For SixContest #144, we asked you to wax poetic in six words. Sixers welcomed the emotive and lyrical aesthetic and even invoked their inner e.e cummings by experimenting with punctuation and line formatting. Poetry allowed Sixers to evoke powerful imagery (“Rows of bent backs, migrant workers” — BanjoDan) and abstract memories (“Mystical July/ Mid-summer juvenescence/ Fleeting rock-stardom.” — JanAlexander). Many Sixers accepted the challenge of the “American Haiku” and embraced the 5, 7, 5 syllable format (“Infuriation. Constant riddle fixation. Wordle addiction.” — PapaCraft).
We introduced the contest with three categories: Most Heartfelt, Funniest, and a Six-Word poem that is also a haiku. Then, thanks to the hundreds of inspired contest entries, we decided to add three more categories: Best Backstory; Free Verse Poetry; and Most Meta.
Here are our Top 6 memoirs and winners of their respective categories!
Drugs made you leave
Androgynous hippopotamus fooled quite a lotofus.
Murky-black, but impotent;
Backstory: “I’m a pastor at a United Methodist Church in Texas. I get up way too early on Sundays and am often the first one to the church. A wonderful woman named Paula also comes early and makes coffee for the congregation. We often get fancy flavors, as well as mild and bold unflavored options. She always makes one decaffeinated pot, which is typically the last option after the other carafes are drained.
Sometimes, I get busy on a Sunday and don’t get to the coffee bar until after the first service has ended. I come looking for something that will give me a boost to get through the second service. Occasionally, the only option available is decaf. While this is rare, it always disappoints. #firstworldproblem”
Free Verse Poetry
I hate loving you.
Congratulations to all of the winning poets! We’ll send each of you a fee copy of the newest Six-Word Memoir book A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year: Hundreds of Stories on the Pandemic.