Editor’s Lament

I gathered my thoughts in lieu
of other sustenance. They were
like craneflies to a phoebe:
mostly legs & wings.
I kept pausing to clear my throat.
I had no company but the stick
the stock the stack of unlovely poems.
And I who had been
such an awkward ugly kid,
I who knew nothing about the fine
points of grammar or literary theory,
marked them up with
a cheap ballpoint pen
and emailed rejection notes
to each of their hopeful authors:
Didn’t make it we’re sorry
best of luck in placing them
elsewhere…

I chewed as carefully as I could,
but one or two nevertheless
did not go gently. Ten hours later
there’s still a feeble fluttering
in the pit of my stomach.

14 Replies to “Editor’s Lament”

    1. Oh, that didn’t strike you as too grotesque? (I mean, obviously I wanted it to be a little grotesque.)

      Yeah, it’s hard. Only part of putting out a magazine I don’t enjoy. It’s easier when it’s a good writer who simply sent you something that doesn’t fit or is a little sub-par, of course, and you can tell them in all sincerity that you hope to see more from them. And fortunately a lot of our rejections at qarrtsiluni do fall into that category.

  1. Metaphoric Images

    I had no problem with the flies;
    Easy as ABCD.
    The word I hastened to look up
    Was obviously Phoebe.

    The image of a woman
    Crunching all those crispy critters
    Would never ever fit the bill
    As something else that twitters.

    Eureka! Yes! I found the thing.
    It was indeed a bird.
    All hail thee Wikipedia
    For giving me the word.

    Alas, my ornithology’s
    Quite limited in scope
    But Negativa positively
    Gives a gleam of hope.

    1. Glad you took it the time to look it up (and write some light verse about it — fun!). I had thought of substituting “flycatcher” for “phoebe,” but somehow it just didn’t sound as good.

      Thanks as always for stopping by, Joan. Your comments add real value to a blog.

  2. Nah. Phoebe is perfect. No need to dumb it down for the ornithology challenged. Hey, I stop by every day, Dave, but your more poetically schooled commenters seem to say all the good things before I get there. Soo if I can’t play the game that well I occasionally decide to dazzle with fancy footwork. (Grin)
    BTW, if that was autobiographical, I don’t know how awkward you were as a teen, (weren’t we all?) but your kid pics in “Escape From the Mountain” are adorable.

    1. No need to apologize for being a lurker. I don’t comment at most of the blogs I visit, either, usually also because I can’t think of anything original to say. So when I mean “stop by,” I mean, stop by the comments thread — kinda like coming up on the porch for a chat versus strolling by and looking at the garden. Nice of you to vouch for my cuteness as a kid. How much did my mom pay you to say that?

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