on being accepted– then rejected– from the norton anthology

hide my face! ©papa osmubal

hide my face! ©papa osmubal


on being accepted– then rejected– from the norton anthology
adam aitken

First, a kind of silence.

Meaningful as silences are
Because Harvard studies
Everything!

And you are now
NOT among
The Everything!

As the editor says
Some “over-representation of regions”

And “publication histories”.

And “as you all know
The anthology has been
In the works for years”.

Not a reflection on the “quality of work”.

The jargon’s impressive.

Visions need culling
(vetting)
By 30%.

Somehow
We all fall
Among
The “minor and major” changes,

Among the most meaningful
Of silences.


* Note: Papa Osmubal shares exactly the same feelings the author has in this poem– same experience, same reaction, same old, same old, same Norton Antholody thingy, same Norton tough guys. The rejection was too subtle and tricky, though, because when they accept your piece, they send you documents to sign (sure proof that you are to be in their project), but when you look at their book, you are not there– an invisible entry, a non persona! Meaningful and serious poets can do this to their fellow poets, but writing is what counts, nothing and nobody can kill writing. There are poets and there are poets. (– Papa Osmubal)

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