Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Wanted: a home for used poems

 

hand This post is not original. The original is in the recycle bin on my laptop. There's a copy in my 'Sent Items' and a proofread copy in my wife's 'Sent Items'. Oh, and there's a copy on my test blog, the place I tweak my posts before they go live. So, lots of other copies exist. I hope you don't feel that it's been any way diluted by being copied so often. I wonder what the literary equivalent of 'tape hiss' is?

My most popular poem is 'The Venereologist':

THE VENEREOLOGIST


How sad to see the venereologist,
with his mistress tucked carefully
under his arm, emerging from
the doorway of her flat -

a rectangular orifice
exhaling ash and smoke.

The car door opens at the
turning of the handle –
a mechanical thing,
but less habitual
than what has foregone these lines.

His car moves away, down the street
like a germ in the bloodstream.


9 March 1978

It's certainly not my best poem. So, how can I make the statement that it's my most popular? How does one measure 'popularity'?

I can make that statement because it been published more than any other poem I've written, five or six times. Far better poems have only been read by my wife. It's twisted, isn't it? Of course the only reason 'The Venereologist' managed to get published so often is that I was young and ignorant. I had no idea that you were only supposed to send a poem out until it managed to be published once and then that was it, consigned to oblivion; no one would be interested in it. I thought it was a good poem and I wanted people to read it. As many people as possible. So I kept sending out into the big bad world.

Okay, all you poets out there, hands up those of you who don't want people to read your work. See! Not a blinkin' one of you. We all want to be read to have people tell us how good we are. It's natural. And yet nowadays virtually every time I read submission guidelines I come across the same old expression: IF YOUR POEM HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BEFORE THEN SOD OFF. Okay, they're usually a tad more polite than that but that's the gist of it.

the finger The big question is what is 'PUBLISHED'? Now, that's where there's a little leeway but most say that if it's appeared in print or in an e-zine then it's deemed to have been 'published'. Others extend that to private forums and even personal blogs. And what they're saying is: WE ONLY WANT VIRGIN POEMS FOR OUR SITE. OUR SITE IS TOO GOOD TO PUBLISH ANYTHING THAT ANYONE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS LOOKED AT BEFORE WE HAVE. CAPICHE?

Okay, maybe that's not what they're saying but that's what it feels like. I would just like to find a magazine that wants to publish the best poetry it can. Full stop. Actually there are one or two out there like that but they're very much in the minority.

How many poetry e-zines do you think there are out there? I bet it's a silly number so I'm not even going to guess at it. And how many do you subscribe to? Probably not that many. A helluva lot less than you send stuff out to. My big question is: Just how many eyes are out their sullying our poems that we can't send anywhere else because they're now somehow tainted?

I know, I know, everyone wants to be able to say that what's they're offering is fresh. I mean a fruit stall owner wouldn't last in business very long if he sold used fruit: Honest madam, it's just got a wee bite in it and it was from a very nice lady from Broomhill. No, I'm quite sure she's not HIV positive. I doubt she's been sexually active for the past twenty years.

POEMS DON'T GO OFF.

They don't mature with age either. No matter how many copies you make, no matter how many people read that poem before you get to it, it is as pure as when the author put the last full stop – assuming he or she is the kind of poet who uses conventional punctuation – and sits back feeling warm and smug with themselves.

I have never understood this obsession with purity. A first edition does not read any better than a seventeenth. In fact the seventeenth is probably more readable because printing will have improved over the years. The first edition probably has yellow pages and has that old book smell that you feel in the back of your throat.

What I really don’t get are those people – stamp collectors are very bad for this – who think something is worth more because it has a flaw in it. If I started sticking the odd typo in a poem how many editors do you think would pounce on it slavering with excitement? A big fat zero I can tell you. A poem is not a Persian rug.

Question: What does it mean to be 'published'? Is this post 'published'? I would argue that it isn't. My logic is simple. There has been no editorial control exercised whatsoever. I can write whatever I want to and get away with it. There is no possibility of rejection. I am never going to send myself an e-mail saying, "Sorry, ol' son, but that one wasn't quite up to par." Nope, 'snever gonna happen. (See! See! I wrote ''snever' and there was no one to stop me.)

