ROUND ONE: 3-cull vs. 14-pastiche


Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you’d like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • In the Public Vote, anyone may vote, but only one vote is allowed per IP address.
  • In the Classroom Vote, you must be registered and logged in to vote.
    • Official voting classrooms should read and discuss each poem and then submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.
  • In the Authlete Vote, you must be a 2015 authlete and logged in to vote.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word, given its level of difficulty.
  • Whether or not the poem adheres to the poem requirements for the contest.
  • Precision: structure, meter, rhyme, syntax, etc.
  • Personality: creative imagery, language, metaphor, etc.
  • Power: makes you laugh, cry, want, sigh, think, dream, wince, scream, etc.
  • Plus One: it is a poem you feel drawn to share with another person for whatever reason.

Apply your own criteria as well! For more on the above concepts, check out POEMETRICS™.

Here are the poems:


3-cull what does it mean?
Cole’s Culinary Capers
By RJ Clarken

Cole the Koala has wicked-cool skill.
In his kitchen, he’ll dish up Kale Kettle,
Kohlrabi with Cayenne, Camembert Dill…
…’cause a scullery-bear can’t just settle.
He’ll cull ‘cross the cosmos, seeking until
he discovers a new course. Such mettle!
Casseroles, curries, crêpes, custards or curd,
classic comestibles…Mmmmm…Yum’s the word.



14-pastiche what does it mean?
Slumgullian Stew
By Elizabeth Scarpelli

First boil a lambs head until cooked just right
Add hot pepper to give it some bite
Combine pan-fried gizzard, spaghetti con slime
Blacken cannoli, lizard with thyme
A sprinkling of crickets, a dash of cayenne
Dinner will be served a half passed ten
But, after eating you say this pastiche is not right!
I guess the infirmary may be full tonight!


Public Vote (3-cull vs. 14-pastiche)
Final Results:
3-cull vs. 14-pastiche

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
3-cull vs. 14-pastiche
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
3-cull vs. 14-pastiche

Note: The poem for 14-pastiche was late by one hour, so the Public Vote starts at +10 in favor of 3-cull.

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  • Amelia Shearer

    You two are on the same wavelength with your profile pic poses and your poems about food! :-) Separated at birth? …

    • RJ Clarken

      Right? Totally weird. But fun. :D

  • Debra Shumaker

    Yes, too funny that they are both about food. They were fun!

    • RJ Clarken

      That was funny! And thanks!

  • Donna Smith

    What are the chances both poems would be spiced with cayenne? And your photos? I can hear Twilight Zone music…

    • RJ Clarken

      Seriously. Cosmic Doppelgangerness, I guess. :D

  • Samuel Kent

    RJ: great alliterative choices. Elizabeth, the progression from under-appetizing to disgusting paints a vivid picture (urp).

    • RJ Clarken


  • Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Intriguing: two foodie poems! Hard to choose.

    • RJ Clarken

      Great minds, I guess…


  • Phillip Van Wagoner

    You two are a formidable team! RJ makes me hungry, then Elizabeth comes in with the punch to the gut. Great poems!

    • RJ Clarken

      What a yummy comment! Thank you!

  • Ed DeCaria

    Wowsers. Closest matchup yet! 3-vote spread among authletes and 2-vote spread among classrooms. Thank you, Elizabeth, for mixing up your Slumgullian Stew, and congrats RJ for making Round Two!

    • RJ Clarken

      Congratulations to Elizabeth – your poem was great! And thank you, Ed!

  • Elizabeth Scarpelli

    Congratulations RJ, we think alot alike! Good luck on round two. Liz

    • RJ Clarken

      Thank you, Liz. I really loved how we were so much alike – poses, foodie poems, cayenne…

      I think you’re a wonderful writer and poet. Best wishes!

  • Damon Dean

    I remember vacillating between these two. Great poems, and congrats RJ!