Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Notes from the Slush Pile

Over the summer I've been reading the backlog of poetry submissions received during the past school year. The process of pulling poems out of dozens of envelopes at a time is occasionally thrilling (when I find a poem surprises and delights me), often tiring, and never dull...unless you sent us a twenty-page "found" epic culled from the pages of some government document. Please don't.

Sometimes even when the poems are not that good, I still wish I could respond to the person who wrote the poems as a person, and I feel a little sad that the blank rejection slip we'll send doesn't really offer a way to talk about anything but the writing. So here are a few non-poetry-related thoughts I've recently had, inspired by slush:

Your apartment sounds nice.

I'm glad to know your bone marrow transplant was successful.

You know, people who write poems like this live in such predictable locations.

Three months in China--sounds fascinating!

I'm glad that your walk through the moonlit snow cleansed your spirits.

Maybe your friend needs to call the suicide hotline.

I hope the fact that your poem was accidentally sliced open with the letter opener has not hindered my reading of it.


1 comment:

Matt said...

Ah, I'm glad to see you read my letter about my successful bone marrow transplant. Thank you. My moonlight walks in the snow are even more enjoyable now.

P.S. If that's a Ballantine bathroom in the picture, I hope you had plenty of disinfectant on hand.