The first ever June Formal Aerican Poetry Ball will last all of June 2008. The guidelines are as follows:
1. Anyone wishing to submit a poem to may send it email to vanceza at gmail.com. You may also submit it to the mailing list, in which case some kind of note like "This is for the poetry contest" is encouraged to avoid vconfusion and missed entries.
2. Anyone may submit a poem, but only citizens are eligible to win a prize.
3. Anyone wishing to help judge the contest please an email to the submissions address. Judges are still eligible to win prizes, but may not judge their own entries.
4. Poems may be in any language, but picking a language judges know may boost your chances to win.
5. Since this is a formal ball, poems must be in a formal style. Limericks, sonnets, haiku, even tongue twisters are fine, but free verse is not. Strict iambic pentameter is acceptable, but someone else will have to point it out for the judges to recognise it.
6. Poems may be in text, graphical, video, or audio form. If you can think of anything else that's fine too.
7. Participants may submit more than one poem. However, participants may win only one prize each.
The following special awards will be given: Best (worst) abuse of the rules; best form; funniest poem; worst rhyme.
The following ordinary awards will be given: First Place, Second Place, Third Place, Honorary Mention. Anyone receiving one of these awards may choose one of the following prizes :
- The long-awaited physical Hitchiker's Guide to Aerica .
- Signed photograph of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Eric Lis.
- @aericanempire.com email address.
- A poster of the winner's choice: Aerican Flag, Proud to be Aerican, submitted poetry (depending on monetary constraints these may range from ASCII to glossy color)
- Like, some origami cube thing one of the judges made, man. http://www.vanceza.com/files/cube.jpg
- The ISS-U01 space cruiser, ineffectual showboat of the Aerican space fleet (similar construction to above). http://www.vanceza.com/files/u01.jpg
- Go, an ancient Chinese two-player strategy board game (1ft board, not pictured, used). Warning: mediocre board at best. But, we think everyone should play Go so it's being put on the prize list.
 Results may vary. Not for use by women who are pregnant or nursing, or who may become pregnant or nursing. Side affects may include dizziness, vomiting, headache, nausea, drowsiness, loss of memory, erectile disfunction, hernia, joint pain, temporal paradox, loss of vital functions, loss of slightly less vital functions, or hiccups. Allow 3-8 weeks for shipping. Illegal where prohibited by law. Offer void in state of California. Not for sale or export to Cuba, Sealand, or non-Euclidean geometries.
 Not actually awaited.
 A collection of Aerican information propaganda. While not yet technically made, the winner is promised the first copy of the new edition, for the first time in physical form.
The contest winner, and author of "Zebra Skins, Prophylactics and Aphrodisiacs", Sean Austin.
The runner-up, and author of the untitled poem beginning "Out of sight, out of mind?" (#4), Raven.
In third place is Michael N. Mazur, for his poem "*The Watchman*".
Additionally, an honorary mention goes to stevedudein for his untitled quartet beginning "Roses are red".
Zebra Skins, Prophylactics and Aphrodisiacs.
There is a sad and sorry tale
I must now relate to you
Of Zebra skins and prophylactics
And aphrodisiacs up the wazoo
A man of Africa burnt black as sin
But white once in his youth
Went off to test a black mans tale
To see if it had some truth
It told of how a zebra skin
Laid down before a fire
Could make a mans erection larger
His enjoyment even higher
This man though was ashamed to say
Found it hard to keep it hard
So stocked up on aphrodisiacs
And smooth and greasy lard
As a man of honour and principle
He also got a hold
Of a box of prophylactics
From where all such things are sold
The final item on his list
Was a woman of like mind
And this he thought to himself
Would be the hardest one to find
Then he did remember
There was of course a place
And in his mind there did arise
A young and pretty face
Forearmed with knowledge and a cheque
He said off for said place
And on arrival he asked Madame
For the girl with a pretty face
He found her alone in a room
Bedecked with lace and frill
Unrolling the skin upon the floor
He felt a little thrill
A fire crackled in the grate
He turned to the girl and said
ďCome lay down on this zebra skin
Forget about the bedĒ
Full of aphrodisiacs
He donned the protective skin
He prepared to test the theory
With a wide and happy grin
Now halfway through their gleeful deed
Was a loud dramatic pop
And though they both knew what it was
Still neither one could stop
Magic had them both enthralled
But something he hadnít heard
Was the magic there would not accept
Interruption of natures word
So now I must end this tale
And tell you the results
Iím the accidental product
Of magic and two adults.
Out of sight, out of mind?
Or does absence make the heart grow fonder?
I sit here lonely, missing her,
These are the things I wonder.
These are the things I wonder,
When I'm lonely, feeling down, When my heart feels empty,
When no one is around.
When no one is around,
To reassure my heart,
My mind begins to ask itself,
Will I always be apart?
Will I always be apart,
From those I've fallen to,
I often think, and ask myself,
Whatever can I do?
Whatever can I do,
To be with the one I love?
She means so much, so special to me,
I'll pray to God above.
I'll pray to God above,
To bring her back to me,
To once again see her smile,
And set our loves both free.
The Watchman waits, he takes no flight,
staring far across the night.
Guarding this, our world, from fear,
for while he waits no one may near,
or venture closer still to Earth.
Until the dawn but from night's birth,
the ghosts, the ghouls, our greatest foes,
attempt to scare him from his post.
Yet stay he does: look! There's his light,
for he is the Watchman of the night.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Some poems rhyme,
This one don't
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