Rattle Magazine: The Neil Postman Award for Metaphor
We established the Neil Postman Award for Metaphor in honor and remembrance of Neil Postman, who died on October 5, 2003. The intention of the award is simple and two-fold: to reward a given writer for their use of metaphor, and to celebrate (and, hopefully, propagate) Postman's work and the typographical mind. Each year, the editors choose one poem that was published from regular submissions to Rattle during the previous year. There are no entry fees or submission guidelines involved. The author of the chosen poem receives $2,000.
by Craig van Rooyen
Dusk slides beneath her dress,
creeps across her thighs, slips
over the rise of her belly.
Night gathers in the hollow
at the base of her throat.
I know she hears knives sharpening
when I unzip her,
the dress down-fountaining
over her bare feet. I can vanish
into the dark small of her back,
my bristled chin plowing
down its single row.
But there are places I dare not touch.
The timpani behind a knee,
the bowstring throat, a taut
and fluted ankle:
each an old crime scene
still taped off.
Yet, she has learned to open,
guiding the hot blades
of my hands into untouched places
that burn with their own furnaces.
I don't pretend to be a healer,
bring only my glinting hook of need
to petal open her ribs, crack through
the gristle of her assembled face.
She is a horse, gravid
with the bodies of old lovers.
With them, I move inside her
waiting to set the city on fire.
—from Rattle #64, Summer 2019