Voices Silenced at Birth

Voices Silenced at Birth

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

Voices Silenced at Birth

 

 

 

 

"thank you for your submission, unfortunately, we will not be using any of your poems at this 

time" 

wrote the editor, gagging on his own laughter---

knowing the discouraged poet will feel like 

slitting his tedious throat, or blowing up his cacophonous computer

(riotous sounds of stonewalled words)

 

the power of the rejection,

like a discounted advance

asking to dance and getting a coldly polite

"no thank you"

(you're too short, not Robert Redford enough or 

dressed well enough to indicate status)

and your words as well, poor panhandling prosy pitiful and plain Jane

 

"We read your submission carefully"  ( ha ha, yes, he will believe this---)

"we get so many poems, it is impossible to publish all of them"

(chortling, as the editor thinks "i love slamming doors in their pesky little

faces---)  "oh do please submit in future, we would love to read more of your 

work" (even though we didn't actually read these, we just pretended)

and now your poetic ego is upended

 

and Sylvia Plath has company---she is wherever she is now, still trying to get accepted into

Frank O'Conner's short story, writing class---

her embarrassed kids grown up without a mother, one of them

unliving in the same dimension where she found her peace, at last---"Good God Almighty,

peace at last"

a damsel of tragically unfinished business----

 

editors have the power to elate and the power to deflate----

 

and some writers undevelop

as if lacking fortuitous film

they are a photo finished

in flux

 

critics weigh in so heavily they smother the druthers

to poem.

to live

to poem

 

suicide syllables

put their mouths into ego's sheet

and no morning comes,

 

while others gloat over their dawn coffee

never sleeping,

just keeping

would be wordsmiths

 

from ever becoming.

 

 

 

erin-cilberto

9/16/17


© 2017 jacob erin-cilberto



My Review

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Featured Review

I think I'd prefer to see myself in a magazine print, and save my book for self publishing for family and friends. I have letters from many years ago when I first started writing and submitting to various publishers - I even saved the letters of rejection that read - word for word - like you stated here.

Well done, Jacob. I'll be happy with being "a would be wordsmith"!

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

there is no "would be" Kelly....you are such a good poet...
Kelly Scheppers

1 Month Ago

I appreciate that, Jacob. Thank you so much!



Reviews

WHOA! This is the most straightforward & powerful message of yours I've read so far! It's unlike you to be so blunt, but every word is so believable, for those artists with high hopes. Then there are those of us who never expected anything anyway, shooting out poems like farts that will dissipate, hopefully soon. The title is misleading & all the more powerful becuz of it. The Plath parallel is haunting & stunning in its aptness for this scenario. You remind me of the hopelessness in this quest to be published & now I remember why I never try! *sigh!* Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you for your kind and insightful words, Margie...
j.
Fantastic Jacob, love the permeation of sarcasm. Yes I have an image of editors having the small man syndrome a bit like the little sergeants bullying and belittling the new army recruits, its their little kicks for the day.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

yes, their little kicks...

thank you, andrew...
j.
I too had my rejection letter. thanks for sharing love this one. Keep sake./

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

ah so many on this end...and the worst, or best one was just one written word in quotation marks...<.. read more
Funny how I bumped into your poem when I recently received 3 rejections. Oh your echo was right on there email. I guess a would be wordsmith am I!

Regards,
Al

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

you are already a wordsmith,Al....and a very talented one...

j.
Alfred Kukitz

2 Months Ago

Thanks! Hope your watching The Vietnam War!
You struck a chord for real ... All I have ever desired is a bit of polite recognition and my writing in print for my children after me ... I have long since given up on that dream ... Everyone writes these days, and times have changed while I have not ... This is a much more profound piece than most readers will digest--much less understand ...

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

thank you for your kind words, Marv.
j.
Most art "experts" I run into are critics because they are not talented or determined enough to compete in the very subject they reside over. Basically, their lazy, self righteous, skinny jean wearing fart knockers.

But they know what their doing. At least they say they do. They don't. Their jackass's without good opinions at the most.

Enjoyed your write, and since I'm not an "expert" (jackass), it's probably a good write.

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

love your first paragraph...my sentiments exactly...
thanks for your words, Joe.
j.
I think I'd prefer to see myself in a magazine print, and save my book for self publishing for family and friends. I have letters from many years ago when I first started writing and submitting to various publishers - I even saved the letters of rejection that read - word for word - like you stated here.

Well done, Jacob. I'll be happy with being "a would be wordsmith"!

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

there is no "would be" Kelly....you are such a good poet...
Kelly Scheppers

1 Month Ago

I appreciate that, Jacob. Thank you so much!
How can art be judged? Should it be? This I find stimulating, honest and true. And then I find myself using a critics language and I remember the Oscar Wilde quote.
Still think it is excellent.
(A long poem Jacob?)

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

"less is more" yes, and usually i tend toward less...but here...just needed to be said.
than.. read more
An art student accidentally left his half eaten apple on a plinth in the students’ exam exhibition room; the examiners gave it an A+ for originality – just goes to show what they knew! Love the poetical depiction of ‘in the eye/mind of the viewer/reader’ – loved theme and the conclusion – kudos … :-)

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

thank you for your kind words, Phill...
j.
I suppose you have to put it into the context.
Every author published. Probably fifty thousand didn't get a look in. Poetry tends to be a personal thing.
Sometimes it's just in the moment that some poem touches you.

Posted 2 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Months Ago

all so true, Paul...
thank you for your words,
j.

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Added on September 16, 2017
Last Updated on September 16, 2017

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

Writing