Updated: Apr 30
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)