HuffPo’s Oddball Poetry Contest

Jason Linkins, over at Huffington Post, challenges us to write poetry using an odd combination of words:

FUN FACT: Our blog software has four alternate suggestions for the word “tchotchkes,” which it does not recognize. They are:


I should very much like to see if anyone can write a bracing poem or epigram using these four words, in any context. Send your submissions to me, via email, with the subject line: “THE GREAT HUFFPO LATCHKEYS HOPSCOTCHES CROTCHLESS HOTCAKES LITERARY CONTEST IS AFOOT!” I will, in turn, nominate your offerings for prestigious literary awards, like the Man Booker Prize.

So I decided to have some fun with it, writing both a limerick and a more serious poem. First, my limerick:

As a crotchless young woman from Spain
Is savoring hotcakes on Main,
Who hopscotches by?
A buck-naked guy,
Twirling latchkeys and looking insane.

And now something more serious, using the same quartet of words:

Disconsolate youth,
Lacking latchkeys and adult supervision,
Run around crotchless, uncouth,
Subsisting on hotcakes,
While their absent father
Hopscotches through life.

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3 Responses to “HuffPo’s Oddball Poetry Contest”

  1. Tiffany says:

    I like both of your poems. I like the way you were able to use the words to write a humorous poem and a very serious one. What a great sense of familial instability you create by describing a father who “Hopscotches through life.”

  2. madkane says:

    Thanks so much Tiffany!

  3. Abby says:

    We are the generation of latchkeys
    We swoon crotchless panties at Vickies
    We buy stock like hotcakes
    Our Toyota has no breaks
    Our baby hopscotches with Nikes