By Michael Seese
At the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, or biting the hand that feeds me, or counting my chickens before they hatch...well, scratch that last one...
In a previous post, I proudly proclaimed that my poem "Love Is Not..." had been selected by Forward Poetry (UK) for their "Aspects Of Love" compilation. At the time I submitted "Love," I also sent in poems for two other open calls, "Fear Itself" and "Virtue Or Vice."
One Saturday, I received in the mail a big envelope from the UK announcing my poem had been selected! I was thrilled! Then, exactly one week later, I received another letter which said "Little Nightmares" had been chosen for "Fear Itself." I was skeptical; either I was a much better poet than I thought or...
When yet another congratulatory message arrived the following week, I was convinced. Convinced, that Forward Poetry pretty much publishes any submission, and earns their profits by selling a copy of the book to the contributors.
In order to both save money and maintain that the illusion that the selection of "Love Is Not..." was something special, I decided to not return the copyright / permission forms for the second and third poems. Had they sent me a follow-up email asking whether I planned to authorize the inclusion of my contribution(s), I would have politely explained that I was "humbled" by the honor of having one work in print, and wished to "respectfully decline" any others so that a different aspiring poet could be similarly honored by being featured in the compilation.
So if nothing else, I can now say I am a published poet, as well as author. And, I recently received an email that Medusa's Laugh Press was nearing completion of the Overplay/Underdone anthology, which will include my piece "The Daily Caffeine Stream."
FYI, "Aspects Of Love" is available on Amazon, the UK instance of it, at least. If you've got £16.99 that ain't doing nothing, buy it, and enjoy the subtle emotional wordplay that I (and 300 or so other poets) have so eloquently laid out.
Just don't mention the "300 or so" part. Or the bit about "pretty much publishes any submission." Let's keep that between us, shall we?