To Ray Bradbury

Dear,

Ray

 

I don’t want to get rid of movies.

I know you’d be concerned about that.

I like movies…

Frankenstein,

Hunchback of Notre Dame,

John Wayne movies

And the myriads of movies I watch on Turner Classic Movies.

 

I don’t want Edgar Allen Poe to stop being read.

Though, we’d have a disagreement about him

I don’t consider him great literature.

But, there is a subtle respect in me

Of what can be accomplished with words.

As you see, his process is in my list

Of great writing advice.

So are you.

 

I don’t want there to be no rules to writing.

I like punctuation—a little too much.

I like capitalization—not really enough.

 

I don’t like Aldous Huxely, John Steinbeck

Or Voltaire. Yet, Aldous Huxely portrays

What I dread, John Steinbeck also,

And Voltaire solidified my country.

So, I don’t want everyone conforming to my tastes

As my tastes can be, and often are,

Wrong.

 

I’ve attempted publishing 75 times, Ray.

You at least got into Playboy magazine;—

And the myriads of other journals.

I hope you read my writing some day

In heaven— I believe you’re going to heaven

Because you seem adamant about Christ.

A gentile maybe, but one I think has a lot of wisdom.

My writing isn’t being accepted.

I get pretty letters half the time

Saying how they like it…

Just they “Can’t use it.”

What does this mean?

 

If you don’t mind my saying

It sounds an awful lot like Fahrenheit 451.

Excuse me for it being a fundamental work

In shaping my ideas—

You got me to read.

But, when I look at modern rules for writing

I see Orwell’s Newspeak.

I see Beatty arguing with Montag

Wanting to throw Melville into the flames.

I hope you don’t mind my saying so…

Sometimes you seem antagonistic toward me.

But, seventy five times attempted to get published

And I think my work seems unprotected

And out there, what should be published and isn’t.

So, I did what was logical, and went on Amazon.com.

 

I know you hate the internet, Ray.

But, there’s a lot on here to enjoy and be satisfied with.

It, like a saw,

Can be used to build a woodshed.

Or, as gruesome as it might sound,

It can be used for other, unwholesome reasons.

If traditional magazines do not take me,

Then I must do what I have to do.

And when I send out my business cards

Some force doesn’t let them ever produce a single dollar for me.

Rather, I don’t know what’s happening.

Is it my fault?

I’d think you’d be scared as hell as I am

If something you knew was a good story

Was rejected by thirteen publishers.

Furthermore, great works of poetry were rejected by twenty magazines.

Furthermore, great works of novels were rejected by twelve agents.

Furthermore, that the Art Institute got a letter from me

And didn’t reply back.

Furthermore, that I had sent to about twenty more magazines,

Had submitted queries—the fact is I can’t market worth a damn,

Nor sell food to a starving man… I’d probably end up giving him food.

Understand that’s my problem… I believe, Naively, that good writing speaks for itself.

But, it doesn’t in my generation, now does it?

 

Frankly, I see you getting angry with me

Saying I hadn’t tried hard enough.

Oh, Ray, I’ve written 22 books,

A 23rd, and a 24th are on their way…

Who knows what else.

If I were a marketer, I suppose

On book one it’d be sold,

But book 2 would never have been written.

 

Yet… I think like you,

I can be fruitful with success.

And I wonder why I’m not successful.

To the best of my knowledge I have 51 subscribers

On this blog—another attempt at gaining an audience—

I have made 200 dollars, at most,

On my writing, most of it sold to my family

Who do not give a damn about it.

 

So, I ask you, not that you are a god

Because you’re not.

You are in the grave,

Sleeping…

I ask you, what advice is there to give me

When the Reichstag is being committed by our publishing industry?

Please explain it to me. I want to know.

 

Why is Russia allowed to read my writing

And Pakistan

But American publishers don’t publish it?

That’s another unfriendly question.

It’s one I want answered.

I know it’s not my government.

It’s something else.

 

 

Please, if you like this, buy a copy of my book.

 

 

 

 

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