As I write this I've been asked to submit some poems to a themed collection. I'd say 'commissioned' but that sounds just plain pompous. What the hell, it's my blog: I've been commissioned to write some poems on a theme. I'm not sure that I'll be able to write as many as they want but I already have some that will do and one that is perfect. Yeah, you're ahead of me, the perfect one has been published before. And I bet, I just bet, that this editor will say that it won't do. Which I do not get. Because it is abso-bloomin'-perfect. Really. And it deserves to be read by as many people as possible and I don't get why I can't send a copy to every damn e-zine of the planet.

I may have mentioned that I have a fondness for the poetry of Philip Larkin in passing. Just think how many times 'Toads' or 'An Arundel Tomb' or 'The Whitsun Weddings' have been published over the years and they will continue to be published ad infinitum when you and I are dead and gone . . . because they are good poems and they deserve to be read by the next generation and the next. To my mind it would be criminal for them to get published just the once and then forgotten about. No, we don't want old crap. Give us new crap.

This has been something of a rant. It's been a while since I've let rip like this and it'll probably be a while before I do it again. I would simply like poetry magazines, both on and offline, to be realistic and think: "I probably have a readership of a dozen people discounting the poets themselves who probably only read their own poems to see if I've made a mistake in the HTML so why should I be so snotty-nosed about who I publish? The odds of more than a couple of readers discovering a poem in my 'zine and thinking to themselves, 'Hm, I'm sure I've read that elsewhere in a classier 'zine with a nicer font and cooler pictures,' are infinitesimal, so what the hell, I'll just publish the best poetry I can whether it's appeared elsewhere or not." That would be nice. I would like that. But it's never gonna happen, is it? No matter how much I rant. So why am I bothering?

Receiving hand If I had the time – which I don't so don't get me started – I'd put my money where my mouth is and start up an e-zine that only published pre-published poems. I'd call it Used Poems. It would be a home for all the waifs and strays out there who think that no one loves them any more. But I don't have the time, let alone the energy. So, if anyone out there feels like giving it a go then that's fine by me. Just tell me where I can e-mail my submissions and I'll send you 'The Venereologist' and 'The Pathologist' (which I think has been published three or four times already) and I'm sure I could rattle up a few more.

Let's face it most of my published poetry appeared before most of the people using the Internet were born. In fact most of it was written before the Internet was born.

I had the perfect poem to finish this article with but I can't use it because I'm saving it to see if I can get it published in a real magazine. It's a shame because it really would have tidied up this post very nicely. Ah, well. Sorry about that.

29 comments:

kasscho said...

1st - BRILLIANT poem!
2nd - online literary equivalent of 'tape hiss' = cyber-suspiration (diluted delusions?)
3rd - the poem itself is a wanton whore if it goes parading about in more than one publication - in the least - a marauding mistress – the nerve of some poems!
4th - what would happen if I posted The Venereologist all over Facebook, My Space, Twitter, You Tube, the subway, public bathroom walls? Would the original publisher sue me?

...love the 'rectangular orifice exhaling ash and smoke' - for years I used to say on my way to work, "OK, I'm going to the orifice now, honey." (you decide what kind of work I did)
Again, brilliant!

Jim Murdoch said...

Considering it was thirty years ago, Kasscho, and I very much doubt if they still exist I have to say I think that will be unlikely so knock yourself out. I believe the first time it appeared in print it was in The Urbane Gorilla so you probably should credit them.

As for the 'rectangular orifice' - yeah, that wasn't very subtle but I was young, I have an excuse.

Rachel Fenton said...

You've made me laugh because I have poems which would perfectly demonstrate things I've posted on my blog, only I'm saving them, too! Haha..so you'll have to read my 'not up to scratch' tosh until I get "properly" published!! It's all daft, really. I'm so old fashioned that, to me, unless it's in a book or a paper mag, it isn't published! You could always publish it and delete your post afterwards - deny all knowledge..."nope, no poem here, do you see it?"

Rachel Fox said...

Well, you know I agree! Or you should do.

I love the thing about magazines wanting 'virgin poems'. That is so apt ('keep your tainted, dirty poems that other eyes have looked upon, we don't want those...'). Serious people have explained to me many times why the poetry 'system' (ugh, system!) works this way but I'm afraid when it comes to this I am a child and I put my fingers in my ears and go 'la, la, la, la'. Poems are free...in every sense...that's what's different about them. Or it should be. If I wanted to read all that small print I'd be lawyer or something. I'd earn money!

x

Elisabeth said...

