Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 119 in August, 2009.
Dear Barney Rosset,
I have a sheepish request. "[antipasto à go go]," which you ran in this issue (the beet-beat poem), I regard as something between a calling card and a trick pony; it leaves me equal parts proud and chagrined. It started out as an extended one-liner, grew up into a real poem, morphed into an actual monolog, in stanza form (a hat trick of its own).
To cut to the chase, as presented to Evergreen Review, to me the poem still had a residual low-grade cuteness problem.
I am attaching a revision, which adjusts the body of the poem (leaving aside the two opening and two closing stanzas). Nothing is altered in the rudiments; each stanza is still recognizably itself. But, I believe the narrator takes over in a way subtly lacking before. (For what it's worth, before sending it, after a couple of feedback pals agreed, I sat on the revision for a week to make sure the changes didn't move around at night.)
With continuing thanks,
Kurt Lipschutz (klipschutz)
Note: The revision that accompanied this letter is the version now on view in this issue.