I have a subscription to The New Yorker because one day I got a letter in the mail at work offering me a really cheap deal for being a member of the "media." I was like hell yes and sent in my reply card, eagerly awaiting my first copy. I killed my subway transit hours by reading New York until the day The Hallowed Book hit my desk.
That was last winter. It is now creeping up on Fall, and I have a stack of New Yorkers on my desk. I have a weekly ritual. When I get the week's issue, I immediately open to the table of contents. I find where the poems are, and I read them. I ponder them. I read the mini-biographies of the poets in the front of the book. I debate whether or not to just-for-the-hell-of-it open an e-mail to the poetry editor, free-write some poetic prose in less than five minutes (a la Miss Hannah Miet) and click send. I decide not to. Then I add the New Yorker to the stack of other New Yorkers, a nice little family of New Yorkers taking up residence in my office. I never touch them again.
This week, as usual, there are two poems in The New Yorker. Here is one of them, replicated in its entirety.
ON THE INEVITABLE DECLINE INTO MEDIOCRITY OF THE POPULAR MUSICIAN WHO ATTAINS A COMFORTABLE MIDDLE AGE
O Sting, where is thy death?
-- David Musgrave
While I'm thinking about what poetry is and if I consider OTIDIMOTPMWAACMA to be whatever poetry might be, I get an e-mail. It just says, "Hi sweetheart, how are you today?" My heart stops and starts up again. I am reminded that, sometimes, one line is poetry.
Gmail --> Compose --> Paul Muldoon @ New Yorker --> Subject line --> Poetry Submission --> Email body -->
ON THE INEVITABLE DECLINE INTO MEDIOCRITY OF THE POPULAR WRITER WHO ATTAINS A COMFORTABLE MIDDLE AGE
-- Meghan Blalock
BESPOKE: END OF SEPTEMBER SUGAR HILL MARKET
5 hours ago