For some reason, Jim, your blog does not automatically appear on my screen, even though I thought I was 'following' you.

I did wonder given how responsive you have been to my blog, why am I not seeing anything from you? And tonight I checked it out for the first time in weeks.
Lo and behold, you have been busy posting and I hadn't noticed. I hope you understand how much my ignorance has caused this.
I have your name on my list of those I follow but maybe it's only the name of your test site.

I love this notion of 'used' poems. If I were a poet, I'd get a used poems blog going. But I am a mere writer of prose.
Funny that I find myself these days surrounded by poet bloggers who use prose to elucidate their craft.

Is there a place on your blog where I can press a button so that I can automatically follow you? Then I will no longer live with the illusion that you've been so quiet, when in fact you've been so busy.

I shall look now for that button and report forthwith if I find it. Otherwise I await instructions.

Elisabeth said...

I found it, Jim. The button. I've pressed it and now we're on. I'm following you.

I also tried the audio version of your posting here. I rather hoped it would be like the Ken Armstrong short story on visibility which he directed me to after I had mentioned to him that I wanted to hear his voice.

I thought I might hear your voice.
Nevermind. Of course there are those whose vision is impaired who might enjoy hearing your posting but I looked for a Scottish accent now and was disappointed.

So I shall keep reading. When I read you I hear your accent, as I imagine it to be.
I shall continue to read, to keep your spoken voice alive for me.

Dave King said...

Great post - and the adjective is not gratuitous - largely (but not entirely) thanks to a great poem. I do, actually think it one of your best, but I also agree with your general point that it aint the better poem that - in the main - get published. I am quite sure that the subject matter - helped or hindered by the title - has a lot to do with it.

I vehemently agree with your remarks concerning the published (or not) status of the article. Certainly most publishers would consider the poem now published, even if it had never been before. I would not, but they would.

Jim Murdoch said...

Rachel Fenton, yes, it's is hard to change that mindset. I'm very much the same. I'd love not to be but I'm stuck with it. The thing that keeps me going are the stats on my site. I know that people are reading my stuff. Most small press mags sell very few copies – it's the nature of the beast – and the simple fact is that with a bit of the right kind of promotion I can have several hundred readers who, like your good self, if they like what they read they come back for more. But, you're right, who's to say if you put up a poem for a few days and then took it down again whether it was published or not?

Rachel Fox, (isn't it a pain having two Rachel F's?), yes, I've had it explained to me and it doesn't wash. There are hundreds of sites out there and print mags too all over the world, seriously what's the chance of someone stumbling across the same poem twice. And, even if they do, so what? If it's a good poem I'll happily read it again. How would radio stations fare if they could only play a tune once as long as no other station had played it before?

Lis, just happy to see you've got it sorted now. Of course the same principle applies to prose and non-fiction, you get one shot and that's it. So does that mean that you start off submitting to the most prestigious journals first and then if they knock your pieces back start sending out to the not-so-prestigious journals till you get to the stage you're just grateful that someone somewhere has been willing to publish the damn thing so you can forget about it and do something else?

As for the voice-thingy, I just thought it was cute when I discovered it. I have a similar program on my PC which I use every now and then to listen to my own writing so I can distance myself from it. I usually use a female voice and if I'd had the option here I would have used one too. I think the quality if quite good for a piece of free software although it simply can't cope with the 'Aggie and Shuggies'.

And, Dave, glad you liked the poem. I know it's not that bad but I find it had to get very excited over a lot of my early stuff. I should send more out because the poems are perfectly respectable and they'll be new to anyone else. I tend to pick mostly from the last couple of hundred.

I'm glad you agree with my point of view, it is preposterous to consider a poem used in an article like this as 'published' except in the most legal of senses. Common sense really should prevail.

Rachel Fox said...

Go on then Jim, set up a site/zine of used/dirty/round-the-block poems (name - dirty old poems..?). I bet you'd do good business.

And your radio analogy makes sense to me.

x

Furniture said...

