I used to fancy you to be an impressive literary magazine. You used to have provocative, interesting short stories and poetry. I thought that I'd struck a gold mine when I discovered that I could read most any published story for free online; you even offered a printable format! But now that I've given a thorough investigation of your recent publications, I've been thoroughly disappointed. Every short fiction is another disastrous relationship story and your poetry more often than not tends to fall into the "contemporary bull shit" category. Your closed-minded, right-winged leftist view on current politics also fails to interest me. Was I too young when last I loyally read that I was engulfed upon your snobbery?
Let me know if this works for you, dear reader:
The Star Market
by Marie Howe
The people Jesus loved were shopping at the Star Market yesterday.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.
Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if the Star Market
had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
with the rest of them—sour milk, bad meat—
looking for cereal and spring water.
Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept
out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
and knees begging for mercy.
If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought,
could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?
(The New Yorker 1/14/2008)