For years, poets have grown accustomed to rejection in several forms (as in rejection forms) and the occasional nice note. However, there are some editorial practices that need to be done away with for the good mental health of poets, who already have their mental health called into question for working tirelessly at their craft for little or no money (myself included).
First, there's the case of editors who don't include any sort of note--even a form letter--with rejected poems. I totally understand if you can't afford to print up form rejection letters, but surely you at least have a pen that can write something on the poems. The word NO would probably convey your meaning.
No note gives poets a false sense of hope. For instance, they may think, "Hey, there was no rejection included, so maybe...maybe they liked what I sent?"
Don't laugh. Poets are a hopeful people.
This is even more bizarre than the no note tactic. After all, the poet sent poems and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Where did the poems go? Where is the confirmation of rejection? Keep reading.
Not Just Another Playlist Often, I sit in my swivel chair looking out the window, while jazz, country, or rock music plays. This pleasure goes on for many hours a mystic trance of sorts streaming—the glue maintaining my soul. I turn the best songs into playlists (once we called them mix tapes) puzzling over the perfect order. Does Satchmo’s “What a Wonderful World” kick off my latest list or make it the big soulful closer? And does “Mack the Knife” go higher in the set than “Summertime?” That’s an Ella Fitzgerald duet! “Foolishness? No, it’s not” whether you are climbing a tree to count all the leaves or tapping to beats. These are the joys that bring inner peace and balance (to a cold universe) lifting spirits skyward. David Oliver Cranmer ’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Punk Noir Magazine , The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly , Needle: A Magazine of Noir , LitReactor , Macmillan’s Criminal Element , and
My mother made herself the deer with a broken leg We saw a deer through the pane into someone else’s yard. The leg moved like a tube sock pinned to the hip and half filled with sticks. I did not like to see it suffer, either. She was upset —my mother —that no one helped the doe. Was it a mother, too? As if we were the first to observe the scene. We weren’t. All had been told to let her be. My mother had suffered a destruction of the self, a divorce, and no one cared. That wasn’t true. We were grown, on our own. I agree it was hard. Yet in those moments of a cold November day, we watched a doe, disabled and enduring, walk across a yard and eat a hedge. I wish she could have seen it like that. Amy Holman is the author of the collection, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone (Dream Horse Press, 2005). Recent poems have been in or accepted by Blueline,
I think of you tonight, my Beats I think of you tonight, my Beats, and I am grateful. I walked the narrow lanes of Academia and never felt at home. There were men and women in the flowerbeds, their heads full of theorems and poems. There were teachers who could lift their own weight in prose. I was lonely. I was too loose. I was a lad from the faraway country of Smarting. But I had you as so many before me. I had you and I knew secret things. I could count on you like a percussion. And now I want to say: I love you. If not for you, what? I want to say. If Allen Ginsberg did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South . He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain , is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On , which won The Me