"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I tied the record @ Little Emerson

"Palmeira, Spain, 18 August 2005

Dear Tony,

Join the party. Your poems "On the Prospect of MC, et al., have been
rejected by at least two Little Emerson editors. Since you had
actually tied the record of acceptance at four votes on the poem "On
this one, Then that one" I had actually hoped the last editor would
have given you the elusive "fiver" that no one has managed to get thus
far. (The last editor response to your work came in last night,
apparently after I harangued the shop for editorial slowness in
responding. You might have seen it in Little Emerson.) So as you can
see our different approaches to "sincerity" make for a hard go.

I had high hopes for your poems and their tremendous energy and
originality but only four of nine eds agreed. Their comments below.
You have tied the record.

Thanks a lot for playing along. Keep making that music.



Some editor's comments:

1. These are charming--I'll say yes to all.

2. I can't accept these either.

3. My response to these is no.

4. I will say "yes" to On This One... though I did like Natural History up to a point. Something in me profoundly dislikes the discussion of an iPOD in a poem. Something in me cannot begin to agree with the banality of technology.

5. I'm saying YES to one of these poems. These poems read like the work of Anthony Robinson. I really hope that my awareness of this fact didn't affect my readings. This is strong, lovely work. I would like to see "Day After Tax Day" published in Little Emerson.

6. Not sure how much it matters to you at this point, but I think I should mention that I recognize the author of these poems, not because I know him or his work--I don't--but because I read his blog and I recognize themes, places, phrases he's written before, personhood. I find it a comfort, actually, that in all this anonymity there is something recognizably authorial here in this poetry filled with such quirky subjectivity that I can name the poet in the poetry. That's part of what makes it so good. He's doing his own thing. I guess I'm not that interested, ultimately, in poetry without poets. OR editing without editors: I feel I've been a careful, objective, appreciative reader of this poetry, so I don't think it matters much that I've discovered the author. Please forward my comments to Tony.

I like and recommend publication of "On the Prospect of MC," "On this One, Then That One," and "Day After Tax Day." As for "A Natural History," I feel it's somehow lacking sincerity, even as the feeling is there.

7. On This One, Then That One
Yes. Good, good, good! Great observations, melancholy and energy, propulsive and explosive language. The others, no. On the Prospect of MC in a Not-Quite-Suggestive Pose No. While there were a couple of lines in the middle that drew me, it's not enough I'm afraid. A Natural History No. For me, the poem loses energy towards the end. Day After Tax Day No. Not enough happens in the poem.

8. prospect of MC:no.
a natural history: no.
on this one: no.
day after tax day: no.

9. No.


C. Dale said...

Ah, see, you are already a recognizable voice. Some of the editors know your work. I would have loved to see you as the first LE breakthrough.

poetzie said...

I guess I still don't understand what the record is. . .I mean, if you're setting records, shouldn't they be publishing you, for crap sake? Is it just the beginning of their reading period?

It is impressive that someone recognized your poetry from your blog "voice"-- an interesting concept.

Don't worry, the poetry season is young. . .and for a lot of mags, not even started yet. . .

gina said...

Four in impossible odds IS great--and you got some high praise too. Your poems rock, T. You'll place them. Did you post those poems on your blog? The title of one looks familiar.


Laurel said...

Me too!!!! Me too!!!!! We're tied in a club. I tied you. I tied you up.


Tony said...

Thanks, everyone. I don't think I've ever posted those particular poems on this particular blog, though.

Tony said...


ms. gina myers informs me that i did post "Day After Tax Day" on this blog some time in the past. I didn't remember.

A.R.B. said...

Hi Tony and Laurel, too,

I do think it was great for you guys to lay it on Little Emerson. As I’ve said before—somewhere—I suppose that having four editors think your work is worthy of publication (and these guys are pretty demanding) is rather good. Of course, getting no positive votes may be just as well. After all who is to judge the goodness of our work?

Still I thank you for playing along—for playing and for doing so sincerely and seriously—without more. Nothing to gain perhaps or who knows. Maybe we can compile Poems: The of Best of Little Emerson’s Rejections. (Rejecting comments included, of course.)

But seriously I think some of the comments on Tony’s poems are quite telling and deserving of analysis. The thought or concept of knowing the poem—of needing to know something about the person behind the writing is quite telling. Identifying those personal notes is interesting and maintaining that degree of honest opinion and discriminating taste is great on that editor's part. This has happened on only two occasions that I can think of and I am taken by the joy of those particular editors in discovering the style and personal notes of the authors. Like finding an old friend in a foreign country. To do so and to truthfully deal with that friend is doubly difficult. I think that that is what they have done.

Still I must confess here that despite A.D.’s suggestion Ashbery hasn’t submitted (to my knowledge). Of course, I’ll lie about in L.E.


32poems said...

I, too, am intrigued by the idea that someone recognized your poems from reading your blog.

With LE, is it 5 out 6 who have to agree on the poems?

Tony said...

With LE, it is 9 of 9 editors who have to agree.