If I were an editor at Silver Birch Press
by Steven Deutsch
If I were an editor at Silver Birch Press and read
I would be perplexed.
Is that the poem?
Or is it perhaps the title of the poem?
Have those persnickety, hyper-modern line breaks,
often ill-chosen and incomprehensible,
finally made their way to the title?
And who would ever think to use “auspicious” in the title of a poem?
Favorable, fortunate, having omens of success,
according to my well-worn Chambers Dictionary.
But shouldn’t I, as editor, be the one
to decide what is and is not auspicious?
But if I am editor and author
would I not have taken my proclivities to account
before making that audacious choice?
My head spins—it’s as puzzling as postmodernism.
There is no denying
the poetry of the words.
The repetitive “p” propels the reader
swiftly and seamlessly through the last three lines.
“Publishing” itself—for which
the encapsulated “b”
is a visual echo of all those “p’s,”
is more than mere inversion.
How sweet to find a need for it!
And how could I not notice
the playful near-rhyme
of “my” and “ploy”
that ties the imaginative foray
so tightly from front to back.
If I were king of the word,
I would soothe away a thousand sorrows.
But while I wait for my uncertain anointment,
perhaps an editor at Silver Birch Press
might find in my wordplay,
a reason to smile, or to chuckle
or, poetry be praised—to laugh.
PHOTO: The author/editor in his lair, surrounded by the tools of his trade.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: : First, I thought, cool prompt. They are going to get a wide range of responses. Then, I thought, who comes up with these prompts? Then I thought, what a cool job. And, that gave me a way into the poem.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steven Deutsch, a semi-retired practitioner of fluid mechanics as applied to mechanical hearts and valves, lives a quiet life in State College, Pennsylvania, with his artist wife Karen. He has published both poetry and short fiction—most recently with Silver Birch Press.