Chimera Song Mosaic
Friday, January 16, 2004
Outside the light is greasy from an afternoon rain. I am sending out piles of submissions, the way I do it all at once because rejection--or the threat of rejection--pisses me off. I have some clusters of encouraging rejection notes:

1. Not quite right for us at this time but please try again!


3. Thanks for letting us see these fine poems. "Mares Eat Oats" made it to the final editorial meeting, but unfortunately didn't garner enough votes to make it into the issue. We'd be happy to see others. Thanks again for thinking of - -, and good luck in the future.

(I like the idea of my poems working for me . . . but couldn't this one have worked a little harder?

(my fave:)

4. Ms. Patillo (sic.)-- Your envelope (SASE) was sealed when we received it!
Thanks for submitting!
The Editors

But seriously, I am such a dunce. I tend to take any rejection like a rejection and squirrel away my hopeful notes, with full intentions of responding with more and better poems, but the four month waiting period is excruciating. And the four months works its way into six, then eight, then a full year of months. And by that time I have too little confidence or a run of mean streaks and couldn't possibly submit to anything. And by that time they have probably forgotten all about me.

But enough of this bunk!

I resolve to quit feeling sorry for myself. Wait, I can't give that up!

I resolve to write on this blog every day for 11 days. There are 11 poems in my American Filmmaking Series, so I should be able to shirk this and yet still fulfill the obligation if I post one poem a day. These come from those pretty stamps issued last year. Here's the first one, and I can get back to my submissions:


Whether a work of art has its meaning in its being
or whether its worthiness is tied up in its construction
as being an orchestra of creation?—one hopeful moment?—
one capsized intent?—one homage, cacophony?—just so many cooks,
or whether it takes a break from all this buggery of motive
& checkpoints of bliss & for its own sake persists
despite the angling submissives, the epistolary, the bill of sale,
the functional tyrant & the fatal actress. Whether these
assimilated elements undergo a chemical transformation
& are born from fractured efforts of a big death
& enter a second age, amphibious, flawless, deft?—
all surfaces & the suggestion of shadows, hint of symbols
& thematic climax?—they make it look so easy. This second life
is lived like you might take a lover of either sex, shrugged
dimensions, genderless, if it all comes together, how seamless,
how irrespective of place & time & subject. How magnificent.

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