THANK YOU, a poem based on a rejection letter from a literary journal
I was rejected by a poetry journal & found the language of their letter kind of amazing & so I wrote a poem based on it. The poem will appear in a forthcoming book THE MOST CHARMING CREATURES (Fall 2022, ECW Press)
We are unable to accept
We are on fire and possibly
infected. The Poetry Editorial Board responded
strongly, admiring your craft and total rage
but disagreed about how to extinguish
fire or end infection.
Eat the rich.
They’re not infected. The poems struck
like bowling balls in a flu
knocking readers down.
We coughed. Our flesh burned.
Yet our eyes are the same old eyes.
Other readers may respond
differently if they’re in quarantine
Maybe in time
the poems will find good homes
far from shrieking coastlines.
We hear the shrink of birds
forests denuding foxes. Our offices have returned
to nature. Moss grows on our managing
editor. Our tweed unravels
an economy of entropy.
Like trees our inbox
And like time, our out boxes
are on fire and like your blood
you should certainly keep
these poems in circulation.
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but
while we watch.