Rejection

(with apologies to Prufrock)

I have measured my words
measured them all
made a thousand visions and revisions
and worn new metaphors old

so how could I begin
to open what I sent
all the works and days of my hands
and all my hopes

promptly returned
in a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Was it worth it, after all,
after searching the depths of silent seas
for an idea or an image that would please
someone, anyone, save you and me,
after clawing the barren ocean floor

– I should have been a pair of ragged claws
that cannot hold a pen –

Was it then worth it, after all,
after the lived-for letter I just now read
the form letter that, in essence, said,
“That wasn’t what we meant at all. That wasn’t it,
at all.”

Now as I sit here scratching my head,
( we may yet be published –
when we’re dead)

ever the fool, I pick up my pen
and continue writing, with a sigh,
poems that no one may ever read,
no one, that is, except you and I.

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