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If Shakespeare Were Alive Today

In Fiction on February 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm

3.15.06

Dear Editor,

Attached is my poetry submission for your consideration: Venus and Adonis. I am a new writer and thought your site the perfect match for this poem. Thank you for your time in reading this.

Beware the Ides of March,

William Shakespeare

———-

6.3.06

Dear Contributor,

I deleted your submission unread, as I specifically stated on page three of the contribution guidelines that all submissions must be in Times New Roman font. In addition, I clearly stated that submissions in Old English were unacceptable.

Regards,

Olive Mae
Senior Editor
Word Rot

———-

6.4.06

Dear Editor,

I have enjoyed your online magazine, Bukowski’s Bedpan, and wanted to try submitting a poem of my own: The Phoenix and the Turtle. Thank you for your time in reading this.

Sincerely,

Will Shakespeare

———-

12.25.07

Dear Shakes,

Sorry, not for us.

Ted
Chief Ed.

———-

2.14.08

Dear Dog Without A Plot,

Attached is my poem, A Lover’s Complaint. Its lines are as tough and real as your site.

Thanks,

Will Shakespeare

———-

3.15.09

Shakesport,

You failed to inform me that this was a simultaneous submission. I heard from my buddies at 4:PM that you chucked this tired Lover’s Complaint poem at them too. You are hereby banned from submitting anything to my magazine and its affiliates, including Man Without a Face, Johnny’s Apple, Grenora Gazette, and Harpers.

Go to hell,

Max.

———-

Shakespeare read the above email that evening, sighed and took a long hit from his whiskey bottle. He looked around his apartment. It was almost empty, as his wife Anne had left him last month with their three kids for a septic tank saleman she met on MySpace.

He felt exhausted from working 14-hour days as a forklift operator, and though his brain often felt too fried to write at night, he kept at it. But maybe it was time to give up. The left half of his body was in ruins: his left eye constantly twitched, his left arm was numb, and he’d had two heart attacks in the past year. He decided to vomit out a poem on his keyboard, all about a woman who felt guilt about online shoe shopping. It was pretentious, materialistic and boring–and he thought of at least six magazine editors who would love it.

An hour later, he finished the bottle and the poem. He wrote an email:

———-

3.15.09

Dear Editor,

Attached is my poem, My Heart is in a Zappos’ Box. Whether you like this or not, I don’t give a damn.

–Shakes

———-

11.11.09

Dear Shakes,

Loved this. Attached is our standard contract. Please send us your photo and ten-word biography written in the third person. Your story will run October, 2016.

Yours,

Julie

From writing about a 180-pound bipolar wood tick, to a bear having an affair with a whore called The American Dream, Adam Graupe’s fiction has run the gamut from the strange to the bizarre. Visit his author site here.

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  1. Love this. I often have thought that if he were alive today, folks would view him as arrogant and nerdy. I laughed a lot at this!

  2. Adam: I really enjoyed this. It’s one of those pieces I read and say to myself, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” Nice job!

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