Rejections Still Sting

Trying to recover from a full day of grading. And the knowledge tomorrow will be the same. And Thursday. Repetitious. The whole while, Brendan spent time amusing himself, allowing me possibilities for concentration. Himself, he was intent on understanding the mechanism in his “exer-saucer,” a device that allows him to partially suspend mid-air, in the midst of his toys, as he fiercely chomps and sucks on his pacifier. Every so often he would look up from a rattle or a bell to make eye contact. His smiles are beautiful. When he breaks into a smile I understand so many levels of parenthood which were never open to me in the past.

The Spring Semester is closing. And another quiet student leaves me a handwritten note saying they liked the course—this term the letter is delivered by a young man: glasses, bookish, intelligent, yet someone who hardly speaks out in the room. He earned a high mark before the commentary; he knows he’s done well in my class, so his words are not mere fluff to my ego— however one defines such a connection, it manages to justify crawling out of bed at 4:45 AM every morning, blurry-eyed. I need to save these notes. Maintain a collection for the bad days. The days when I question the validity of higher education, or the mentality of the average college student freshman.

Received a cold rejection this week. I should expect these. After twenty years, or more, dealing with literary magazines, I have had many fair share of “sorry.” Plus, as a former editor for a student-run magazine, a college intern for a poetry journal, and as a former Editor for an industry publication, I know how multi-tasking skills are important and how time crunched the position can be. However, rejections still sting. Especially after waiting over six months and then getting a form-letter. No extra postscript. No “try again in the future.” No apologies for the extended reading period. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Ah, well.

With the completion of my 365-Haiku project finalized, I am taking a few days to redirect the energy into a new cycle of poems. The “Dream-Poem” should be closer to a final draft by this weekend—barring no surprises. Despite the fact I need to confirm the flow of Summer term’s syllabus, completion of a working draft is an approachable goal.


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