Friday, April 01, 2005

Hey, happy Poetry Month, everyone! Happy April Fool's Day, too! To celebrate both, I will share one of my own foolish poems (or, I should say, a poem that makes me look like a fool.)

Sestina Upon Having A Sestina Rejected from McSweeney’s

I’m not cut out to be a McSweeney’s
poet. I should have known it. I chose six
end words, hammered them into a poem
that was maybe a little hip, maybe a little ironic,
just not quite enough, I guess. Now

I have to deal with that. Now
I have to decide whether McSweeney’s
was able to peer into my un-ironic
heart, was able to see that those six
words were too self-consciously hip,
that I had formed a poem

outside myself, despite myself, a poem
I thought the cool kids might
like. Now I have to admit that I’m not that hip,
that I can feel everyone at McSweeney’s
smirk at me, at my six
piddly end words, and it’s really ironic,

isn’t it? Or maybe not. Maybe it’s not ironic
that the rejection of my simple poem,
my simple rearrangement of six
terminal words, now
causes me to question my own McSweeney’s
worthiness, to rue my own utter hip

lessness. But I really never
cared to be hip,
anyway, so I think it’s ironic
that I even let this whole McSweeney’s
rejection thing get to me because poem
making is usually my purest joy, and now
here I am puzzling over six

tricky end words again, six
words that I’ve tried to strip of ironic
content, six words that now
I’m shooting straight from my own hip,
six words I am cobbling into a poem
that I secretly want to send to McSweeney’s,

even though these six words now
show how completely un-hip I am,
even though this poem
exposes my ironic desire to hear, just once, that I am wanted by McSweeney’s.

Well, I'm off to Mexico for a few days. I feel I've been a bit mawkish in some of my postings lately. Maybe some time away from my computer will knock some of the butterflies out of my head...

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