The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

“Joy is Here” is bumped to New Year’s Eve

An exchange of notes with my editor goes like this:

She: [other poet] sent me a christmas poem, so i’d like to run yours on new years eve. okay?
Me: You mean it’s more joyful than mine?
She: Not necessarily. [other poet]’s is more Christmasy.
Me: More Christmasy that a contingent and contextual look at the compromises we make to achieve joy?
She: [other poet]’s has a star in it.
Me: if i add a star somewhere in my poem can i be the christmas poem? i already have birds and a tree.
She: yours will be the perfect poem to greet the new year.
Me: What if someone shows up with a poem with party hats and champagne in it, will I get bumped again?
She: hmm. well .. let me think about that.
Me: Wait! Wait! I’m rewriting now. Mine will have a party hat. And it will have a very large acorn.
She: ok! you’re secured!

Such are the battles of literature.


  1. Fortunately no one will question your integrity as an artist. ;^)

    I think I’ll submit a poem with a party hat, champagne, black-eyed peas, a very large acorn, lcips from auld lang syne, cabbage, and an old man crossing paths with a baby. And I think i’ll add in four distinct species of local flora just for good measure. Take that, Paul. I’ll see your compromise and raise you twenty.

    Hmm, now that I think on it, I need to get some of Bon’s field peas n corn before New Year’s day. Oh and some of her fried chicken too. Just in case the world ends and I don’t get another chance. Just don’t tell her famous mama that her vegetarian daughter does it better. Oh boy.

  2. You’ll have to get your poem in quickly then! And you’ll have to assume that I was sincere. Check it out on New Year’s Eve whilst you eat your greens and blackeyeds. If you can’t get to Bon’s, try The BBQ Joint’s Caldo Verde. It’s great and all in one dish — make that bowl.

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