ROUND ONE: 8-blackened vs. 9-thermal

[click image to view matchup in full screen in a new window.]

The Poets’ Challenge: Each poet is assigned a single word based on their bracket seed, ranging from 1 (intuitive) to 16 (seemingly impossible). Poets must write a kid-appropriate poem using the prompted word in under 36 hours. Once both final poems have been received, they will be pasted into the body of this post, and then the reader poll will be open for voting.

Voter Instructions: Read each poem as many times as you’d like. Then use the poll to express your preference. Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered. As a guideline for voting, consider the criteria on which the contestants on the cooking show “Chopped” are evaluated: presentation, taste, and creativity. Translated roughly into poetry terms, presentation might include technical aspects such as meter, rhyme, form/shape, etc.; taste might be the net effect — did the poem move you to laugh, cry, think, kill, etc.; and creativity might include the poet’s approach toward a certain subject, image evocation, clever wordplay, etc.

“This is awesome, where can I find more?”: All results and scheduled matchups, including a glance at the round-by-round writing windows and voting windows, are visible from the Live Scoreboard page. In addition, results will be tweeted from @edecaria as they become final.

Here are the poems:

Marshmallow Survey
by Michele Krueger

Are you a gentle toaster
of barely golden brown,
plumply perched on a slender branch,
tenderly swallowed down?

Or are you a wild roaster
of crisp and blackened skin,
savoring the melted center
of sweetness tucked within?


Commander Thomas
by Ken Slesarik
I, Lieutenant Cornwall Thomas, 
battle tested, make this promise; 
although tantamount to treason 
goin’ commando’s out of season, 
so I’ll wear my thermal underwear, 
concealing ample derrière 
from botched cosmetic surgery 
and Botox on the buttocks.



8-blackened vs. 9-thermal: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • 8-blackened (Michele Krueger) (56%, 87 Votes)
  • 9-thermal (Ken Slesarik) (44%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 155

Loading ... Loading ...


Did you like this matchup? Show these poets your support by sharing this post now (see buttons below).

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Michele Krueger

    it looks like voting has started before the poems have posted.

    • Lynne Wagner

      Scrumptious, evocative, TASTE-full (YES!!)and you gave the blackened hull a gooey-delicious white center. An irresistable poem about one of the best burned things in the world!

      • Michele Krueger

        Thanks so much, Lynne. I appreciate your fervor!

  • Dom D

    My favorite word matchup in this round.

  • Ed DeCaria

    Gotta love those 8-9 matchups.

    Michele — vibrant imagery of those toasted textures … both marshmallows were delicious!

    Ken — “concealing ample derrière” will make my developing list of favorite phrases turned throughout this competition. Well done!

  • laurasalas

    You know, they say imagery is great in poetry…but some images (I’m looking at you, Commander Thomas:>) I could live without! My eyes! My eyes!

  • Michele Krueger

    Thanks, Ken, for the touch and go competition. Didn’t know if your poem was going to whip my (politically correct covered)derriere!

  • Ken Slesarik

    Lovely poem Michele! Good luck in the next round and thank you Ed for putting this on.

  • Silas

    I really liked Kens poem!