jane andrews

Dear Poetry Editor Andrews

Dear poetry editor Andrews,

Please consider the attached poems and flash fiction - 'Love infinity,' for possible inclusion in an edition of your literary journals, newspaper, and magazine as soon as possible please. I feel like my work may be a fit with your publication. Also, touching your feet I beg it to you in case if my work isn't fit for your publication, kindly forward my work: recommend 'request' someone who can publish my work and pay me for. My work submitted to literary journals have been rejected so far. I am in financial crisis and I will be obliged to you lifelong for this kind favor. Thank you in advance for your kind consideration.

Bio: The writer is an ex-Government of India employee who had been 'removed from his service' without any benefits that could help him meet his basic needs expenses. He thinks his work 'poems' will help him into earnings by cash to meet his expenses.

Yours Sincerely, Arjun Patel S/o: late Sri Arya Prasad Village: Ghasiari Tola Post: Begumpur (Patna City) District: Patna, State: Bihar PIN Code: 800009 Contact Number: …

Love in infinity.
I have my legs 'hanging',
And I am rocking my legs
'into my grave' ....yeah,
I ain't happy.
I need you to hug me,
or tell me 'should I jump?'
I have my legs 'hanging',
And I am rocking my legs
'into my grave' ....yeah,…

I look back to age.
And I remember the Kitchen Table
where my mom rubbed to clean
sticking dough from her hands....yeah,
I ain't happy.
You struggle to clean the Gristle
by lifting up your one leg.
I need you to come to bolt me,
or tell me 'should I jump?'
I have my legs 'hanging',
And I am rocking my legs
'into my grave' ....

Dear Arjun,

Congratulations on using the required words in your poem. Am I correct in believing that English is not your first language? It takes courage to write poetry in the first place, even in one’s native tongue; to compose a poem in a second language must be even more challenging. Our software indicates a submission of a single poem, not several, and no flash fiction is recorded either.

Sadly, your brave effort does not fit our publication needs. As well, we don’t publish newspapers or magazines. Good luck with your submissions to those who do. As for touching my feet, that is a courteous gesture of respect and humility, but it is against our policy to accept such overtures. As an aside, it is seldom an effective step to publication to use the word “beg” in your cover letter.

I have spent quite some time pondering what journal, newspaper, or magazine to forward “Love Infinity” to for you. If I come up with one or more places, I will pass your work on. However, you express a desire to be paid for your poem. This is, at best, problematic. For instance, we do not pay contributors anything for what we publish. We wish we could, but we can’t. To be frank, we don’t even pay ourselves. Our journal is a labor of love and all we can bestow on our writers is the honor of being included in our beautiful quarterly. Many of the venues you submit to follow the same approach.

You mention a series of rejections. You are in excellent company. Most writers in any genre are quite familiar with rejection. It’s difficult not to take rejection personally. You have opened your heart and made yourself vulnerable with your creative work and some faceless editor dismisses your inspiration and brilliance with a curt “no”.  Who can say why? It could be indigestion or a punctuation pet peeve or an attention deficit. Like poetry itself, it’s a mystery. Don’t let it get to you. Keep writing, keep being courageous. Try to think of a piece you write in the same way you’d think about a meal you make. Not to everyone’s taste, perhaps, but no reflection on you as a person. Shrug it off. Adjust the spices a bit maybe. Try again.

Financial crisis is a common theme among artists of all kinds. Not for everyone, but for many. As a writer myself, I can tell you confidentially that I currently have $8.17 in my checking account. I would also be filled with lifelong gratitude if a journal, magazine, or newspaper paid me enough to ease my monetary anguish. I do appreciate the optimistic and tender thanks for my anticipated consideration of “Infinity Love”. It demonstrates a level of trust so rare in the world these days.

I was quite distressed to read in your third person bio that you were removed from government service and left with no benefits. That hardly seems cricket. The Government of India is in line with all bureaucracies in privileging the institution over the individual. Beauty sacrificed to utility. If I were the Global Pooh Bah of Poetry, things would be very different, I can assure you. As things are now, you and I would both make more cash turning in deposit bottles and scrap metal than we presently could at poetry. Your hope to earn enough money for expenses by submitting poems is like throwing a coin in a wishing well. Maybe it will work, but don’t count on it.

I am deeply moved by your communication with our journal. You’ve revealed a noble and generous nature, and I see that you have acknowledged your father in your contact information. I’m certain that you are a good son and a fine person. I wish I could reward you for that. One final suggestion: It’s obvious you have a compelling story to tell about your life. If nothing else, the phrase “legs hanging” is intriguing. I recommend you consider writing and submitting memoir to journals, magazines, and newspapers. Don’t jump.

Yours in solidarity, love in infinity,

Jane Andrews has a BA in Creative Writing from NC State University. Andrews teaches writing and poetry courses through Duke Continuing Education and is Head Writing Coach at Central Carolina Community College. She has earned awards in memoir, personal essay, and poetry. Andrews’ fiction, essays, memoir, and poetry have appeared in Prime Number Magazine, Wild Goose Review, Verdad Magazine, Kindred, Lunch Ticket, and other publications. She is a past board member of Carolina Wren Press and the NC Poetry Society. Andrews is a freelance writing instructor, workshop facilitator, and book editor.