The world of literary magazines and submitting poems remains a mystery to me. Someone once told me that it’s not what you know but who you know in publishing that counts. I refuse to be that cynical and remain hopeful that a breakthrough will eventually come.
I know that there is still a certain level of pretension in the industry and free form, stream of consciousness stuff struggles in this market. Again I choose to be hopeful that slam poetry events and independent publishers are creating new opportunities for writers.
What’s your experience with submitting poetry? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is a recent effort declined for a collection on urban birds. The good thing about rejection is I’m now free to share it here. (Based on a true story).
Standing stranded on the broken city pavement
Walking past the cash-a-cheque, chicken hut, polish markets and betting shops
Man whistling dreaming of new ways to avoid a return to working
Multi-lingual stanzas arise upon a single moment
A movement frozen in the blinking of a shutter
Tiny sparrow eating chips discarded in the gutter
Man with smartphone surgically stitched into his un-smart hands, looks on slack-eyed as a seagull (or a rat with wings as his English teacher once decried it), swooped, hugely horrific, muscular wings pumping like pistons,
snatches the sparrow in its razor beak, like a vice, on the street of sex and destitution, no sign of resolution. Seagull soars away like a spitfire low on ammunition
Man summoned up movement and chased seagull to his limit. If he got close enough maybe he could kick it, rescuing sparrow who continued its harrows
Could there be a reversal? No. Seagull too crafty and minded to be single.
Lady turns to man, “Well it’s gotta feed its babies.”
A feeling universal
Copyright John de Gruyther 2017