12 July 2006

A story about the mailbox.

I never do summer submissions, but this year I thought I'd give it a try. I mean, there are so many fantastic journals out there, and waiting to do my traditional Fall submission is really hard. Plus I have a bunch of new poems to send now, so why not? Here's why not. Because during the summer I am home, and when I am home, so is the mailbox, and I am tempted to keep peeking in, even though the alarm system beeps every time I open the door and that can seriously interrupt the sleep of a one-month-old baby, apparently.

But I still peek.

And our new mail carrier still brings the mail late, like 4:30, so every time I peek into the mailbox all I see is dead beetles (she must have swept them from the corners of her studio...no, they must've crawled in there and died after hovering around our floodlight all night). I'd get antsy, but hey, I'm not doing my part right now. After lunch I will dive into RHINO manuscripts and add roughage to the publishing ecosystem. And then maybe it'll be time for the mail to get here.


Justin Evans said...

You have no idea how this resonates with me. Ever since I was in the Army, mail has been elevated to a sacred, almost mystical experience. I get the mail, and that is that.

Early on in my marriage, I had to establish boundaries where mail is cncerned. My wife thought it was okay to open up mail with my name on it. Nooooooooooooooooooo! If it has both our names on it---knock yourself out. However, if it has my name on it, I don't care if it's from Ed McMahan, I get to open it!

I am a mail fanatic. I will sometimes ask my wife to got get the mail and bring it to my work. We live in a small town and so it's an easy task.

I check my e-mail at least a dozen times a day, and if I could, I would have instant verification of any e-mail I sent for as soon as it was read. I had that once, with Pegasus Mail, back in college, and I loved it.

Oh yes, I can relate to your post.

garylmcdowell said...

I love the Robert Hass reference in your post. ;)

And you may be reading some of my poems in your RHINO pile. I sent some days back.

Good luck with your submissions!

Paul said...

This story, and Justin's, is also my story.

J. Newberry said...

I don't know how, but Justin has apparently been living in my house, watching my life and recording it.

He then has the balls to post my experiences as though they are his own!

Seriously, my wife thinks that I have OCD. At 4:00 p.m., I begin my vigil watching the mailbox. The mailman usually delivers no later than 4:20. If he's late (and yes--he's a he), then I get worried.

I check email sometimes 20 times a day. Just in case.

You know, just in case Poetry or The Atlantic or The Oxford American have emailed to tell me that they'd love for me to send them some poems.

Sheesh. Maybe I am OCD.

Penultimatina said...

Okay, I am feeling so much better now, folks!

Matthew Thorburn said...

Yes, me too! I've had to explain to my wife on more than one occasion my obsession with the checking the mailbox, and especially with checking email on an hourly basis. One plus of being between houses (we're in the slow process of moving from one side of town to another) is that for now I'm having all my mail forwarded to my office, where they get the mail delivered by 9:30 a.m. Oh happy day!

P.S. I loved the Hass reference too.

Penultimatina said...

MQT, warmest congrats on your marriage! Loved your announcement in the Times. :)

Matthew Thorburn said...

Thanks, Mary!

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