Friday, July 30, 2010

Up for Grabs

FIRST EDITION COLLECTOR’S ITEM: Want to find out what kind of really bad “poetry” yours truly was writing when he was a bad-ass 22-year-old PFC in the US Army? Well, this is your one and only opportunity. I’m giving away three signed copies of this rare 1966 16-page A4 mimeograph chapbook written and run off during office hours when I was chief company clerk of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA), Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM. If I remember correctly, only 15 were produced and I still have 8 safely hidden in an underground vault guarded by mischievous subterranean “kallikantzari” (Greek trolls), so after these three have gone wherever they are fated to go, that will leave me with 5. Depending on how much they will be going for on the rare book market once yours truly has departed the scene, the three lucky recipients and/or their descendants might find themselves millionaires!

So what are you waiting for? Go for broke and enter this once-in-a-lifetime poetry contest! You have nothing to lose but your patience and poetic sense of direction if you’re lucky enough to win and find yourself faced with such unforgettable verse as the following:


I was surprised by the barren
ruins of Corinth. And the dirt
bothered my feet. Where is
Periander’s whorehouse? Or did
I take the wrong road?

Here are the rules:

The first three people who send me an email with the correct answers to these three questions shall be declared the winners.

First question: Which ancient Greek poet was both a poet and a warrior/mercenary?
Second question: Who was the first poet to write lyric poetry in the first person?
Third question: What does this poet’s name mean?

Don’t forget to include your postal address in your email. Good luck!

UPDATE, Saturday July 31st, 11.00 AM: As the response to the above quiz has been nothing short of overwhelming (3 entrants, 1 correct answer), I've decided to extend the deadline to 12 o'clock tonight, Hellas time. Incidentally, you can answer the questions as many times as you want until you find the correct poet(s); if I make it any easier, it won't be any fun.


  1. I was really excited until I got to the rules. Looks like I’m gonna to have to come over there and read one of the remaining five!

  2. Come on, you two--you have until 12 midnight July 31st to make me proud of you!

  3. Twelve minutes late. A time limit on pride. Imagine that. Next time I’ll be ready!

  4. There ain't gonna be no next time, Wild Bill--you ready for that?


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