the metaphysical equivalent of a mouse's corpse
i enjoyed a fine talk by mitchell stevens yesterday, in which he reported that educational institutions are judged by their rejection rates. at the very best schools, it seems, everybody applies and nobody is admitted. so too with sociology journals, i suppose.
fortunately, most institutions aren't so choosy. each year the wergle
flomp poetry contest doles out filthy lucre to honor the best poem sent to a vanity poetry press in jest. since the acceptance rate is asymptotically close to 100 percent at such presses, authors must write brain-splatteringly bad stuff to even get a whiff of rejection.
great poets, of course, rise to any challenge. since gross-out imagery facilitates rejection, few of the winning entries can be reprinted in full on a family-friendly blog. so, i'll just share a few lines of nicholas moore's how to write a poem, the 2006 wergle flomp grand prize winner:
Here is a poem that I wrote
Over the course of the past five years.
It was recently submitted to the Indiana Review.
It goes like this:
"I love you more than I love life
Only God can make a tree.
I want to make it with you.
Roses are rose,
And violets are violet.
If you think this is a good poem,
Then feel free to highlight it."
While I was typing that poem for you,
My rejection letter came.
I guess the Indiana Review
Are not the visionaries that I was hoping for.
The rejection letter goes like this:
"Dear Mister Moore,
Your poetry is
As if a five-year-old child
Were pointing a handgun
At a masturbating clown.
We can not publish your poem,
Because it is currently resting
In our trash baskets:
The metaphysical equivalent
Of a mouse's corpse."
i'd hate to spoil the transcendant beauty of this poem by adding inane commentary, but i love the whole poem-within-a-poem-within-a-poem pretentiousness. plus the old bread lyric string. you like? just link to the unabridged version (the early bits have sort of a bukowski vibe) and other past winners, then enter the 2007 contest your own self. there could be $1169 in it for you, or at least the sweet sting of rejection.