ON NOT WINNING THE NEMEROV AGAIN
November is the harvest time, and from
my yearly crop of sonnets I must choose
the two or three most likely to dumb-
found the judge and not again, as always, lose.
I might despair for all these years, at three
bucks sent for every verse submitted to
a contest named for someone who might be
my Nemesis, a ritual I might rue—
except it drives me on and gives me cause
to evermore refine my lines, improve
my style, and comprehend the sonnet’s laws,
until at last I get one in the grove.
Of course this isn’t it. No sonnet wins
that talks about itself, the worst of sins.