A Bit of a Dilemma

I’m having trouble deciding on a poem to submit to Long River Run, a members-only journal of the Connecticut Poetry Society. Here’s my first choice:

Akiba Maid

She walks through the streets
With its shouting hawkers,
Video game music,
And otaku stalkers.
She arrives for work
Dressed in white lace,
Frilly undergarments,
Black shoes, and a face
That cheers up customers
After long days
Of work, or whatever
It is that they play.
Sometimes she performs,
Sometimes she serves drinks,
Sometimes she just talks
To faces turned pink,
Flushed with excitement
At talking to a girl
Who’s not on a screen,
In a book, or magazine,
Yet created by men
Out of similar girls.
These women exist
In a real fantasy world.
I can still edit this poem more, if need be, though that might make a case for sending in an earlier, more “finished” poem, instead. Recently, one of my high school classmates lost his mother to cancer, which made me think about submitting this poem, instead:
Time is a Jealous Mistress

Time is a jealous mistress
That always gets its way,
Whether it be tomorrow,
Or whether it be today.
It doesn’t give without receiving,
And it receives far more than it gives,
Yet as it passes, wounds heal,
And Life continues to live.
In typing that to the computer, I actually found two verb tense mistakes, which I have corrected, and which, in fact, give the poem more punch. Since anything I send in will be accepted, however, should I be sending in my best poetry, or should I be sending in poetry that I may not be able to get published elsewhere (not that I’ve had any luck so far)?
My third option is to submit a poem that would be included in my college poetry collection, so as to create interest in the project when it’s finished. In that case, I have a plethora of poems to choose from. My only limit is length (40 lines or less) and subject matter (can’t be “offensive,” though I’m not sure if that means it can’t be racist or sexist, or it can’t be “objectionable”–hopefully the former, but being that most of the Connecticut Poetry Society members are over forty and female, I probably won’t be sending in any of my sexually-charged poetry, anyway, as innocuous as it is).
So really, I have three problems: 1.) Which of my poems are “finished” enough to be submitted? 2.) Should I submit a poem that would have less of a chance of winning a contest, or should I submit a poem of high quality? 3.) Should I use this opportunity to promote a collection that hasn’t been published yet by submitting a poem that can only include a promotional plug if it’s been included in a collection that’s already been published?
All submissions are being accepted in electronic form, and while I have until the end of the month to send out my submission, I’d like to do so by Friday, if possible. So, what do all of you out in the blog-o-sphere think?
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3 thoughts on “A Bit of a Dilemma”

  1. Gotta be honest, bro. That first one was mondo creepy. I feel like I need a shower after reading that! There's the known, there's the unknown, and then there's the stuff that NO ONE wants to know! Ever!

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