for Chase Dimock
First prize, a bank bag filled with randomly counted, worn out twenty-dollar bills. Second prize, a one month supply of apple pies, delivered freshly warm each morning, to take the place of bacon and eggs or yogurt and fruit or milk and cereal or a bagel and television or boredom and a cup of sighs. Apple pie always replaces at least two things.
The host isn’t much. A graduate of The Rip Taylor Charm School he checks his watch more than he tells jokes. His confetti hairpiece, older than he is. Some days his lips don’t move. The announcer impersonates him, throws her voice here and there, to keep things happening.
Every contestant gets a t-shirt no matter how he finishes. The t-shirt has the show’s slogan. Harold Bloom said he never thought an Emily Dickinson poem would be used that way.