Once again this year, folks, here is the real skinny behind this annual mutual stroke fest known as Metroland's "Readers' Poll". I had realized after last year's dumpster dive to retrieve the raw data on the voting for Best Poet that there must be a high-tech way of doing this to avoid coming out smelling like the OH Bar on Saturday night. So I found a 20-something cyber-savvy Blogger (she's got like 6 Blogs going at once) & asked her to help me hack into Metroland's computers, but it cost me. Of course that means I got everything (including some interesting personal emails, I think what the media calls "sexting").
For those of you who haven't seen this week's issue of Metroland, the readers' pick for "Best Poet" was once again Mary Panza, with R.M. Englehardt in the #2 slot (or under Mary), & the third slot was cyperspace entity KC Orcutt. As far as I can tell, this person has never been out in the Albany poetry scene, at least using that name, since I don't have a picture of her, but that's OK. Anyone can be Best Poet, you only need a couple votes to win, as the data from Metroland shows.
So here it is, the final tally:
KC Orcutt got 2 votes, probably her's & her mother's. RM Engelhardt got 3 votes (2 were mine because once again this year I voted for him twice; obviously the 3rd vote was Rob's own vote for himself). [Note to Rob for next year: cheat -- send in ballots with phony names/addresses, etc. You can beat Mary next year if you do.]
Mary Panza got 4 votes, enough to win, but not the huge numbers like some years in the past. I think it was because she lost some of her cousins' & nephews' votes because they got swept up in the FBI raids on the Mafia in the past months, & were too involved with lawyer meetings to vote. So if Rob wants to win next year I suggest that in addition to cheating (see above), he uses some of his connections to get the cops to arrest more of Mary's family. Of course, who knows, maybe KC Orcutt will do the same thing & then we'll have a real horserace.
For me, I'm glad I didn't make the list this year. I'm tired of calling Metroland's office trying to get my CDTA Swiper Card. As my father used to say about the Best Of, "That & a swiper card will get you on the bus." So to this year's winners all I can say is I hope you get your swiper card, because I'm still waiting for mine.
(If anyone out there is interested in the numbers for any of the other categories, just let me know & maybe I can help you out.)