Michigan I've given you all and now I'm nothing.

Michigan, why won't you publish my poems? Why do your journals reject me every time I submit, while other states like Indiana and New York and California and Iowa take one, two, even three?

Are you mad that I write about you? That I praise your grizzled, Evinrude-capped denizens and tree-lined vistas? Your birds and flora?

I'm trying to come to the point.

I've only written two books about you. I've only mentioned a fraction of your cities, like Oscoda and Escanaba. I've made friends with people just because they were from Michigan. I've slipped your name into places where it didn't belong.

Michigan is this correct?

Should I keep sending my work to your literary magazines of form rejection and no thanks? Should I stop writing about you completely, and surrender myself wholesale to Ohio?

Michigan I'm putting my backwoods shoulder to the wheel.


John Gallaher said…
Smacked down by the glove, huh? I understand. Michigan has no love for me either. But I don't ask much of it.

Now California, on the other hand, I feel very little love from there either, though I keep wasting my heart on it.

It's a tough continent, you know?
What journals are out of Michigan. I can think of MQR and Third Coast. I'm sure there are more, but I'm blanking. Pretty sure I've been shut out of there too.

California and Texas have been shockingly good to me. The rest of the states are sporadic at best.
Penultimatina said…
Passages North *sigh*

I've felt some Texas love myself.

The slap of the glove still stings, though, since I used to live there and write about Michigan often.
Justin Evans said…
I have yet to feel any love from Texas. I lived there while I was in the army and for the past five years, I have tried to include at least one Texas based journal in every new round of submissions I make.

I think it's because one of my ex's was from Texas, and all my poems make their home in Tennessee. Well, Utah, but that just doesn't fit.

Texans hold grudges, and even though my ex now lives in Germantown, MD, those editors sense my ambivolence for the region.
jeannine said…
I have the same problem with my home state of fifteen years, Ohio! And it contains a heck of a lot of journals! What up, Midwest? Too good for us now?
Shoot, I haven't published in any of the major Colorado journals: Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Many Mountains Moving. Or in Elixir or Pinyon, for that matter.
Hang in there, M.B.!

Michigan is home to lots of terrific journals -- along with MQR, Passages North and Third Coast, there are also Witness (which keeps rejecting me), Red Cedar Review, The Diagram and the coolest named of all, The MacGuffin.

And who could forget Xylem!
Penultimatina said…
MQT, well I have had poems published in Xylem, and the Metro Times, but that was like a zillion years ago. I can't tell you how many times Witness has rejected me. Makes me want to write a poem of witness about the experience...
John Gallaher said…
Ohio! Well, that's an ambivalent state if I ever saw one. The best journal of all, FIELD.

There's a new one now, called /nor for (New Ohio Review) that looks like it's going to be good.

I lived there for six years and feel the east and north is ok, though The Kenyon Review hates me. Maybe I said something about it at a bar one night or something. I keep calling, but it won't answer the phone. I think maybe it's blocked my email.

MAR keeps acting all nice when we talk, but then zing when I'm not looking . . .
Penultimatina said…
I have felt the MAR zing myself, though I think we all agree that Karen Craigo writes the sweetest rejection notes ever.

I think I submitted to Indiana Review seven eight times before getting something picked up. Ever since then Indiana (or at least Notre Dame Review and Sycamore Review) has liked me. Maybe it was the begging.

My other home state, Illinois, always makes me feel special. Vanilla lattes and backrubs, etc. So WTF, Michigan?
Penultimatina said…
"seven eight times" = seven or eight times in Michiganese. I am desperate. Next: Klingon.
Oh man -- Field is the white whale of lit mags for me. After years and years, I finally got a handwritten "almost" note from them, but still no love. Witness, too, though I finally quit sending to them.

Karen DOES write the nicest "try us again" notes, so I keep trying.

I have poems out to Sycamore Review now, so I hope the good vibes from Indiana Review carry over...

I don't think I've ever been published in Ohio, though.
John Gallaher said…
Yes, and don't forget the MAR artwork. Who doen't love a smiley face?
Byf said…
Say yes! to Michigan. The feeling's forever, I hear.