Cover Letters

My friend Paulette publishes a very beautiful magazine about food and literature and food again called Alimentum Journal (look at it. you’ll be happy). She asked me to be The Poetry Editor, for a while. Replacing the previous Illustrious Formalish poetry editor. What this means is that Paulette sends me a large envelope of submissions. They all have cover letters. I have read hundreds of cover letters now. Most look like a computer wrote them. And oddly (someone must have told them to do this, an AUTHORITY) they insert a Third Person Paragraph saying something like Esther Cohen has published poems in the following OBSCURE JOURNALS THAT YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF and a long italic list. And a few other details too. MFA’s for instance. One was long and rambling. I saved it. A midwest farmer who loves his cows. Many of their others got their MFAs and then they wrote poems with titles like The Agony of Eating (sic). So now today I HAVE TO WRITE A COVER LETTER. I googled COVER LETTERS and found thousands (!!) including one explaining The Crocodile Brain and how your message can enter (!!!!). Here’s my Cover Letter

Dear Person I Don’t Know Although I’d Probably Like to Meet You
because I like meeting people,

I hope you
like my essay:
Eight Agents
One Husband.
It’s True.

Yours

Esther Cohen
NO MFA

Esther Cohen

Let me tell you why I’m here, and why I hope you’ll join me.
I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I’m here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.

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