Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And Another

Yesterday I received a rejection from Rhino. This surprised me because they were receptive to a previous batch of poems I sent them and almost took one of my poems had not South Dakota Review beaten them to it, so I thought I had a really good shot at them taking something out of the most recent batch. One of the editors did write, however: “Gerald, ‘Prague’ series really intrigued us, voice & detail, but a bit prosey to some, thanks though!” Sigh. Another almost. I’ve heard that before about some of my poems being a little too prosey. Probably one of the hazards of working with a longer line. C. K. Williams gets away with being prosey I’ve noticed, but then I’m not C. K. Williams. I’m trying to be less prosey in my current poems and think about how other poets achieve being more lyrical/"poetic" when I read poetry, but to some extent a poet is stuck with how he or she writes at a given point in time. I think I posted something on this blog awhile back from Louise Gluck about how most poets spend their lives in various forms of torment. Not being able to write. Not being able to write the way they want to write, etc. It’s also been said about some of my poems that they just need the right kind of reader to appreciate them. I take this to mean that the way I write may be unfashionable.

After five rejections in a row to places in the market that should be receptive to my work, I’m beginning to think that I have a big number 13 stamped on my forehead. I’m beginning to feel that I have a big Hester Prynne embroidered R over my shirt’s left pocket. For a metaphor, I’m experiencing how I knock repeatedly on literary magazine doors, and the doors open just a crack to eyeball me and give me the once over. Then the doors close. Sigh. I’ll just keep at it. I need to keep the faith. I need to hold out for final victory. I need to keep telling myself what Phillip Levine said in an interview about how he is patient and stubborn as a writer.

One consolidation I guess is that some of my unpublished poems are close to being accepted. With my poetry coach B. and my new local poetry friend J., I now have two readers looking over my poems regularly. What one misses the other often catches. I’m beginning to see that maybe work that I thought was done actually needs some final tweaks here and there. Perhaps those final tweaks will get me over the threshold of literary magazine doors.

Enough hand wringing and whining. I’m annoying myself.


Last night I finished watching on DVD the movie Saved! Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, and Macauley Culkin are in this funny little movie that is a tongue and cheek and sometimes spoof or lampoon about going to an Evangelical high school. The movie takes on subjects like degayification programs, sex before marriage, teen pregnancy, smoking, speaking in tongues, Christian Rock, Mary giving birth as a virgin, faith, doubt, missionary work, and the showmanship of some kinds of preaching. The movie is gently satirical but not exactly disrespectful towards conservative Evangelists views. There is a Jewish female student that attends the high school who is so cool and just hilarious! Ultimately, I think the movie explores through humor and the struggles of the characters what it truly means to be a Christian, and I think the movie’s point is that it’s really about tolerance, compassion, love, forgiveness, and being a bit humble about your beliefs and not forcing them on others. If the above sounds interesting to you, definitely check this movie out!

A great line from the movie: “Why would God make us all so different if He wanted us all to be the same?”


Gentle readers: Over the next few days I’ll be visiting my parents, so my blog may be quiet.


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Montgomery Maxton said...

Quiet. I can deal. Dangerously quiet is another story.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

You are freaking out after five? You have a lot to learn. Here are my recent rejections:

*Note: this is as of my acceptance to Eleventh Muse in December 2004. Before that time I had what I consider good, occasional success.

Southern Poetry Review: R

Meridian: R


American Literary Review: R

Third Coast: R

Margie: R

Long Shot: Defunct

Hayden's Ferry Review: Still out over a year now

jubilat: Still out over a year now

Tha Laurel Review: R

River Styx: R

West Branch: R

Chattahoochie Review: Still out from October 2005

South Dakota Review: R

Rosebud: R

Southern Poetry Review: R

Idaho Review: R

Colorado Review: R

Concho River Review: R

Missouri Review: R

Mid-American Review: R

American Literary Review: R


Cutbank: still out

RHINO: Still out

Crab Orchard Review: Still out


Fine Madness: still out

Fugue: Still out

Ash Canyon Review: Out of business

Eleventh Muse: still out


Now I did have some good news in the last part of 2005, when one of my poems was featured on The Middlewesterner, a blog.

So you see, you are still

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

Sorry, didn't quite finish. I got distracted.

So you are still in the early stages of rejection, really. You will do fine. You ARE doing fine, really.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Actually I've had well over 100 rejections since I've started sending things out. These recent 5 are bothering me, probably because they came in so close to each other.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

I have had over a hundred rejections as well. What I meant to imply was you were early in the rejection streak. What I posted is my hit by hit list for the past year. December's Middlewesterner (which I don' really know where to place in the scheme of things) is quite honestly the closest thing to an acceptance I have had in about a year. If you count it as an acceptance, then it has been a solid seven months.


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