“The New Yorker is NOT publishing my poem.” Need your submissions.


A blow below the belt! Taking the news hard at the Tom Otterness sculptures outside the Memorial Art Gallery

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.)emotions

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!”

Dear David,

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


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:

Dear David,

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.


The Editors

Paige Morris and Hanna Kostamaa

Managing Editors, The Round
Don’t despair readers, one of the poems rejected by the darlings Paige and Hanna (who so enjoyed reading and discussing my work), “A Thirty Year Prophesy,” can be found (with companions photos) in What Millennials think of the Bridge Generation at Lux Lounge/ (also given a tumble by the Brown Alumni Magazine )
ps Note this trend on online poetry publishing. Talker  money back guarantee is 150,000 clicks! NY Times on Web Poets
(1) The poem rejected by The New Yorker

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.


The woman

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!”



Daphne 1-page-0

Page 1 Fall 1989


Page 2, Fall 1989

Niagara Falls August 1989

Niagara Falls, August 1989