Deb: Ode to a Dead Salmon finalists

Wow. What a catch of good bad writing (or is it bad good writing?) we’ve made. Our 2nd annual 49 Writers Ode to a Dead Salmon contest attracted a virtual freezer-full of fishy entries. Our esteemed panel of judges have laughed and groaned over haikued salmon, limericked salmon, politicized salmon, hard-boiled detective salmon, country-balladed salmon, and several more. It was no easy task, but they’ve come up with three finalists, and now we’re ready for our readers to weigh in on which one represents the best bad writing of 2010.

Here they are, for your reading pleasure, listed in the order received. Vote in the poll in the right sidebar (one vote per reader, please). Voting closes next Monday, August 23, at 7 p.m., and the winner gets an autographed Ray Troll t-shirt of his/her choice. Enjoy!

by Alexia Gordon

There once was a salmon named Nod
Who had an incredible bod
Lean, swift, and scarlet
With butter and garlic
He tasted much better than cod


by J.J. Weicker

O Quasimodo of the silver waves,
In life’s renewal we are but brother slaves
From eternity’s pursuit to sandy shoal,
A slide from humpy love to husky’s roll.
O fishy Fate, undone desire writ large,
Your leaping skyward comes to nought but snarge;
Just like my PFD, too soon you’re spent
And form a fetid canine liniment.
In the pink of health and lust, who was the pinker?
We did not see our fall from stud to stinker
And perceived our path divine not biological,
Poor Icarus, now ick ichthyological!
Smeared on dog, your putrid truth will linger:
Time will come God bids me pull His finger.


by Jerry Juday

John: But soft! What splash from yonder stream I hear?
Mary: I know not, my handsome young bushwacker.
John (peering out of tent door): Hark! In the fresh-washed light of morn I do spy the
flashing glint of moistened flanks. (Now pointing.) Yes, there! And there! And there again!
Mary (exasperated): O, foolish man, burdened with wrongheaded desires. Let the wiser head take control.
John (enthusiastically): Lo, how my bosom swells in anticipation of stealthily stalking the brushy banks, breathing deep the fecund air, then slipping softly on rubbered soles into the intoxicating channel.
Mary: Hush now, husband! Lie back down. My bosom swells for thee. Let us brew our own intoxication here on this airy love shingle — my Thermarest. My loins warm it for thee.
John: Tis sockeye . . . sockeye! The great red swarm has returned to the natal waters to spawn. Yes, to spawn and to die. Generation after generation, they come to nuzzle the maternal gravel. Overcoming every obstacle, unrelenting, the throng pushes and thrusts its way home, and so forth and so on, etcetera.
Mary: Yi! The nuzzling sounds good just now.
(A noise is heard, stage left.)
John: What ho? Do I discern the heavy tread of the barbed biped? The anglers are bestirring; the game is afoot. I must make haste. (He exits the tent.)
Mary: No! Pray sir, I beseech you: do not wet your fly just yet. Leave the salmon in peace to do their spawning. That precious moment of piscine passion is so short, a mere gossamer speck in the ever flowing river of life. Tarry thou by my side just a few minutes more. Think on it, my love, do not the wriggling and the spilling of milt and egg put a notion in your head?
John: Fie, woman! Heed the words of the poet writ here upon my garb: “Ain’t no nookie like Chinookie.” The salmon have arrived; the course of my destiny is laid. I am off now, with rod in hand. (He departs.)
Mary (sighing): Alas, the mute salmon speak to him more eloquently than I. Still, the fish remember what he forgets. True beauty is a mate, and a mate is true beauty — that is all we doomed creatures really know on earth and all we need to know.


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