It’s part of a writer’s life, more so than non-writers or those who’ve never submitted or aimed to make writing a profession:
R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N, all caps.
For every one acceptance you receive, most writers have had hundreds of “no’s” for that same work(s), even some of the authors who’ve gone on to be listed as some of the greatest in modern history. I am someone who doesn’t need or want a critique of the work simply because publishing and likes and dislikes are subjective. What one person likes, another doesn’t.
I also know the publishing industry to a moderate degree that just because you get a rejection sometimes, it is not based on the quality of work, but on what the house is looking for at the time, what they have enough of, and personal preference, that too. When you write across genres as I do, often on some topics people continue to not wish to face head-on like child abuse or whatever…you will get even more of your share of “no’s.”
With poetry, it is even more subjective, because most aren’t telling a story like with a novel, or a person’s life or some event or historical period of time like in non-fiction. Poetry is so…difficult to describe in substance, I believe. It can be so many different things, and it is more about raw expression than built-up scenes. Imagery over setting. The personal versus the general. My poetry, like my other work, is very personal to me, even more so than most in that whatever I am writing about it is based on my life, my experiences, my emotions and those I have intimately observed or experienced with others. My poetry is especially thus.
When I received the message from the editor at Assaracus Magazine that eight of my poems, all I had submitted were accepted, it was a strange relief. Someone got it. They additionally added: “Your work is unique with an interesting voice and I can’t wait to bring it to our audience. Congratulations, and welcome to Assaracus! This was our heaviest submission period to date. The cream rises to the top.” The poems will be released within the magazine in 2013.
A pre-release reviews of some of the works (thank you): “Some poems completely wrenched my heart and took me on a wild journey. How you manage to say so much with so few words and yet convey worlds of meaning is incredible to me.”
One of the poems which will be included:
One day I will walk
down to the sea,
unfurling my robes
my quiet body.
Launching into the surf
I will swim as far
as endurance lasts
then drive, making
the final descent for
the deep waters,
forsaking sun and sky for
the silence of great depths.
As thoughts flicker like
an old reel film through
my brightly flashing
the last breath will escape
my lips and the crushing waters
will send light from
About Assaracus Magazine, a journal of gay poetry, from Sibling Rivalry Press’s website:
“BEST NEW MAGAZINE” – LIBRARY JOURNAL (May 2012)
ASSARACUS (ISSN 2159-0478). Our gay-themed print journal, Assaracus, (pronounced ASS-uh-RACK-US) continues in the tradition of Ganymede – but with an underground feel – similar to Mouth of the Dragon and other influential publications of the 70′s and 80′s. Named for Ganymede’s earth-bound brother, the journal provides a grand stage for gay contemporary poetry. We want for you to have a new favorite poet at the end of each issue. We want, decades from now, people to look back and see how we lived through how we wrote. Each issue of Assaracus, a quarterly publication, features a substantial collection of work by a small number of gay poets. Says Matthew Hittinger (who was included in our first issue), “The fun thing about Assaracus (aside from its, ahem, “cheeky” name…) is that rather than feature fewer poems by a multitude of people in one issue, it focuses on a smaller number of poets and devotes more pages to their work, creating mini-portfolios.”
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I recently did a review of one of the many great collections on their site, When The Only Light Is Fire by Saeed Jones. 5 stars.