Dear Mark

Though there is much to admire in your poems,
they do not suit our needs. We’re looking 
for something in a Slim Fit Tall, something not so blue.
That said, of the poems you submitted,
“Rejection” comes closest to employment.
Its references are strong, goals ambitious.
Though we hate to turn it loose, it will find a home—
one with a large fenced yard in which to roam, ideally.
Unlike your twelve-page poem, “Brevity,” we
have no trouble disentangling “Rejection’s” narrative thread.
We find the stanza where you walk up to the girl,
ask her to a movie, and she says, No thanks,
I’m just not physically attracted to you—believable.
Moreover, the symbolism of the movie’s title,
Slaughterhouse Five, does not escape us.
We share your pain in the preceding four rejections,
none more so than the assignation of the number 0
to you on your fifth-grade basketball team.
(The 0 / hero couplet is heroic.)
In fact, the more we think about it,
“Rejection” might score for us in March—
our March Sadness issue. Better yet,
our May—December double issue. We find
the tercet in which you walk into a bar and discover
your girlfriend drinking with her grandfather—
only it’s not her grandfather—timeless.
Clearly, our May—December issue, if not
our Gratefully Dead issue (the old guy has to be, by now).
Then again, we’re considering a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut.
After that, A Reflection on Mirrors. Don’t ask.
“Rejection” is so—ubiquitous.
Third and long. We have to pass. ❏

Mark Williams lives in Evansville, Indiana, where he was happy to learn that his poem suited Wry Times’ needs.

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