Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NAW, We Don’t Want Your Poems

Yesterday I received a rejection from New American Writing. From the time I mailed the submission to yesterday was ten days. That may be a new record or tied for a record. It makes me wonder if my submission was even read or read with any semblance of care. Oh, well. Let’s see how the other submissions go.

I received word yesterday that my parents won $1,666.67 from some kind of reverse lottery they bought a ticket for and didn’t attend the function. I told my wife yesterday that the only thing I’ve won in my life was a cake from a cake walk. She sweetly replied, “That just means you’re due for a really big win.” My wife is far luckier than I am. She won over a thousand dollars from a radio contest once, and she usually does well when she gambles.

I have this strange habit at work when I have some alone time away from my desk at say the restroom. I find myself asking myself, “How old are you?” I reply back to myself, “35.” Not sure what to make of this other than I must be bothered at a subconscious level at what I’ve not accomplished in my life. At what I’ve been disappointed about. I don’t ask myself this question at home, so I conclude that I must find my job to be less than completely fulfilling, and in some respects a waste of the time I have left in my life.

To fill out the rest of my book manuscript, do I write new poems, revise older poems, or both? I probably need about ten more poems so that I have some choices and can drop some poems if they are not working with the rest of the manuscript. My week in North Carolina focusing on my poetry is fast approaching.

How would Donne/Keats/Yeats/T. S. Elliott write today if they were alive and writing contemporary poetry? They were geniuses then, so they would be geniuses today. Or would they? Are some writers great writers only because of what they did during a certain point in history? If we took the writer out of that point in history, would he or she be recognized as a great writer today? Hmmm…. Regardless, I think many of the poems of Donne/Keats/Yeats/Elliott will be admired for years and years.


There’s nothing so wonderful as having constructed something arbitrary, without any help from anybody else, out of pure delight and self-delight, and then to find that it turns out to be useful to a few others.

--Richard Wilbur


From some song lyrics I’ve been thinking about:

“There’s nothing worse
than this bitter

“So I’m heading out to the highway.”
“There’s miles and miles to put it back together.”

The open road with all its connected interstate highways, highways, and back roads as a place that can heal any emotional wound. Somewhere out there there’s a series of roads you can take that will take you on an adventure that will ultimately heal you. There is something healing about just driving with no particular destination in mind. Driving for the pleasure of driving.


At 4:12 PM, Blogger Writing Blind said...

That is a pretty quick turnaround. I have to agree with your wife though, it seems as if you must be due for something good here soon. I hope your retreat goes well. Will you be taking a break from blogging while you're gone?

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Rebecca, thanks. I'll be away for a week in October, but I will have access to the Internet in the evenings at my parents' house. I may blog some.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Justin Evans said...

My big question to myself when I'm alone has always been, "What do you want?" I have been known to ask it to myself 10-12 times a day when I am really frustrated with my progress as a writer and teacher.

My record is about the same as yours with two journals. Hang in there---you are not alone.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Thanks Justin.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Stephanie King said...

My record rejection time was five days. I think they just pulled my SASE out of the envelope and put the rejection in the mail the same day they received it.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Gerald Huml said...

Stephanie, it sounds like they did exactly that.


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