Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dear saga,

ZOMG what a night!
 is how I imagine you always begin, pretty much, if not in so many words. But you might also begin
ZOMG let's go see all the grandkids in their Halloween costumery!
ZOMG why don't I wait until way late in the day to ascertain if the manuscripts I need to send out, just at the deadline, can be submitted online?
ZOMG the postal robot is temporarily not in service!
--all of which beginnings are how, dear saga, we ended up driving the streets, the mean streets--the empty, mean, deserted late-night streets--of the south valley in the half hour before midnight, looking for a post office with a working postal robot.

Exiting the nearest post office, the one with the "temporarily not in service" screen:
Me:  Those cussing cusshead cusses that won't let you submit online!

The historian: [supportive. mild.] It's ridiculous.

Me: I know! Why won't they?

The historian: [semper supportive.] ... Seems like they should.

Me:  I wish they would just make up their minds. I wish they would just all agree to ... like, I wish there would just be an agreement...

Historian: [laughs]

Me:  --that sounds like poets, right? They would just agree to a--

Historian: --a national standard?

As we drove the streets--the cursed, damned streets--of the south valley in search of a post office with a working postal robot, I imagined a scenario--any of several possible scenarios, dear saga--in which we would not be driving the &c &c &c streets &c. Perhaps, for instance, I could have checked the list of submissions at an earlier point in the day. Or last week. Or, oh, a month ago when I first made the list. I could have made the copies, and put them in their darling envelopes, and we could have mailed them on the way home from the Halloweenery. That would have been sensible.

But without the unsensible, the foolish, the unplanned, the last-minute and the slap-dash, we would not have had you, dear saga, nor the deep relief of finding a working postal robot in a post office on State Street, nor the satisfaction of mailing the errant manuscripts to their fate, their destination, their just reward, and all with eleven minutes to spare before midnight!

Dear saga, you are my fate, my destination and my just reward: a poet with an historian haunting the post offices of the city, her manuscripts finally winging their way, and just under the wire.

You are epic,



  1. I love so much about this
    1-There are no postal robots in the UK why? But we do have red and GOLD postboxes, so I guess that is a bonus!

  2. And 2- A national standard for poets! Why not? And you have just the skill set to make that happen!

  3. Anonymous5:42 PM

    A national standard for poets.... I am smirking.

  4. Anonymous5:43 PM

    A national standard for poets..... I am smirking.

  5. I love this post. The support. The sensibility. The manuscripts winging their way under the wire.

  6. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Why did that publish twice....maybe we need a national standard for blog replying. Someone should look into that.

  7. This happened to me. What I did? Said, forget you. Then I noticed one of the contests extended the deadline.
    One day, Lisa B., it will all be online. All of it!
    (It was weird though. I can't remember the last time I couldn't submit manuscripts.)
    Good luck to you. You deserve great reward for your great troubles! (and for your great poems.)



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