Dear Poetry Editor,

by Sari Cunningham

Dear Poetry Editor,

I like to think of my poetry as fungus, sprouting out of the dank and fertile soil of my imagination.  You could say my writing exhibits saprophytic (unless you are a mycologist I suggest you look that word up) tendencies, in that my poems feed off of the already dead and rotting carcasses of the published endeavors of others.  I give new life to stale words.  I am an environmentalist and take recycling poetry seriously. 

You may call me a plagiarist.  I don't care.  I agonize for hours over adding or subtracting a comma. I am a martyr to my cause.  You should know, however, that I am not your average plagiarist, common as the champignon Agaricus bisporus.  In fact, I only plagiarize plagiarists, never the original authors. I am comfortably twice removed from all primary poets, and am as secure in my relationship to them as I would be kissing my second cousin. The real misfits are the original plagiarists- those depraved beasts with their tongues stuck halfway down the throats of their first cousins. I'm not that sort of devil.  I devour those parasites with relish.

Bearing this in mind, I would like you to accept for publication the five poems I am sending for your immediate gratification.  Your guidelines suggest submitting only four, so I am sure you will be thrilled to see an author with enough gumption to put in a little extra effort.  Enclosed please find “Shrooms”, “Moral Mushrooms”, “What Kind of Fungi are These”, “In the Mycologist's Summer” and “Mold Cellar”. My penchant for all things fungal should be apparent by now. 

I almost forgot to mention that I have been extensively published by the International Library of Poetry, and have received praise from everyone who sits at my coffee table and admires the anthologies (only $49.95 apiece) my poems have appeared in.




Amanita ocreata aka Destroying Angel

P.S. Please do not be alarmed when you find mushrooms germinating in your desk drawer.  I have, I confess, inoculated my letter to you with innocuous spores.  They are fascinating organisms, aren't they?