In Bracket South, the poems that were supposed to advance, did.
Amid anti-School of Quietude protests, the sleepy ol’ South top seeds put a whoopin’ on their opponents.
First seed Donald Justice’s tribute to a fellow scribe, “Invitation To A Ghost,” turned Susan Stewart’s slightly pedantic “Apple” every way but loose.
No. 2 seed and Cincinnati native Kenneth Koch’s extensive tribute to his New York School friends, “Time Zone,” tanned the hide of the brief and witty “The Poets March On Washington” by James Cummins.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It” (3rd seed) put the fear of God into Lynn Xu’s “[Language Exists Because].”
“Country Western Singer” by Alan Shapiro stomped all over “The Only Dance There Is” by Rebecca Byrkit.
Catherine Bowman’s “No Sorry” wrung the neck of “Lifeline” by Vijay Seshardi.
“I Stopped Writing Poetry” by Bernard Welt made mincemeat out of “Gratification” by Susan Wood.
Dorianne Laux’s “The Shipfitter’s Wife” advanced from the no. 9 spot and rounding out the winners: “That’s Not Butter” by Reb Livingston.
So, we’re down to 32 contestants.
Here’s the next round of matchups:
East: Collins v. Graham, Dunn v. Broughton, Pinsky v. Gluck, and McClatchy v. Matthews.
North: Simpson v. Whiting, Hall v. Kulik, Levertov v. Wright, Yezzi v. Atwood.
West (which featured many upsets): Kooser v. Bowdan, Leithauser v. Koertge, Dennis v. Young, Buzbee v. Moritz.
South: Justice v. Livingston, Koch v. Laux, Komunyakaa v. Welt, Shapiro v. Bowman.
Toughest calls: Dunn v. Broughton in the East, Hall v. Kulik in the North, Leithauser v. Koertge in the West, and Koch v. Laux in the South.
These eight poems are all perfect in their way.
The avant protestors want all these poems to lose, however.