Futile Poetry Submissions

Years ago, when I thought I might find a place that would accept my poetry work as viable, I became disenchanted with the various publications that would send me a standard, computer generated rejection form time and time again. My sense, justified or not, was that magazines like The New Yorker or Poetry Magazine wouldn’t even bother to read what I had submitted. In the meantime, I would go through these publications to read the poetry they did publish. Rarely could I make heads or tails out of the meanings of the words accepted by the editors as worthy of prominent placement. So I wrote a poem expressing my sentiments and (of course) submitted it to these very same publications. Surprise, they did not accept this either, but here it is now:

Submission #427

Infectious corruption
of long sought success
burrows under my skin,
like chiggers of desire
leaving welts on my psyche.
So I cram round words
into square holes
of incoherent fantasy
scribbling sentiments, i.e.:

Wasps who cannot cease
their lamentations of the secular,
must lie in wait for troubadours
to cross this threshold of existence.

I then take this muddled phrase,
inking letters onto bits of paper
joining syllables by sounds
in awkward parables of angst,
just to win the prize.
This makes no sense.
Ah, but it will surely grip
the editors by their throats
and shake them ‘til they shout,
EUREKA!,
placing laureate wreaths
securely on my swollen head.
The less lucid my garbled words,
the more praise pours
from withered lips
of brain-dead critics.

These pretenders
swear they grasp
the author’s phantom subtext
but dare not confess
to clearly seeing that
the Emperor’s nipples harden
on a cold winter’s day.