I understand were you are coming from. When submitting some of the articles I write I came across the same type of websites that rather have shity content that is “new” (another complex word, like “publishing”, in this case maybe more because “new” is an empty category that needs to be filled) instead of just “publishing” something that is –at the very least- acceptable. What you said about poems never changing left me thinking: a poem certainly does not change –unless the poet does make changes, like José Martí did, paying extra attention to punctuation as he always did- but what I think it does change is the way the poem –or any text for this matter- is read and is this precisely this what can make poems “go off” to the eyes of those limited by mental narrowness. To others, the poem may proliferate and spread, became polyvalent and is what happens to me when I read again something that I read in the past. When it comes to editions, I certainly do not enjoy having an antique in-between my hands so the pages come off as soon as I turn them no matter the object “original aura” or whatever it is…my worst fear when it comes to editions is the translation…for he who tranlates, falsifies, and if I can’t read it in the original language for I am not a polyglot, a skilled counterfeit, with notes, does it for me.

John Ettorre said...

Whether this was a rant or something more, I found all this to be enormously interesting, and it catalyzed a bunch of things in my head. Among many other things, it made me wonder if poets have the same problem picking out their own favorites as a parent would to nominate their favorite child? That is a devlishly good poem, by the way. Just damn fine work.

Jim Murdoch said...

Sorry, Rachel, but I really don't have the energy for that. Part of me would love to and maybe when I get tired of blogging I'll do just that. Carrie ran an e-zine for years before moving onto print versions of the sites. I kinda wish she'd kept the whole project online. Cost aside it was a manageable project but healthwise she's really not up to it now.

Furniture, thanks for your comment (always nice to see a new name), I get what you mean about old copies of books, I've never understood why so much fuss is made about first editions; unless subsequent editions incorporated major changes what's the difference?

Up until recently I've never thought to compare translations though and it is surprising how different they can be. I'm not expecting transliteration but some of these are practically rewrites.

And, John, yes, I suppose this was as close to a rant as anything I've written of late. I have a terrible time picking out my favourite poems. I even struggle to recognise the quality in some of my older work. It's why I've never published a collection, I simply cannot be objective. By my age I should have half a dozen chapbooks out there but not a one. I do intend to bring out a collection in the near future but sitting down and picking is such a chore. Glad you liked this poem though. I do remember being quite pleased with it at the time. I wrote another a wee while after called 'The Pathologist' which got published a few times too. I tried another could of 'doctor poems' after that but they weren't very good.

Lisa said...

Wow. Great rant. Good work is good work, irrelevant how often, or even if, it has been published.
Give me a used poem any day. :-)

Art Durkee said...

A great rant. The whole "virgin poems" for a journal thing is ridiculous, but I love your use of the phrase "virgin poems" in this context.

When I was on some of the poetry critique boards, the point was made quite logically that, hey, if you're a poet who lives in the middle of nowhere and has only the internet for workshopping rather than a local group of writers, but a journal will reject a poem that's been workshopped "publicly" on the internet at a board, then you're pretty much screwed.

Of course, the other side of the argument is, screw 'em bacK; it's a big ocean and there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Fish of course being places to submit both old AND new poems. I find that some of the friendlier places to submit have more often accepted a poem or two from me, as well; "friendlier" meaning they accept used poems, and also sometimes accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let them know if something has been accepted elsewhere.

It's always nice to be asked to submit a few pieces of one's work. It's always a compliment, and the ego puffs up a bit for awhile. Then comes the hard work of supplying what's been requested. As a commercial artist, I got used to working on demand, on deadline, and not taking rejection or changes seriously. So whenever I'm asked to fulfill such a request, it's not hard for me to muster the horses and charge ahead. Usually.

I never know what anyone thinks of any of my poems. I know they're pretty obscure to some people, even though my intent is never to be arcane, just nuanced and resonant. I find it relatively easy to be objective about my poems, to pick through them and look them over for what works and what doesn't, because there's not much at stake; I take my music more personally, it being nearer to my heart. (But then, as you know well, I'm not a "real writer" by many criteria; so I can afford to be less invested in outcomes for my writing.)

I occasionally "publish" a poem or two n my website and/or blog; often if they've been published elsewhere, I have no compunctions about posting a used poem. But the truth is I don't subscribe to this whole BS around "virgin poems," I think it's incredibly arrogant on the part of an editor to insist upon that. A good poem is a good poem is a good poem; if an editor wants a poem of mine because it's good, rather than "pure," I'm more likely to submit to them again later. I'd rather work with people who don't turn originality into a worshipful ideology—which is what the "virgin poem" journals are essentially doing.

