Friday, May 27, 2016

The poetry rejection that felt like stepping on a rusty nail.

So there's this host who, for years, would say things like "I'm in your corner" when I felt I needed to confide in someone.

And, years ago, he was willing to lose a reading at a corporate bookstore and move elsewhere--this to defend someone who dared read Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (or at least a portion of it) at an open mic.

The host, for years, compiled and sold a quarterly poetry publication where all were welcome to submit--and he would select the best poem/poems from each submission.

Then, the host got an MFA from a small university on the Westside of Los Angeles and things changed.

The quarterly publication was ceased as a newer showcase was phased in.

The new zine sought to include more eminent poets (perhaps a reaction to a L.A. poetry anthology titled WIDE AWAKE that the host wasn't part of) and began to have either prompts or "themes."

Now, there are some hoops to leap through.  Just submitting for someone to choose what he/she thinks is your best work isn't enough.

Let's start culling the herd to impress others.

And the host became the poetry editor of a webzine (with various forms of writing).

On a certain social network, the host/poetry editor invited submissions.

So, I submitted.

[SIDEBAR: the host used to do a pay-for-publication-of-chapbooks where poets at least were published with someone else's imprint instead of their own.  And I paid to have a handful of chapbooks done in this way.]

And today, I received a rejection letter.

Not from the host/poetry editor.

But from the publication's managing editor.

Of course, it could be the host/poetry editor may have chosen several poems and the managing editor may have kept some, cut others and taken on the task of e-mail notifications.

It's always disappointing to get rejections--certainly from people you know.

And it's up to the poet to decide whether or not to keep submitting.

To me, today's rejection meant:
host/poetry editor was just patronizing me for years because what I did benefited him and put some extra money in his pocket.

Now that he brandishes his MFA with pride, he can afford to leave the little people behind in his quest for parity with some of the major figures in Los Angeles poetry.

And I'm a little person who, again, realizes that rejection is a lot better when I've submitted to a publication where I know no one (and vice versa).

Because at least the rejection (or acceptance) is free of taint, bias or career advancement agendas.

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