Dear Editor of The Journal Of Unrequited Poems,

What do you mean you are not exactly accepting
contributions? How hard is it to just say
no? How is “it’s complicated” an acceptable
answer to an emerging poet soliciting
feedback on his craft? Why are you asking
me for my hundred-word bio in a politely-worded
rejection email? Where are you going
with these cryptic references to dead philosophers?
Why do you faithfully and personally reply
to my emails if you have no intent of
publishing my poetry? How am *I* supposed
to know if your poems are good? Just who
is the editor in this conversation?! Where
did you get that delicious bowl of congee and why is
a picture of it attached to our thread?
(Do you even know who I am?? I sent you my bio twice!!)
Why do you keep adding ominous quotes and
arbitrary all caps to phrases like
“SIMULTANEOUS submissions” or “WRITTEN IN THE BODY
of the email”? Who is this adorable
young girl you keep sending me photos of? How does
your three-year-old niece cohere with
my literary ambitions? What do you mean You Have
No Attachments? When did it become acceptable
for entire emails to be emoji? Were you intentionally
lying when you said average response time 4-6 months
and how do you type so fast even at 2 am?
Are you a literary editor or a chatbot? Does everyone
else have to chase you unsuccessfully before
you will publish their poems, which going
on a month now have been entirely about you?

Joshua Ip is a poet, editor, and literary organiser. He has published three poetry collections with Math Paper Press, won the Singapore Literature Prize for his debut, sonnets from the singlish (2012), and placed in three different categories of the Golden Point Award. He has edited six anthologies, including the A Luxury We Cannot Afford and SingPoWriMo series. Most recently, he is co-editing a collection of twin cinema poetry from Hong Kong and Singapore with Tammy Ho Lai-Ming. He is working on a graphic novel, Ten Stories Below. He is the founder of Sing Lit Station, a literary charity that runs community initiatives including SingPoWriMo, Manuscript Bootcamp, poetry.sg and several workshop groups. His website: http://www.joshuaip.com.

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One Response to Dear Editor of The Journal Of Unrequited Poems,

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