Natural Born Killer
You eat what you kill, was his favorite saying
and when he wasn’t on the phone trying to take
someone away from one job and get a commission
by placing them in another, he would chomp on
this rubber bit that he said kept him from biting
his tongue, and the short time I was there I learned
a lot about what kind of person I didn’t want to
become and eventually went back to school to
become a teacher so I wouldn’t have to compete
for money and work around guys like him who
were natural born killers in the war for the dollar.
After careful thought I want to thank you for rejecting my poems for your magazine. At first I was a bit disappointed, but soon I realized it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. If you had accepted some of my poems— even one—and published it/them in your magazine, I could have become famous. Famous in the sense that women might want me for more than just friendship, and given that I’m no different than any other guy, the temptation to take advantage of a given situation might have overwhelmed me. What I’m saying is that I could have easily succumbed to the pressure and done something that I would surely regret. You see, I’m a happily married man who’s never been unfaithful to his wife. If for some reason I strayed from the path and got caught… well, the consequences would be disastrous. I’ve gotten so used to my wife being around that I doubt I would be able to make it without her. Also, if you had published me and I made a lot of money, I’m not so sure that I would have spent it wisely. It’s likely that I would have bought a new, and larger house, and certainly a new car. I’ve always wanted to own a Jaguar convertible and, again, that would have proved disastrous. You see, there are a lot of crazy drivers here in San Francisco and some who even challenge others to race them. If someone had driven up along side of me, rolled down their window, and said, “Hey buddy, you wanna race?” I don’t know that I would have been able to resist. If I were driving my Jaguar convertible what probably would have happened was that I would have accepted the guy’s challenge and in an attempt to beat him, I would have spun out of control and hit a telephone pole. This would have happened because I am not a seasoned race car driver. Most of my life I’ve driven ordinary cars like Chevrolet Corollas and Dodge Darts. I would have been killed instantly in my Jaguar convertible and then my loving wife would be a widow. Yes, I must sincerely thank you for not accepting any of my poems for your magazine. Of course, there are other reasons to be thankful that you didn’t accept any of my poems, but I’ll save those for another letter. Here’s wishing you the best in your publishing endeavors and please pass along any of the above information to anyone who might be in a similar situation. That’s all for now.
(Dear Editor/s was first published in SKIVE Magazine, April 2013)
Jeffrey Zable has been publishing poetry and prose in magazines and anthologies for many moons. He’s published five chapbooks including Zable’s Fables with an introduction by the late great Beat poet Harold Norse. Present or upcoming work in Mas Tequila, Subliminal Interiors, Literary Juice, Yellow Fox Quarterly, Boston Literary Magazine, Epigraph, Owen Wister Review, and others.