The tenor and timbre are similar
whether form response or personal:
they speak of appreciating the chance
to read, reread and carefully consider,
but these aren’t quite right,
they are not a good fit,
in short, they are not for us.
Best wishes are sent
in sending stuff elsewhere
and thanks extended
for the trust implicit
in choosing this journal or contest.
The backlog caused this delay,
and you have our apologies,
but please wait a month before submitting again.
They are messages of regret,
of numerical odds working against you,
of bad timing or fickle fate,
of clashing aesthetics or
the planets being poorly aligned.
Sometimes it’s not about the work,
for politics exist in the smallest arenas,
and personal visions and
often rule the day.
This is the moment of discouragement,
denied even the decency of some account
why your work has been declined.
Is it better to hear that these works
would be improved by greater concision
or more original language,
that while your message is inspirational
your words are prosaic, your syntax disjointed,
your rhythm unregulated?
Are you better for knowing
you lack an emotional point of access,
that such emotions seem disembodied
or overly sentimental,
the action too static and rife
with clichéd assertions,
that there is redundancy,
too much formality,
or not enough?
The language is underspecified,
or possibly too abstract.
Yet your words are lovely things,
no doubt they will find suitable homes
in short order. Our loss, they say,
much luck and hope you continue to prosper.
But for now, it’s a no,
So good luck dealing
with this temporary setback.
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. His works have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He recently took part in Found Poetry Review’s Pulitzer Remix project. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in Petrichor Review, OVS Magazine, Stone Voices, Heavy Feather Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Falling Star Magazine, The Bicycle Review, Red Ochre LiT, The Kitchen Poet; Untitled, with Passengers, and Black Cat Lit.