Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ethereal Gremlins

It's one sort of annoyance when friends cannot receive an email about where to meet for lunch. It's quite another when editors' comments, rejections, and acceptances land in the spam box; or the submission lands in a spam box. All of these have happened over the past few weeks. It may be a conspiracy by those who believe that poets and poems have no business clogging up the ether, but I doubt we draw that much attention from the sort of geeks and techies who know how to put a hex on us. Now I just check that spam thing every day.

The weirdest result of all this on-line kerfuffle was this: recently by mail--snail version--I received a copy of a publication to which I had not too long ago submitted poems. I hadn't heard back, but given the leaky vessel of my computer, I wasn't surprised. I was pleased because one only gets free copies by having work appear in the lit mag. Sure enough, there I was, listed among the contributors. However, I could not find my poem, despite squinting until my eyelids hurt, running my finger repeatedly down the contents page, and finally paging through the whole issue. Nope, nothing, nada, squat. So I emailed the editor. Well, he had sent an acceptance--long lost by this time--but somehow the poem got chewed by a dog, stolen by aliens, was written in slowly disappearing ink, or just melted in the rain. The good news is that he does intend publishing the piece, once he finds it, in his next issue. However, since I've already been in the contributor's column, I will be invisible in the subseqent one. I think he's joking, but it's hard to hear tone of voice from the bottom of a digital well.

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