Rejection

Original Text: 
David McGimpsey, Sitcom (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2007): 88-90.
1Thank you for sending your work to Tearsea.
2We regret to inform you we have passed
3on your poems 'Mr. Met' and 'Bonne!'
4While we thought they were funny / topical,
5we are looking for poems that bypass
6the faddish ephemera of America
7and happily land in more timeless quarters.
8We are looking for commitment:
9poems sturdy as a pioneer
10who's spent seven winters in a soddy,
11poems as determined as a space probe
12sailing towards Neptune's hollow moons,
13poems that radicalize the Tory trough
14yet still satisfy the Roman epicure.
15For example, Tearsea is very proud
16to have introduced poet Megan Kiels,
17whose new collection, The Yellow Swelters,
18stages etymologic polities
19where jouissance meets gravitas like a kiss
22Hers is the rarity we most cherish,
23not common in the subway-stop lives
24of television's constituency,
27Our Turner Madsen special edition,
28which you've undoubtedly read yourself,
29further demonstrates the bold standards
30Tearsea has set for literary risk:
31like Madsen's unforgettable poem
32in which paunchy and foul-mouthed golfers trudge
33over the grounds of an ancient burial site,
34their English curses coming out of bunkers,
35their clubs gleaming 'like fixèd bayonets.'
36It is true, Tearsea's authors are the best.
37Our pages are frequently occupied
38by the famed authors of such classics as
39The Feverfew Shop, East of Mud Falls,
40Zinna's Charm and A Serving of Lenity.
42these writers have won, on many occasions,
43the country's most prestigious awards,
44both the Webscott prize and Adrianna grant,
45but we do not put stock in such things .-
46awards are meaningless to us. Tearsea
48the language of the late-night hipster,
49and the language of 'after a few drinks.'
50We welcome those who are versed in progress,
51those who feel the future depends on verse,
52who compassionately tune lexicons
54so we may finally hear a poem's smack.
55We welcome the woman whose mute father
56left her to 'voyage between shadows'
57and unpin the prose of her oppression;
58the bad boy who can't help but sweet-talk,
59who sends columbines to his mistresses
60and bodyshaves in the complete dark.
61Even at its inception, when Tearsea
63we wanted only poets of blood and saltcod,
64poets of heath-damp ankles and scraped shins,
65poets who love the clip-clop-clops of hooves,
66poets who believe in their native beauty,
67poets who know freedom to eat Burger King
68is not freedom but rank servility.
74and for that, Tearsea's never embarrassed.
75We are not just a simple magazine,
78Sure, there's amusement in some of your lines,
79like 'Who will buy my dirty potatoes?'
80But does 'Who will buy my dirty potatoes?'
81bear repeating a full twenty-two times?
82You might want to try a different journal,
83maybe one with a more fun philosophy,
84one of those tickling little lit-mags
85who might love your little quiz-show things.
86Do they not burst like bubbles over time?
87Or, as Tearsea's Rebecca Plover wrote,
88Freed from maple shade and smoked-eel supper,
89you gave back to the unswept city square
90what advertisements said you must owe.
91Thank you for taking the time for Tearsea
92and good luck placing your work elsewhere.

Notes

20] barrettes: hair clips. Back to Line
21] Harley: Harley-Davidson, manufacturer of motorcycles. Back to Line
25] Kelly Clarkson: American singer-songwriter (1982-). Back to Line
26] Cheetos: cheese-flavored cornmeal curls or puffs by Frito-Lay. Back to Line
41] bona fide: in good faith (truly). Back to Line
47] call-ins: audience participation shows. Back to Line
53] nosebleeds: back seats high in the balcony. Back to Line
62] La Raffinata: the refined (Italian). Back to Line
69] gimcrack: tastelessly showy.
catachresis: bad figure of speech, misuse of metaphor. Back to Line
70] meretricious: lying.
pettifoggery: tricks. Back to Line
71] farouche: sullen, shy and repellent (OED). intemperability: neologism (not in OED). Back to Line
72] Gilligan: incompetent, comic crewman of the shipwrecked S.S. Minnow, one of seven castaways on the American TV series, Gilligan's Island (1964-67). Back to Line
73] mien: look. Back to Line
76] huzzah: hurray. Back to Line
77] 'sodee': soda pop.
'the tube': TV. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © David McGimpsey and used by permission of the poet.
Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from him in writing.