the destroyer > the vent > Lulu Antipyrene

Below is a letter we sent out, followed by an e-mail response we received. Printed with permission of the author.

Dear Lulu Antipyrene,

Being an editor of a literary magazine is kind of like being a DJ for a radio show. And because you haven't heard that radio show yet, it's hard to tell what sound our show will have, and if our show is the right place for your songs to play on air.

That said, we regret to inform you that we are unable to use Bemusings for our first issue. We are glad to have had the opportunity to consider your work, and we wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere.

Thank you for thinking of us.


Drew Krewer & Maureen McHugh, Editors
The Destroyer

I am just curious- what kind of "Show" would my work be "right" in? I admit the title Bemusings is a trite sounding title- (I cringed when I saw it written in your rejection letter) but I put it there simply because a title for the poems I sent was required. I wanted to use "Flying Feral", but I forgot to change it. Throughout years of lengthy, and often tiresome discussions about art and writing, I have heard the words "experimental", "innovative", "pure" "honest" used interchangeably. To me (and to most other artists and poets I know, including performance artists, Steampunks, technical artists, etc.) these are vague terms. I am not aware that I follow any kind of genre, as far as writing is concerned. I admit to admiring writers like Tristan Tzara, Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, James Joyce and WIlliam Carlos WIlliams. Perhaps they have influenced me. I just write about what I think and feel, sometimes ranting, about what goes on around me, and thematically my work has taken on an urban/suburban feeling. It is emotional and has a dark humor- is that also a genre? "Dark humor emotion poetry"? I have studied poetry and its various permutations for years. I don't fit into the "Bizarro" mold, nor "confessional" or "Self" poetry. I am certainly not a "Punanny" poet, either. I am grateful that poetry slams have pretty much bit the dust. There seems to be a "genre" for everything. Forgive me for taking your radio show analogy, and being literal with it- I listen to a local station in L.A. (KXLU) that primarily plays punk music, and there is a show called Demolisten. Although it focuses primarily on punk, they are open to most types of music, new voices, and personal expression. That is what makes it interesting. You never know what is going to happen. You may be seeking a "genre" and not realize it. Influence is inescapable. I am sure you realize this. Maybe you need to be more eclectic (I thought you were when I read your guidelines), or perhaps you should be more specific in what you want. Just a suggestion...I know you are just starting out.

Lulu Antipyrene