Cover Letter by Craig Kurtz

Cover Letter

“The better a book is, the less likely it is to sell.”
— Balzac.

The editor who reads this page
is, most likely, just half my age
and with his/her new MFA,
will qualify me démodé.

These rhyming poems, meter-writ,
are, as they say, not a good fit
for journals that hash-tag resist
and get to say I don’t exist.

The times have changed and the top spots
all go to free-verse sans-culottes
who, so to speak, cut out my tongue
for not writing like Kevin Young.

These days, most published poetry
is like 1793 —
you’re either with the Jacobins
or your trial’s done ere it begins.

Once marginalized, like frail Marat,
the marginalized now make the law
and journals like your magazine
send my work to the guillotine.

Now, even grand tomes like Ploughshares
are edited by Robespierres
and, if there’s one thing those stuffed shirts
cannot abide, it is Craig Kurtz.

The NEA funds most of them
and knows which voices to condemn —
us old reactionaries who,
impertinent, say something new.


© Craig Kurtz 2018

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Craig Kurtz has written and recorded verse since 1979. Current endeavors include Wortley Clutterbuck’s Deplorable Poems, an opera buffa in three acts ( Recent work appears in Carillon, Crannóg, Quadrant and Rattle.

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