Monday, June 28, 2010

The Editor is Sick of Evaluating, Ranking, and Liking

by Andrew Rihn

Everything is overrated
except for Nihilism.
All the birds can fall from the sky
like so much rain; the hail
and sleet of their beaks
can break upon the pavement.
Highways are indeed like long
asphalt ribbons, but the gift inside
is a lump of coal. Actually,
we took that gift back, burned the coal
for fuel, and are giving you
an empty box instead.
But the corrugated cardboard is overrated.
So are the firestarters,
morning dew, and capital letters.
I eschew capital letters.
And capital punishment,
capitol hill, even Das Kapital.
Everything is overrated, even myself.
Especially that: the moon beams
on my windowsill, the look
of my hair in the morning mirror,
the way I say I love you sounds
like I hate you sounds like
what’s your name again?
Anyways, question marks are overrated,
and punctuation generally, and endings
with signifiers as obvious
as the tip of a shoelace.
And metaphors, too: overrated. The way
they explain this by way of that,
the way skilled poets fold them
like maps. The way readers unfold
them, reading the legend
and compass rose: north, south,
east, west (directions are overrated,
obviously). Writers are always trying
to understand where they’re going
rather than just getting the hell out of the way.
They never give credit to the editor,
always too busy giving themselves
four stars for effort.


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