The [Subtext] of a rejection email from hell (Part One)
On Wed, Oct 31, 2018, 9:58 PM Pork Shrew Press <> wrote:
Hi! [which is the appropriate prelude of passive aggression, before I unleash what has been building up in me like a virus or a tape worm, some sort of dark, Freudian repressed impulse that afflicts all literary editors as old as I—oh I know all those fucks at The New Yorker, who I'm too fucking good for by the way, feel the same way, because they have appearances to keep, but me, oh no, I'm ready to be an enfant terrible again, oh just you wait!]
Your thing is an incoherent, immature mess. I remember writing the same book myself when I was 19 [I wrote it in shit and vomit on the floor of my dorm, I considered myself a Viennese Actionist, or a Barbaric Writer à la Bolaño—I wanted to smear myself and the classics in shit and sing the national anthem out of key just like my beloved Günter Brus had, oh to recall the days when I said: epater le bourgeoisie! and meant it, now I'm just a sad lonely fuck of a yuppie living in Arizona, my god, that's where old people go to whither in the sun and whiskey and regret that only if they'd tried harder and drank less: they too could've won a Nobel, or at least a fucking Pulitzer, I mean Chabon won one of those for fuck's sake]. I was so excited about my strategies, my brilliant extasis [that's greek for Dionysian as shit—ok I was drunk as fuck, still am, or I would've spelled it correctly in Ancient Greek: ekstasis, or as Joyce would Finnegan's Wake it: eekstoicassis, as to say eek I'm a stoic sitting on my ass "as is", which is to say I'm the new fucking Diogenes! That's right, I'm living in a posh barrel now, but hey I remember Alexander when he came up to me and I said hey man, you're writing fucking sucks; and who do you think gave him the idea for the Gordian knot... me, dude], my unprecedented everything [like how no one would publish it, no one, because it was unpublishable: it was a performance art piece, an eekstoicassis with god, or the devil, or some other fucking thoughtform, some deep dark thing inside humanity, inside all of this, and that's why I knew I was onto something, definitely more than you are, because you're likely 19 just like I was, and still have hope in the world—forgo all of that, there is none, but in rejecting other writers, that's the only saving grace we have in this cruel, inhospitable world where true literary genius is forsaken].
I was wrong [I'll admit that now, I've never admitted that to anyone, well except to my pet chinchilla, he seems to understand, when no one else does]. You are wrong [because I fucking say so!]. This is practice [get an MFA why don't you, then I'll know you're serious about literary masochism, and if you really have a good pair of nuts, you'll become a literary nihilist like myself, which is to say, a literary critic, i.e. an indie publisher, really the perfect profession/hobby to tear unsuspecting writers ten new assholes], this is an exercise [in my and your own mediocrity, we are the singing, dancing shit of the world—you can quote me on that one]. This is not a thing that should be published.
Write more. And more. Then throw that away [burn it, puke on it, smear your shit on it, have sex with it, hang it out to dry so the wind may solve its equations, soak it in bathtubs of beer and cigarettes, feed it to your pet chinchilla, throw it all over your front lawn, smash holes in your neighbor's drywall when they're not home and throw it in and seal it up for the mice and squirrels to eat, read, and shit on, and read it to your grandmother if she's still alive, if she isn't: go to her grave, lay down across it and read it out loud to her ghost while masturbating and singing the national anthem off-key. All Heil Günter Brus!]. Then write more. And more. And more [write like you're writing for no one, like you're a mental patient, like everything you write is a self-created delusion and it's like Shutter Island, you think you're a detective, but SPOILER ALERT: you're actually just fucking psychotic and everyone tries to help you, but they can't, no one can, not even the devil himself]. This reads like the work of a precocious 14 year-old with no life experience [I had consensual sex with my aunt by the age of 13 à la Harold and Maude, I was shooting heroin for a living à la Lou Reed, I was in email correspondence with Irvine Welsh, we hooked up once, on a soiled mattress in Budapest, I gave Burroughs a bj, and he said I was a good lil' butt boy, and his pecker does look like a mugwump for the record, I shared a needle with Cobain, then called him a sissy and slapped him for making In Utero, I dated Lydia Lunch and she screamed at me and stuck a knife in my thigh, and I kinda liked it, though I was so high I couldn't feel it and wandered around New York bleeding for days, and snorted coke with Bret Easton Ellis using pages ripped out of his proof copy of American Psycho, and when Television was thinking about staging a reunion tour they wanted me as their publicist, and this was all before I was 19]. Go live [as I lay dying à la Faulkner], go make mistakes [but I've already made them for you], go to jail [not as if I have, though I should have, I hear the BDSM is pretty good there], go break things [like my face when you show up at my doorstep, I'm a bit of a masochist truth be told, but hey, so was Sade]. Then digest [me like a 7-Eleven nacho cheese pizza, because that's the food metaphor that closest resembles my soul, a sort of pseudo-blue-collar tetchy-sort-of-thing, high-meets-low, you know like Warhol à la Basquiat have a deformed child: which is me, I'm the best of all possible worlds—I ain't no prissy Candide with all that fucking unearned idealism], then learn, then syhnthesize [oh fuck, I smear-spelled that, but hey it's almost like synthpop meets sizing one's penis, oh wait, what the fuck am I talking about, I'm fucking drunk à la Hemingway, yeah you know what, listen to good ol' Hem—he was a real man, a real bull of a man, yeah listen to him... listen to him like "never write the same phrase twice", and "never fuck an adjective twice"... is that the meataphor. I mean is that my meat, I mean is that what meaning is for... what the fuck, I can't think anyore, maybe I should find a shotgun and kill the eeyore/eyesore somewhere in My Own Depressed Idaho... ]. Then write. Then throw that away, then write again [and fuck it: "fuck an adjective again"—they're all skanky, slutty sluts to begin with that're dirty, vile, and disgusting, just like o-so-depressed, o-so-woe-is me].
That story—the one you're gonna write in ten to fifteen years, that's the one I want to see [but fuck... I'll have hung myself by then, like a real man, not like fake ol' Hem or Hunter S. Thompson, like Ian Curtis and David Foster Wallace combined, or my liver will have given out, so lay on my grave and recite it to me—then piss and shit on my grave, I deserve it, but no jacking off and singing: Günter will have beat you to it... hahaha, get it, oh damn, hahaha, Joycean puns make my balls laugh].
[Wishing you'd just kill me already,
Dave "The Shrew" Pork