I haven’t submitted poems anywhere for a while, although I still have batches out at various places that tend to take a few months to make their decisions – Chapman, The Rialto, Poetry London.
Over the past year or two, I’d been sending out far more poems than I used to, but I now reflect that over-zealous submission can become almost a game, with no apparent end. You end up publishing poems that aren’t your best in mediocre zines, or at least zines undiscerning enough to publish the kind of poems you sent them.
But maybe that’s wrong. Perhaps submission, and the accompanying acceptances/rejections, show you that poems you assumed had value weren’t good enough, and poems you thought unremarkable had an appeal greater than you realised.
In any case, I’m enjoying my reading material at the moment – three books simultaneously, and all brilliant:
The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly – Denis Johnson (HarperPerennial, 1995)
Poems of Fernando Pessoa – translated Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown (City Lights, 1998)
My Noiseless Entourage – Charles Simic (Harcourt 2005)