A Rejection and Other Saturday Thoughts

I finally got rejected by the New Yorker! Why “finally”? So I can stop wondering about it. I was involved with the translation of a (very dry) philosophy book, in which the philosopher mentioned that there’s a sense of relief when a dropped glass shatters, because you’re no longer worried about catching it. Here’s a poem about a different sort of ending.

Please, Mom

Carry me
Before I am born
Then when I'm too tired to walk
And
Metaphorically, when I'm too ignorant
To forge through life
Unassisted

Later

Bury me
Because I know you'll do a good job
And you give the best eulogies
And I could never face your corpse
Without asking it for advice

Loss and Found

When I was in the ninth grade, I had an assignment in my English class to write a “found poem” with words and phrases from the book my class had just read, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” I fell in love with found poetry, and hammered out something that I considered to be a sort of gauzy, haunting piece about the way the mind wanders under sufficient stress. In that moment, I loved my poem, myself, and even Erich Maria Remarque. Anyways, I got a C- on the poem.

Found poetry came to mind lately, after I read my umpteenth formulaic rejection letter from a literary magazine. They all sound the same. I get it, it’s the same message from the same type of place, over and over. It’s so droll that it ended up inspiring me. I decided to write a found poem based off of rejections I got from Rattle Magazine, Frontier, The Sun, Poet Lore, Idle Ink, and many more. I hope you like it, or that it at least speaks to your truth.

 Declined
  
 Thank you very much
 Thank you for sending us your work
 Thank you for sharing your mind and heart with us 
 We are thankful for the opportunity to explore the ideas
  
 We’ve read your work
 We read everything we receive
 Fairly and carefully
 We work hard
  
 I was quite torn on this one
  
 There's no telling what we'll fall in love with
 It is an extremely difficult decision to choose a few poems
 After careful consideration
 We do not have a place for your work
 We wish you the best
 best of luck
  
 Thank you poet friend