We didn’t let our excitement about Puppy Bowl VIII distract us from the big throwdowns that go down in our own neighborhood. If you think good vs. evil is a big deal, you haven’t checked out this action.

The Brodsky Museum v. Financial Trouble: The Brodsky Museum can’t lose. Not with America on its side.

Ross Ventrone v. the NFC: It may be a fair match on the gridiron, but do not challenge Ventrone to a round of the dozens.

Geoffrey Hill v. Carol Ann Duffy: Duffy takes the side of the ever-popular text message. But Hill comes through in the clutch with a surprising sense of humor.

Occupy Wall Street v. Wall Street: WS has got the guns, but OWS has the color commentary, from Eileen Myles, Ariana Reines, Matthew Connors, Mike Andrews, Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, Ben Tausig, Dan Hoy, and others.

Ler Devagar in Lisbon v. Daikanyama T-Site in Tokyo: Yes, they’re both beautiful bookstores. But which is first place, and which is the first loser?

To Get an MFA v. To Not Get an MFA: This recurrent debate is why god created the University of Phoenix.

Paul Durica v. the Poetry Archives: It's a formidable foe, but our main sifter is taking our firetrap of back issues for all it’s worth.

Poetry v. Prayer: When Jericho Brown, Kazim Ali, and Dunya Mikhail bring their A-game, we’re all winners.

Practices v. Peculiarities: Why pick one when you can have both? That marginalia you like is coming back in style.

Three moments of silence for Wislawa Szymborksa, Stacy Doris and Dorothea Tanning, respectively.

Originally Published: February 3rd, 2012