Please Accept This Poem by Elizabeth M. Castillo
I want to write a thing, a piece, a poem
I want to get it into a journal. Magazine. Press. Review.
*whispers* Anthology *gasp*
Anybody out there want my words?
I say I write for me, but look at me now
drooling for acceptance.
Validation for me, or for my art, was it?
All this hoop-jumping, font-changing, word doc, pdf-ing.
Trigger warnings, twitter following, links won’t open.
And how, in Satan's arsehole, is submittable down again?
I see you guys over there, with your 4-6 months to reply?!
No kidding. That’s a quarter-pandemic from now.
¡Maybe_I’ll write>< WiTh = weird // punctuation:::::
all random like
Do you like that, editors, do you?
So I’ll write this piece and send it. Maybe
one of those indie mags. That one with the pretty graphics,
named after a woodland animal, or something bird related.
Or an astronomy term. Or some obscure breed of flower.
No, not that one, the other one. No the other one. No, the other,
other one. That one with the themeless submissions call.
But these journals- run by fresh-faced young folx,
still in school, and sitting on more talent than every
issue of The Paris Review combined- they’re not interested.
Not in morning sickness, placentas, postnatal depression. Best
not stink up their inbox with all that sticky afterbirth.
I can also shoot you some images real quick like:
A dog, sleeping. The wind in your fingers.
The passing of days. A motherboard. Mournful.
A half eaten five-guys. A brick building.
and say that these things are all things, but why these things are things that are here, I can’t say. That’s up to you, the reader, (are you still reading?) to find truth, and light. Let me know if you find them, or even a connection. I’ll be busy still looking over here.
Maybe I’ll write about America! You guys love poems about America!
What it is, what it isn’t, what it should be, or never will.
Trouble is, I don’t know much about America,
except apple pie. Racism. Narcissism. No sick leave.
International meddling. A government that hates its own people.
(if you ask me, there’s something very off, very rotten at its core).
But like I said, I don’t know much about America.
What do you want, litmag-journal-quarterly-zine-press-review? What do you want from me? Which words, in what order, with what meaning do you crave? Tell me how to please you! Because, in case it was not already completely apparent, I haven’t the faintest idea...
I don’t know what words you want, so here: have them all.*
*see all words included above
Elizabeth M Castillo is a British-Mauritian poet, writer and language teacher. Her work centres on themes of motherhood, womanhood, race, ethnicity, love, language, and mental health. She has words in, or upcoming in Selcouth Station Press, Pollux Journal, Authylem Magazine, Fevers of the Mind Press, and Melbourne Culture Corner, among others.