Friday, July 15, 2011

Me and 42opus, aka My Worst Nightmare

On December 9 2009, I submitted five poems to 42opus using their online form. This zine has a great reputation and deservedly so. They have done marvelous work over many years. I was pleased to see my submission making progress toward acceptance. There are three stages in the process, all of which you can track by returning to the submission center:

Editor 1: makes a recommendation

Editor 2: makes a recommendation

Final Recommendation: publish or not

On April 7 2010, Editor 1 finally made a recommendation on my submission. Since I did not receive a rejection letter at this time, I assumed it was positive. (Note: the submission center does not tell you the nature of the recommendation, only the date on which a recommendation was made).

On August 4 2010, Editor 2 logged in, and made a recommendation. Still no rejection letter. I waited with bated breath for the wonderful moment, when my acceptance, or I guess rejection, would finally come and ease my building sense of anticipation.

As of today, Friday, July 15, 2011, no final recommendation has ever been entered. My submission remains in limbo, almost certainly doomed. However, I admire 42opus so much that I keep clinging on, desperately and pathetically (translation: I’m a selfish bastard who wants 42opus on my résumé ... )

I have directly emailed the chief editor, Brian Leary, twice about my submission. Both times, I received no responsive. Now I simply bite my nails and wonder.

The poetry editors, if they truly exist, are Caroline Klocksiem and Sarah Vap.

The sad fact is, 42opus has virtually shut down operation. They haven’t published a fresh bit of poetry in a very long time. The last poem they published was by John Donne on October 13, 2010. Yes, that John Donne, the dead famous one who could care less about whether he gets into 42opus.

Meanwhile, I neurotically and ridiculously continue to wonder about whether I’ll ever hear back from Editor Leary. The obvious thought is, “No, you won’t, they are experiencing difficulties which are probably far more important than your petty, whiny ego.”

It’s true, something very bad might have happened to one of the editors. I truly hope not. I hope it is just a mild case of frazzle, which is totally forgivable.

Whatever happens between me and 42opus, I hope this journal gets placed in the Poetry Journal Hall of Fame. Admittedly, the Poetry Journal Hall of Fame doesn’t exist yet, but then neither does my acceptance from 42opus.

Brian Leary, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you are all right, and--


A despondent Owl


  1. It can be annoying to have poems stuck in limbo like that - it's happened to me a couple of times, though never with the update visible on their submission form....

  2. Hi, crafty green poet! Thanks for stopping by!