Friday, May 9, 2014

poem of the day 05.09.14

ode to a poetry editor

you have taken
at least four or five of my poems
over the years

thank you

we’ve always had a good thing between us
at least i thought

we exchanged a few jokes in acceptance emails
you said a few consoling words in the rejections
to calm my ever-fragile poet’s ego

at least you’ve never called me a bukowski rip-off
like those boys in london did once

but i have to tell you
that i don’t understand this latest email from you

it was a rejection this time
which i’m not mad about

they were shit poems that i sent to you
and would be used as kindling if i had a fireplace

but it was the way that you berated me this time
for not sounding like pablo neruda of all people

you wrote, mr. grochalski, our readers
prefer poets like pablo neruda, not writing like this

whatever this means in italics

but pablo neruda?
to be honest, i don’t think that i’ve read
more than three of the man’s poems in my lifetime

an ode to this and an ode to that
and i was pretty much set on his oeuvre

if i can ask
what made you think that i sounded like neruda in the past?
when did i stop sounding like him now?

i’m confused and it’s the morning
and i don’t know where to begin again with the word

how to sound like neruda or not

or maybe thoman mcgrath or seamus heaney
or some other dead bore who appeals to the three people
reading your magazine on its quarterly basis

so i settled on this gem
well, just the title anyway

it’s not really like pablo neruda this time
or, rather, again, in your opinion of me

but it’s certainly influenced by him
and you, kind sir

which i think you’ll understand
when i send it to you next month

along with four others
that sound like the usual shit that i always write.


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