For my own part, though, I know that I can often write-to-spec, or improvise something new, if that's what they want. So, sometimes, I give such venues the sub rosa finger by writing something new on the spot. If they reject it, then at least I've got a new poem on hand to try elsewhere, too. Although to be honest, I rarely submit anymore; as I said, I don't feel like my poems have any kind of audience at all; I certainly hear about it only rarely, as most poems I "publish" get very few if any comments. (Not that my blog gets many comments at all, except from my wonderful regulars such as yerself. Still I have no idea if there's a following or not; and I don't worry about it, either way.)

Art Durkee said...

I also agree, poems don't have sell-by dates, they don't go off, and they don't get moldy. (Usually. Some of the poems I wrote when I was 16 are not good enough to share with anyone, and never were.) The point being, when a poem is done, or finished, or abandoned, it's like a jewel that sits there in a display case, a thing complete in itself and lapidary in its polish. At most it gathers dust, but it doesn't rot. I usually don't spend an exhausting amount of effort revising an unsatisfactory poem; I usually scrap it and try again, starting all over again from the same point of inspiration or idea. But when I'm done with it, I move on. The back-files are good for mining when someone asks for a poem on a particular topic, if they ask at all.

So, I have a few previously-owned (the new euphemism for "used") poems for sale. . . .

Phoenix said...

Even I have often wondered why some, flawed old things are valued more than perfect ones.. I have tried to guess.. may be because flaw is real.. perfection is not..?

Poet Hound said...

Jim,
I was just invited to comment on another blog about my view on submissions and wish I'd read this first! So I added an additional comment for the gentleman to check out your post here.
I agree with you, I don't understand why a poem can't be used again for another site or journal. My father and I both write into relative obscurity and so I often tell my mother "Yes, I have made it to publication for such-and-such place where tens of people will read it!" She just laughs, knowing that it is probably true.
What really is the harm in seeing a good poem turn up again elsewhere?
It does mystify me that chapbooks and full-length books are encouraged to have quite a few of their poems previously printed on other sites or journals to prove the collection is viable, but why the disgusted face if a poem shows up in more than one site or journal?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Jim, Poet has signalled to me this post of yours in a comment. I have read your post carefully and I must say I totally agree with you.
I myself am very sorry when I keep a poem for submission which instead I would very much like to publish in my blog.
I intensely agree with you about your attack to "the obsession with purity" of many magazines.
It would be intersting to know how many submitters respect it, I am sure very few!
I am seriously considering the idea of starting a magazine of superused poems, but of course the idea is yours and You should start it, I would be among your first readers.
Please give a look to my latest post, it has started a small debate on submission matters. Your contribution would be highly appreciated.
Last thing here: I think you must have a great energy in writing posts like this latest one of yours, both Very long and Very engaging.

Jim Murdoch said...

Lisa, you're clearly a girl after my own heart. Thanks for your comment. I do believe you're the first German to leave a comment.

Art, I don't find too many places object to simultaneous submissions these days. I have so much stuff unpublished that that's never an issue. But I don't know of too many that don't make a fuss. I know of one who say: "Look, if it's been published recently and our readers have a good chance of seeing it then forget it, otherwise let us have a look," and I think that's a reasonable stance to take.

As for poems not going off I think I'd like to underline the point I was making here: a poem may be a machine made out of words, to paraphrase Williams, but it is not a machine that seizes up through lack of use. Look at the comments made about 'The Venereologist', a poem that's over thirty years old. Okay, maybe in three or four hundred years it might not stand up so well, once the language has moved on a bit but even then it won't be useless.

Phoenix, welcome – nice to see another new name appearing in the comments – and a valid point. Maybe my writing will be appreciated more once the only place left to read is in tatty books. One never knows.

Poet Hound, another good point. Maybe one day I'll do a post about writing credentials. This is where I agree with those sites who say in their submission guidelines: "We don't care where you've been published before. Every poem will be judged on its own merits," and so it should be. I sometimes feel bad because I can't list off all the prizes I've won because I rarely enter competitions. And what would it matter if a poem did win some huge prize, who would want to publish it? After all, it would just be another used poem, wouldn't it?

And, Tommaso, you go for it. I have neither the time nor the energy. But, yes, it would be nice to see a magazine thumbing its nose against the establishment and only accepting poems that have been published before. I have a few that I'd like to see getting some more attention.

