Ben Mattern, 2024 – “Untitled” (Slam winner)
The moment his hand left the wheel—of cheese,
It began to summersault down the mountain,
for it could not contain its glee, at finally being free.
Down, down it went, careening past befuddled skiers and bamboozled snowboarders- that great cylindrical prism of provolone continued its pursuit for
freedom despite the sneaky fact that it was becoming more and more comparable (in size) to an empty paper towel roll.
The slope, you see, had been drizzled by a passing rain cloud, resulting in Icy sandpaper that ground down the cheddar crusader.
And thus, the great dairy daredevil rolled its last,
coming to rest at the base of a path of Parmesan, it’s body no larger,
than your favorite rock, to kick along the sidewalk.
Oliver Yukica, 2025 – “Requiem for Marie Antoinette [abridged]”
November 2, 1755
Philosophy says: It is hard to articulate the anguish of nonexistence when you’re a human being on Earth.
I think there’s something comforting about the knowledge that the universe will live on without us; no matter what, there are more b e i n g s somewhere.
According to the symmetric property, for all real numbers x and y, when x equals y, then y must equal x.
Simultaneously, if one statement is certifiably true, then the contrapositive of that statement must also be true. If two congruent angles are equivalent in
measure by virtue of their congruency, then two angles that are not congruent cannot therefore be equal in measure.
If our existence is prolonged in the memories of our descendents, then it must therefore be that those who are forgotten cease to exist.
(In Israel, the IDF sends an officer to the graves of those fallen soldiers with no one left to mourn them)
Veni Vidi Vici and then totality
Damocles is dead
dead beneath the sword of his king
dead and writhing in the inferno of nothingness
dead and gone
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am for myself alone, what am I?
When I am all alone one day, what will become of me?
navigating life like flower petals; buying iphones and t-shirts; cheating death; living to forget.
Adam cannot exist without Eve beside him. Down cannot exist without up.
If I only exist inside the minds of others, the world as I know it can only exist inside of me.
Ratatatatatatat the universe is dead
If a tree falls in the forest, there is no sound without someone to hear it; when Louis XVI screams all alone in the void between Earth and the gates of hell, there is no sound if no one wants to hear it.
Marie Antoinette, you are Enkidu. No Gilgamesh will seek your resurrection. No peasants will mourn your death. You are gone
G-d created the sky
There was nothing and everything and all was one all at once
This was not enough
G-d created the ground, so that there might be something else beyond the sky
where do we go now that there is only sky and Earth?
G-d created others
So that consciousness might exist
And He expanded the universe beyond the singularity of his own existence by contracting the infinity of eternal light into the confines of static physical being
Mankind was born
But man wanted more.
Marie needed M O R E
October sixteenth, 1793
The swing of a guillotine
And now everything collapses
Now s o m e t h i n g into n o t h i n g
Marie, what are you going to do?
Do you honestly believe that the peasants will miss you?
Do you honestly believe that the malnourished and decaying world you left behind will want to remember your towers of ivory? Your chariots of gold? Your parties, your feasts, or you?
You couldn’t possibly have realized that we’d remember you this way?
Your most famous quote is a lie.
You died a widowed mother of six.
Charlize Brown, 2024 – “Perhaps it was the Clams”
Perhaps it was the clam that ate my sandwich.
Were they tricked? Did they take the word sand in sandwich too literally?
I was really looking forward to that sandwich. I made it with fresh lettuce from the garden, some nice deli meat and crisp onions. I hope the clam hated the onions. Karma for eating my sandwich.
I don’t even like clams, what is the appeal to them? They don’t smell good and don’t look tasty at all. I’m going to find that clam.
The clam deserves to be punished, deserves to be fed to a hungry seagull, because you know why? I was hungry and being hungry is not fun; it makes me uncomfortable, irritable and not happy.
That damn clam ate my sandwich, the one with the fresh onions and lettuce and tasty deli meat. Oh how you should pay for your action.
You terrible. No longer hungry, good for nothing, smelly, smiley sandwich eating clam. You will remember this day. The day a seagull scooped you up high into the sky, and then…dropped you. Don’t eat my sandwich again.