Congratulations to Joel Chmara!!!!  His poem “Johnny Baconseed:  A Poem for the Hopeless Romantics” was voted Best Bacon Poem by both popular and internal review.  On behalf of the Illinois Pork Producers Association and Baconfest Chicago, we salute you Joel, and your way with words.  You and a guest will be our guests on April 9th.

To the other 6 finalists, we say “huzzah!”  Your Odes were all fantastic.  But alas there can be only one Champ.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  Seriously.  We loved SO many of the poems, including those not in the top 6.

We’ve got one more contest out there for free tickets sponsored by the Chicago Reader.  See The Bacon Anthem Video Contest.  The committed will be rewarded.  And if you haven’t yet seen the video below produced by the Chicago Reader and based on selections from the Baconfest Chicago Manifesto, watch it NOW.  Dim the lights, blow it up full screen and crank up the volume!  You will get goose bumps.

WATCH the Chicago Reader’s Bacon-Noir Video!! PURE GENIUS

Anyway, below is Joel’s poem.  We recommend reading it a la Ken Nordine.  When I first read it, I could not help but snap my fingers in approval.

by Joel Chmara

When strips of pork Godliness dance-crackle-curl on the pan,
I will be there,
puffing my chest
accepting pops of grease on my shirt
like a Deputy Ditka badge.

Garments perfumed with slight bacon splatter is no call for stain-lifter.
Nay, it simply ensures that one will carry the greatest foodstuff essence
for the rest of the day.
Take heed dear readers,
to love bacon is to carry the smokey scent with you
as an am-bad-ass-ador of the fine piggy belly brine.

I am that breed of bacon lover
spreading its virtues
as Johnny Baconseed.
Baconology mentored to friends
of how to incorporate it into every dish.
Caramelized, Hickory Smoked, Peppered, Mapeled
Sweet or Savory
Lardon or in Bits
I can baconate any menu
for the better of humankind.

When the final bite of a bacon treat
crunches in my mouth
leaving the perfect salty smoke sensation
I whisper to no one in particular,
“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”

© 2011 Joel Chmara