I paid fifty-six bucks
for a one-year
to the New Yorker —
I am usually better at resisting
envelopes that arrive unbidden
in Monday’s mail —
naively thinking I could enhance
the quality of my writing
if I were to improve the nature
of my reading.
I mean, it’s the New Yorker!
A perineal paradigm of first-rate
journalism, critically acclaimed
fiction and the best of current poetry.
THE place to get published. If you can get
in the New Yorker, well, you’re the shit.
Not that anyone actually in the New Yorker
would put it that way. Much too pedestrian,
if that is the correct term to use
in the context of a magazine
named for a city where almost
everyone walks, everywhere, every day.
Anyway, the magazine arrives without fail
every Monday in my mailbox — coincidence
it is the same day the suckyouinwithagoodoffer
piece arrived? — and I make every effort —
— seriously, I do, take it with me to kid’s swim
meets and everything — to have it read
before the next issue shows up tucked
between the Southern Living and the cable
bill, and I actually succeeded…with the first
issue, even enjoyed the Billy Joel article.
Since then it has been a bit more than this
conservative, family-values supporting,
anti-big government, hack of a writer
can tolerate. Seriously. The fiction
is enough to make Hemingway extol
the virtues of teetotalism. The political
pieces are about as biased as a Baptist preacher
outside an abortion clinic, but in the opposite
direction. The poetry…yes, the poetry. The main
reason I agreed to part with fifty-six bucks…..
Lets just say I have learned two valuable lessons.
First: never write a critique of The New Yorker
unless completely sober. Second: accept the fact
you are not writing poetry main stream critics
will like or accept. I am good with that,
and I had fifty-six bucks to spare.