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To the Person Who Reads Unsolicited Submissions at the New Yorker#poetry

Updated: Apr 30, 2022

To the Person Who Reads the Unsolicited Poetry Submissions at the New Yorker

I really don’t hate you even though

you took fifteen months to read and reject my poems

if you read them.

I have since learned that

the magazine only accepts 0.14 percent of such submissions

and that they solicit from writers they know as well

making it even harder.

Further, I hear there’s only one of you in that office.

It took so long for you to respond

you might not even be the same person

that was working there

when my submission was logged in.

I think of you as a tragic, bloodshot cyclops

surrounded by piles of paper,

hating to come to work in the morning,

hands shaking from too much coffee.

The swaying stacks of paper throw

monolithic shadows across your desk.

The poetry in those stacks makes a humming sound,

souls flattened by the sheer weight of the paper.

Some of those poems are good

but you’re so burned out you can no longer recognize

something luminous, something that sings.

I often wonder if the people

who make porno movies finally hate sex.

But I don’t mean to insult you:

a magazine endowed with that kind of capital

can surely hire assistants, assistants for the assistants,

and people in the halls with kneeling massage chairs.

I’ll not submit again.

I hope your life gets better.

Sincerely, ( Insert Poet's Name)

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