Dear Poet That We Will Not Be Publishing,
Congratulations! We are thrilled announce that we have made our decision regarding your submission! You can read more about it in this form rejection that we cut and pasted into this message.
We can’t thank you enough for the absolute privilege of reading your precious words. We handled them with care, wrapped them in swaddling clothes, and laid them in a manger. Unfortunately, we have to pass on this submission, but I am sure your words will find a good home where they will be worshipped, translated beyond recognition, and used to sow division for the next millennia.
Please know, that this was not an easy decision. We receive a thousand submissions every 7 minutes. I haven’t slept in weeks. I stopped eating three days ago. Last night, I took a two-hour shower and wept the whole time.
We greatly appreciate your patience over the last 423 days while we carefully considered your poems. Below is an itemized list of unsolicited feedback. It includes contradictory and condescending advice from our 17 editors, 43 readers, my mom, and the homeless man who lives on the corner. We sort of liked your poem, “My baby’s tears taste like guava juice,” so if you follow our advice exactly, we will allow you to resubmit with edits. We will then consider considering your resubmission, but will probably respond with a similar form rejection, but much shorter.
We know these types of letters are hard to receive, so to lift your spirits, we encourage you read our latest issue that includes all the poems that we thought were better than yours. Additionally, please consider submitting to our annual poetry contest! We’re looking for poems on a theme that’s hard to put into words, it will be judged by someone you’ve never heard of, and you won’t know that you didn’t win until we publicly release the name of the winning writer which will be that one writer who always seems to win these types of contests. Entry price is $241 per poem and multiple submissions are encouraged! 🙂
Love and light,
The Editor of the magazine that kind of liked that guava juice poem
Molly Greer lives in western Maryland with her family. Recent work has appeared in Reservoir Road Literary Review, Whale Road Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and Kissing Dynamite. You can find her on Twitter: @MKGreerPoetry.
image: MM Kaufman