Saturday, June 20, 2009

Attention K-Mart Shoppers: Way to Avoid Fate is Available

I’m not saying anything unusual when I say that as a poet I harbor an unhealthy relationship with my mailbox. Right after my first cup of tea, “it” begins, and I start peeping about for Karen (my mail carrier who manages to wear the shorts into November). Since I receive my mail around 3, sometimes around 3:45, and once at 5:04, I have plenty of time to reel through all the places that might reject me, should reject me, and maybe won’t reject me. And we all know what this build-up results in: let down. Just a KFC flyer, newspaper clipping from my mother, and party invite for my dog. I shouldn’t be disappointed because this happens almost every day. In fact, it’s some mathematical, world-truth equation that goes like this:

The Mailbox=Rejections>Acceptances.

Well, I've discovered a way to avoid the fate of the box. Since I’m out of the country for the summer, my mother is opening all the mail. And here’s the beauty of it: she’s only telling me about the acceptances. For any Killjoy out there: I know the pile is mounting. But hush. In this moment, I’m happy to pretend otherwise. And I’m also happy to say that the good news keeps coming. The North American Review just accepted a new poem of mine. This is especially good news, not only because I respect what this journal publishes, but because I’ve been trying some new angles with my work. And it seems these riskier poems that I assumed only I would like are doing okay out there. So far this year I have about 25 poems coming out, and in some of my favorite journals like Tar River, Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, and now North American. As long as I avoid coming home, and stay away from said box, all is well.

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