Several weeks ago, in Have blog. Need poems. we invited you poets who know it to consider Talker‘s newly minted Poet’s Page as your next publication splashdown. (In that post, I wrote, “During what I called my Summer of Love Picaresque, I decided to become a poet” — and the results have been, well, mixed.)
To those who have not yet heard back, we are dutifully and diligently churning our way through our crashing inboxes. No seriously, we need YOU! Or, as I wrote then: SUBMIT OR FIND ANOTHER BLOG!
At this point, circumstances force me to include my own REJECTED poems. Bear with me, indulgent readers, as I am sure you can do better.
The other day, I received this misguided note from The New Yorker who at this point is unable to carry my work in its magazine, specifically the one (below), “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”
Thank you for submitting your poetry to The New Yorker. We regret that we are unable to carry your work in the magazine, but we are grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.
Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor
Elisabeth Denison, Poetry Coordinator
BEAR WITH ME. THIS GETS COMPLICATED. BUT THAT’S ALL PART OF THE LITERARY FUN. REMEMBER THE POINT IS THAT I HOPING SOMEONE ELSE WILL SUBMIT. THAT INBOX IS AT ZERO.
Now freed from my contractual obligation with that magazine (apparently they don’t accept poems already published even in personal blogs), I am including the rejected poem with companions pieces, one also rejected.
(1) “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”
(2) The ACTUAL 2015 poem, “A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection” referred to in “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” which WAS published in The Criterion: An International Journal in English
(3) An ACTUAL poem, “Providence, Summer 1989,” written in 1990 and also referred to in “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” (The “one poem in college thirty years ago”)
(4) A companion letter written in the Fall of 1989 and a companion photo from August, 1989 at Niagara Falls.
Incidentally, “Providence, Summer 1989,” received a tumble from the Brown Alumni Magazine as well as The Round Magazine, a Brown University-based student run publication. Callow youth! Here is what little Paige and little Hanna had to say:
Thank you so much for submitting to The Round. We received an incredibly high volume of submissions this semester and, while we enjoyed reading and discussing your work, we have decided not to include it in the upcoming issue of our magazine. That being said, we do hope you will submit work to us in the future, and we look forward to hearing from you again.
Paige Morris and Hanna Kostamaa
Managing Editors, The Round
The New Yorker is publishing my poem!
I who wrote one poem in college thirty years ago,
Walked into a cemetery,
Lit my first cigarette in ten years,
And wrote a poem in my mind.
Lacking pen, I found a Starbucks,
Scrap paper and a black Sharpie.
Within fifteen minutes, finis.
The images and dreams
Taken from another person.
But who cares?
Then the letter.
To be published in an upcoming issue.
A complete novice.
Absolutely unprecedented and unimaginable.
The luminaries who grace the pages
Of The New Yorker!
Friends and family for the rest of their lives
To be speechless.
The Department of English
In which I serve as an adjunct
To be dumfounded.
I who never play the lottery,
Won the lottery.
Whose life I borrowed,
Who left me,
Will come back.
(2) The ACTUAL poem referred to in “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” (Although, there need not really have been any poem the now rejected poet actually wrote.)
“A Mutually Agreed Upon Period of Reflection” from the The Criterion: An International Journal in English
(3) The ACTUAL poem from 1990 (with companion letter and photo) referred to in “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!”