As for the length of the post, if you believe in something then it's not hard. It does take time which is why I can't commit to a new project but if I ever do set up an ezine you can be sure that my submission guidelines will keep my options open.

GO said...

Jim,

You should check out http://www.fictionaut.com/

It is something of a new online experiment where a writer can post their own short work, published or not previously published. I am not sure where it will go, or what the potentials are for the format, but the basic premise is that readers will provide the filtering that brings items to the top, to the attention of visitors to the site. You may note that I republished there a poem that was in Bonfire. It could very well serve as a platform for publishing USED poems without having to establish or maintain an e-zine.

My take on pubbed or not pubbed is to pretty much ignore the question and look to my end goal, that I like to have readers, an audience, that is responsive to my work -- as I assume you do also, particularly with your excellent blog following. I know that authors have different end goals, such as earning money, fame or recognition, or getting a better teaching job. Publishing is a path to an end goal, it is not the conclusion of an adventure.

So, insofar as publication (making public) is concerned, I believe that it needs to satisfy the end goals of the author. Anything that inhibits reaching the end goal needs to either be dealt with, or another way found around or without the inhibition.

Pre-internet the criteria of a print publication, particularly a very small one, to only accept original 'virgin' work would pretty much mean that the piece had met the end of the road once it was accepted. Whatever the subscription base was a percentage of the subscribers may or may not have read the poem.

With the internet, and in the case where e-zines maintain an archive, poems (and stories) remain accessible and can be referenced, pointed at... such that an author can build up a repository of work over time. A downside is that bad work, or work that we would rather not persist, that may be embarrassing also remains available.

One thing that I have noticed is that where older ways of dealing with print media (such as established print literary magazines) that they carry forward their ways of doing things (such as the virgin poem criteria)... but they are also least able to adapt to the multiple variations of direction that so-called upstart e-zine publishers are able to invent simply from starting fresh from and being immersed in the technology. So in some respects I see the problems of e-zines wanting to publish virgin work as incrementally breaking down in the future.

One carry over that I appreciate though is that a reader in the pose of 'editor' not only reads what we write but that in the audience that they build they become a promoter of the author and their work. In this respect I sense that the role of the 'editor' will also change, at least insofar as those who pretend to be editors perceive themselves, from the role that editors assumed they were performing with print publications.

GO

Conda V. Douglas said...

Love the poem and the post is hilarious for being so true--poems don't go off. And if publications want something fresh, why do they often reprint "classics" or "out-of-print, so must be good" stuff all the time? Yes, maybe they don't have to pay for it again.

But I'm thinking if it's been decades since something has been printed, same as new. Older generation won't remember it, younger wasn't born.

Jim Murdoch said...

Gabe, Fictionaut looks like an interesting site for prose writers. I see from the dates people joined the site it's pretty new. Let's hope is fairs better than other similar sites. I did note that that it specifically mentions that it welcomes previously published work. Nice to see that in black and white.

I like the point you make about the archives of ezines providing accessible repositories of our work. I found that with Richard Wink recently, there were loads of poems online that I could link to to provide examples of his style. I really appreciated that I could bring a second wave of readers to them. Otherwise how would they find them?

Conda, good points. I wasn't really thinking long term when I wrote this but you're right. The sad thing is that often very good books do go out of print. David Karp's dystopian novel One is a good example. How come Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World and even We keep getting reprinted and not Karp's book? It's not fair

rushmc said...

There is at least one market that seems to meet your criteria: http://www.redheadedmag.com/poetry/

Jim Murdoch said...

Thanks for the link, Rushmc. I had a look at the site but this is what the submission guidelines says:

The Redheaded Stepchild only accepts poems that have been rejected by other magazines ... We do not accept previously published work.

Looks like a nice enough magazine for all that.

rushmc said...

Bah! You're right. Sorry, was still sleepy when I posted that, I guess.

Jim Murdoch said...

No problem, Rushmc, at least your heart was in the right place.

John Baker said...

Publishers who proclaim they do not accept previously published work are a little dumb. I never listen to them.

Poet in Residence said...

Used or not used, it's a great wee poem, Jim!

Jim Murdoch said...

Glad you liked it, Gwilym. Thanks for leaving a comment after all this time.

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