost a decade ago (even though his name appeared on the ballot as a candidate for city councilmen in last year’s municipal elections). Also, the author of “My Leader, Mi Comandante…forever!” was disqualified for doping and then lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. The Nicaragua Dispatch has a very serious no-doping policy. Let that be a lesson to you younger readers out there. (This is a public service announcement from The Nicaragua Dispatch).
We would also like to recognize the tireless efforts of the small handful of readers who, instead of participating in our Bad Poetry Festival, dedicated their time and efforts to posting 90 comments on the article “Kevin Fleming: I’m being held illegally in Nicaragua.” Although you posted your prose to a different forum, many of those entries have their own poetic flair, and so we commend your efforts.
On a final note: in response to protest over the manner with which Nicaragua Dispatch picked last year’s winner using Dei Verbum, or divine revelation, we decided to put the poetry contest to vote this year on Facebook. And once again, Nicaraguan democracy did not disappoint. A total of 4 people voted, or roughly .001% of our nearly 4,000 followers on Facebook. That means that the majority of people who participated in our bad poetry contest didn’t even bother to vote for themselves, just like APRE.
Anyway, the people (at least four of them) have spoken. ¡El Pueblo, Presidente! Congratulations, Mr. Pantalones—you are the worst poet of year.