Friday, November 20, 2009

Bums Stuffed with Tweed

The Editors

I just got a rejection e-mail from a Utah literary mag to which I submitted a few poems. I'm fine with that. I've gotten my fair share of rejection notices over the years. That not everyone likes what I write is something I've know for a very long time.

But why do all the rejection notices have to sound, as Terry Pratchett wrote of editorial writers, as if the writers' bums were stuffed with Tweed?

Here's the rejection in its entirety:
Thank you for submitting your poems for publication in [redacted].

Unfortunately, your work doesn't quite match our current needs, but we wish you the best in future poetry endeavors.


The Editors.
That always sets me to wondering: What are their current needs? Obviously, they don't want poetry that sucks. That eliminates, in my experience, an awful lot of poetry. Do their needs include hamster-cage shavings? No, because in order to do that, they'd have to print out my poems, which I submitted electronically. It would be easier to just use other sources of paper.

And "future poetry endeavors," which is, of course, code for "anything that doesn't involve future submissions to us." Ouch.

But then I realize, "Hey, this is the Internet age. The age when any hack writer can start his own hack literary magazine to show off his writing to everyone in the world who may be interested in it. Or not." So back in 2006, I started this blog.

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