published in Volume 3, Issue 1 on February 8th, 1996
Having survived the Holiday Season, the air still seems to have holiday images swimming through it like the jolly Salmon of Goodwill returning in their late-winter spawning run.
And so with snow still slushy on the streets of Omaha, I think of two things (besides jolly salmon): Elvis and cows.
In a similar spirit, I left my post here at Morpo-Central and spent Thanksgiving with The King on a roadtrip to Memphis, as, hey, Paul Simon sings about "Poor boys and Pilgrims" making the trip, and I'm a poor boy and Thanksgiving's the time of Pilgrims so why not?
And, indeed, it was a holiday to remember: Elvis already had his tree up and the lights of Graceland were no less than a kingly display of holiday wattage. It really got me set for that ol' holiday spirit, even though I had to do it without solid gold sinks and bell-bottom jumpsuits; it's the essence that matters, not the trappings.
And cows. What would winter be without cows? Kicked out of their stable 2000 years ago by an innkeeper packing in paying customers in any closet, hole, and stall he could get them to cough up a few coins for, it is those noble cows freezing in a pasture, running in a panic as bright angels appeared above them and the poor beasts couldn't lift their heads to see that it was only flying androgynous harpists up there as they stampeded over the stray shepherd or two.
And so in this bovine spirit o' the season, I'm introducing Morpo's first ever "Cows N' Elvis of Christmas Past Poetry Contest!" Submit your finest poems featuring a cow or an Elvis by April 30, 1996 and we'll award fabulous prizes such as.. uh.. as.. well, seeing as we don't have a budget (except that one time when Bob bought everyone hot chocolate, but that hardly counts), we'll publish you in the Mayish issue and give you something keen to put on a cover-letter (and won't the New Yorker be impressed to see that you got a Runner-Up award in that "Cows N' Elvis" thing!).
The number of awards will depend on how many entrants we receive. Poems need not be holiday or even winter poems. Some restrictions apply. Your mileage may vary. Previously published poems ok, though non-published preferred. You can do what you want but stay offa my blue suede shoes. Please clearly mark your submission as part of this contest (hopefully we'd notice, but you never know).
Good luck, and have a Holly Jolly Valentine's Day.