The Blog

To Begin With

I’ve just read a query from a writer whose work I’m not sure I admire
And I’ve poured another scotch.
It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m writing to put an end to the evening
And I’m writing to expose myself in ways that aren’t possible when you’re sober.

I’m writing because I know that writers will read this poor excuse for a poem
And pass judgment on me, a publisher,
And I know that I am here to take a bullet
For all writers who get rejected by publishers like me
And they can’t do anything, not one fucking thing, about it.

I’m writing because my thick skin will protect me
From criticism and silence.
And I know that my nephew and niece from Russia
And my daughter from Romania
Will not hold any of this against me.
Their adoptions far exceed any concern I have
About writing a poem.
Any excuse for a poem.
And I can fuss
And fret
And still it matters none
When compared
To my concern
About how it feels
To adopt a child
And how I feel
About the frustrations
Of Writing.
My concerns
About raising a toddler
And my fears
About writing.

This is my life then.
One concern
After another,
No real worry,
Really,
As writing,
Creating,
Can never compare
To raising a child,
Rearing a human from an early stage of development.
Sad, really, to think that evolution ever had a chance.

The submission,
I’m afraid,
Just wasn’t that good
To begin with.

About Dan Cafaro

Dan Cafaro is the founder and publisher of Atticus Books, a small press based in Madison, N.J. When Dan is not following his wife around the country, he is known to sit for long periods of time pondering how to live off the grid. Atticus Review is his first literary journal.

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