Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rejection Collection Challenge 2010

Beginning in January 2010, Lindenwood University's MFA in Writing Program presented a challenge to its students, faculty, and members of our writing community--submit at least one piece to at least one journal every month this year. Collect those rejection slips and emails, and in the process, you will likely see some of your work accepted for publication. Each month, one journal is suggested for submission to encourage participation in the challenge.

The first suggested publication this year was Mid Rivers Review, a local literary journal. MRR Volume 11 is now in print, and 14 of the pieces included are by Lindenwood writers. Two of those pieces are reprinted here with thanks to MRR.

Fortune

I bought a deep freeze from my neighbor for $65.
All day long I watched mini-vans and trucks
drive away with her things.

Her kids sat on the stoop, peeled
paint off the banister, waved goodbye
to all the things that weren't going to fit.

Tina was smoking a Pal Mal
in the yellow kitchen, stuffing strangers'
crumpled bills into the pocket of her jean shorts.
I haven't told them they'll have to share a room
she said to the linoleum,
but there's a pool, that'll be nice in the summer.

That night,
my son danced barefoot
around my garage celebrating
our new freezer full of cherry popsicles.

-anne freeman


The Former Mrs. Jonathan Rothdale

This is fine. This all will be fine. Perhaps now
I'll stand, arms open, on a rainy Paris day, thinking of things
that are not you.

You never wanted to see Paris, I know. You only said that
to make me want you.

Now I think I will take a class, a figure-drawing class,
spend hours studying bodies at arm's reach,
pencil their curves and lines, touch them in a way
you never touched me.

You told me I could not draw. I know, I'm no artist,
I realize that.

I feel fine. Like the fine in fine wine. Or the fine of fine china,
see-through fragile, yet solid enough to hold something
within it.

When you held me, it was after I sucked you dry, before you slept
heavily in dreams of others.

I look at a woman on the sidewalk now, and I see her
like you must have--how her hip shapes the skirt, how the skirt slips
between her legs.

I think now I will change my name. Not just my last name, that name
that is you, but my first name. I will be Scarlet, I think. Or maybe Violet.
I know I will be a color.

When you gave me your name, I wrapped myself inside it like an egg
in tissue paper. I drew the curve of the R for hours.

-beth mead

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