Editors are not your friends

The editor was never your friend

Once, twice, published by Rattle,
not even the magazine,
just the Poets Respond blog,
still paid one hundred bucks,
and I considered this
my greatest literary achievement
having persisted for several years
until Timothy Green said he loved
something I had written.

But Timothy Green was never my friend,
though I defended him from accusations
of racism, of misogyny, of being an asshole,
Timothy Green was never my friend.

He denies global warming,
so why should I care?
He probably voted for Trump,
so why should I care?
Maybe he is indeed everything
people accuse him of being,
how should I know?
I was just defending someone
I considered to be a friend,
but when the chips came down
I should not have expected the same.

His favorite poet was a woman
he probably wanted to fuck,
so he sent her chapbook
to every subscriber.
When I had an argument with her
and she called me misogynist,
for not falling in love
on the internet,
he dropped me like a bag of rocks
into the river of the accused
where he fished regularly
for more drama-tinged poets
to drive the dialogue and currency
of more subscription clicks.

Timothy Green was never my friend,
and that is fine with me,
but people still hold that over my head
like a piano ready to drop,
just as they hold it over his head
like the billy club engraved
with jealous names.

Hello, Jesus. Hello, Peter.
Hello, Binders Full of Women.
Hello, Rachel. Hello, Leza.
Hello, Heather. Hello, long list
of bitches who wish
to stand on each others backs
for the sunlit warmth
of attention on your faces.

I have not murdered anyone.
I have not raped anyone.
I have not even held a grudge
for longer than a week.
Perhaps if I had, I could have
won the Rattle Chapbook Prize,
or at least made it into print
to become one of the few
the editor used as proof
of his egalitarian tastes,
while the idiots clamored
to stab themselves in their throats
with the razor
they fashioned from my very name.

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