Friday, October 3, 2014

On elimae

It was the perfect online journal. It looked perfect. It read perfect. Everything on it was genius. The editors responded in 1-3 days, without exception. And they never once accepted a single one of my poems.

I tried my best. Sent them my best work. Every time I thought I had something perfect, I would send it into them. The response would always be the same: "This isn't right for us. Feel free to send us something else. Best of  luck placing it elsewhere."

The closest I got was one time I submitted a poem, and they told me that it stood a good chance of being accepted if I resubmitted it as prose. But being stubborn as I was, I said "No, fuck you. This is a poem" and I continued shopping it around as one. It never got in anywhere and I don't know where it is anymore.

One day I was in a really pissed off mood, and I guess I had just gotten too many rejections. So I wrote a nasty, homophobic insult-poem allegedly directed at their editor but really just reflecting the fears I had about myself. I thought "Hey, Catullus did it- right?" The more time passed since then, the more I began to think I had made a huge mistake. I wondered if Catullus felt the extreme guilt I did after he wrote his sixteenth poem.

I never submitted to elimae again, being too ashamed. Then 2014 rolled around and I decided, on a whim, I wanted to read what was up there. But I went to Elimae and I saw they had closed up shop a couple years ago. End of an era. End of the best online magazine that ever lived. And I still never got a god damn poem in it. What a missed opportunity!

Why elimae? Nothing that great should ever die. Far less deserving journals live on. Is this just the nature of the web- are all our online journals doomed to become ephemera? I hope not. There are too many good reads to be found inside this little box. Then again, even Catullus will be forgotten some day, along with everyone who ever lived on earth. Some of us just get a head start.

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