We at Lucky Man, Inc. are quite accustomed to receiving rejection letters. Most are of the perfunctory form letter persuasion. Some though are encouraging or offer some insights about how to improve the piece. Others include personal notes. On occasion, we receive one where the person contacting us just isn't all that nice and we save them to frame and hang-up on the wall here at headquarters.
Regardless of what we hear and how we hear it, however, we try to move forward. What doesn't work for one editor may work for the next. And there is no time to wallow in rejections, we have too much work to do. That said, today we received a rejection for a poem written by Lucky Man, Inc. spokesperson Ben Tanzer so far removed from the norm we decided to re-print it here for your reading pleasure:
"Thanks for the poem. Here are my thoughts: My thoughts are that I don't like it. The moralizing and over-empathy make it seem kind of obvious. The repetition of "ugly" beats an uninterested point over the head. Sorry if this puts you in a bad mood. Usually I lie when people ask me how I like things (shoes, food, colours, etc). I hope you write another one sometime, send it to me, and that I like it better."
Wow. Is that necessary? Is it meant to be funny? Or ironic in some way? Maybe sardonic? Why would you want to write something like that? And to a fellow writer no less? Yikes.
Normally we would not take the bait and respond to something like this. Minimally, we don't want to hurt the possible future relationship, we have much writing and submitting to do yet. Maximally, why get into it, we're above that kind of nonsense , all stoic and such, right? Normally we would say yes to all this, but not today. This rejection is too uncool, and so mean spirited, its kind of comical. And yet not that comical, you know? And so, this is what we wrote in response:
"Wow. How rude. And you're writer. I will frame this for my wall though. Thanks."
We have not yet received an answer to this, but we will keep you apprised of when we do.