rejection slips/slights

A rejection slip: “This is too good for our readers.”

--William Stafford, “Aphorisms,” In Pieces: an anthology of fragmentary writing, edited by Olivia Dresher, Impassio Press 2008.


We take at face-value the information provided in your cover letter as proof you are a writer, but we could find no evidence of the fact in the work you submitted.

We’re sorry to be slow returning your work, but it slipped through the cracks when we were putting together our ‘intertextual’ issue.

If we were prone to being mean, we’d say your submission was a waste of a stamp.

Nothing better than this has come across our desks in recent months, so it may be some time before we publish another issue.

We’re sorry we cannot use your poems in our next issue. We have not returned the poems themselves, as they have been posted in the lunch room for the amusement of all in our office.

When our theme is ‘sloppy, sentimental poetry’, we hope you will submit again.

This work, I assure you, was not rejected out of hand. There was much belly-laughter and knee-slapping before we could compose ourselves and properly respond to your submission.

Perhaps you were unaware that the ms. copy you sent to us already had a margin note on the last page; and we quote: “Timmy, this is shit. Love, Mom.” We question the wisdom of submitting poems to our journal that your own mother rejected.

One of our intern readers, who granted is prone to scatological humor, said he could visualize the title of your poem on our ‘table of incontinence’.

We encourage you to continue writing…because what’s the harm in it? But submitting work; that we don’t advise.

We are an online publication so our printing costs are nil, but the thought of this text appearing on anyone’s screen made our pixels crawl.

Your electronic submission somehow went directly into my spam folder. Not to say my email software was wrong per se, but to give you some reason for this slow rejection notice.

Shortly after reading your work we ceased publication.

1 comment:

  1. We rejected your manuscript based

    On it's being in rather poor taste.

    Now DO take it on

    To the office marked "JOHN"

    So the paper might not go to waste.