Friday, October 28, 2011

Been-Rejected Blues

Rejection is never funny. I've learned not to take it personally, though. I work on the assumption, at least, that it isn't personal.

Oh, there are still twinges sometimes. If I've spent a lot of time on a particular piece, studied the markets, read the publications, and  have the feeling that I've selected the exact poem(s) that the editor is looking for, then there can't help but be a slight twinge of disappointment when the poems come back with a little note attached.

But I know it isn't a personal thing. Maybe I was a little late, and that particular issue was filled with great writings by the time mine arrived. Maybe the issue had a theme that I overlooked.

Maybe the editor was just having an off day.

But it's not personal. Besides, I learned over the years that a poem rejected by one editor may be precisely what another editor has been looking for.

So I keep trying.

And when another editor likes something I've written ... though it may have been rejected someplace else ... that's cause for celebration ... and I do some dancing on the table ... figuratively, of course.

Then I get back to work. There are other poems to write, other markets to try ... and sometimes I even venture into an area which I generally avoid ... because, as I've said many times, "I can't rhyme worth a dime."

For example:


I've got those
low down,
good for nothin'
been-rejected blues.

My meter seems fine.
My rhyme? Sublime.
So why, I whine,
this awful mess
I find myself in,
so sad and unseemly,
loaded with chagrin?

Beats me. I've just
got 'em. Bad as they
can be, I guess,
those unexpected,
stripped down nekked,
been-rejected blues.
© 2001

(received an honorable mention award in an Ohio Poetry Day competition)
Today's word: unexpected

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