Read this letter, it's something I got in the email: Dear Ian, Several weeks ago we informed you by mail that our editors wish to include your poetry in a new collection of poems written by the Best poets we have encountered. We need to hear back from you immediately if you wish to be included in the special edition . . . The Best Poems and Poets of 2002 Library of Congress ISBN 0-7951-5175-6 The Best Poems and Poets of 2002 will be among the finest quality books we have ever produced. Every aspect of publication and design will convey the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail that will go into the production of this special edition. This coffee-table quality book will feature a satin bookmarker and an "Arristock leather" cover stamped in gold. The stock itself will be a fine-milled, acid-free paper to last for generations. All edges will be finished in genuine 24K gold leaf, and quality typography will be displayed throughout. And best of all . . . this special edition will showcase the poetry of Ian Schwartz! SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW? You must proofread your poem, which appears on your Artist's Proof. Please carefully review your poem for typographical errors and make any necessary changes. The Artist's Proof also verifies that "The Fall" is your original work of art. And Ian, let me assure you, your poem remains your property--The Best Poems and Poets of 2002 is copyrighted as a compilation. The copyright notice is in your name. This means that you retain the rights to your own work of art. You must also decide if you would like to have some information about yourself and your poetry included in this elegant edition. In this way, the media and public can gain a greater awareness of your motivations, the meaning poetry has in your life, the story behind your poem, or your personal philosophical point of view. We have set aside a special biographical section in the anthology for this purpose. And although we must charge a nominal fee for this service, you are under no obligation to include this information. Your poem can be published without it if you wish. Please see your Artist's Proof for further information. In the meantime, our design department has already begun working on a distinctive layout for the poetry selected for this anthology. But remember, you must complete your Artist's Proof and reply to us as soon as possible (if you have not yet done so). And, if you wish to acquire a copy of The Best Poems and Poets of 2002 at a contributor's special pre-publication discount, please complete the appropriate information, also on the Artist's Proof. Again, congratulations. The Best Poems and Poets of 2002 promises to be the most exclusive and widely enjoyed collection of poetry we have ever published. We feel you have a special talent and we believe your poem will add to the importance and appeal of this edition. You contribution to this project is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Howard Ely Managing Editor P.S. Ian, you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. You have been selected to participate in this very special edition because of your unique vision. It is our pleasure to publish fine poetry such as yours in this historic volume. And, if you decide to order The Best Poems and Poets of 2002, we are so certain that you will love the quality of the edition and the way your poetry is presented, we can proudly offer an unconditional money-back guarantee. If for any reason you are dissatisfied, your money will be promptly refunded. You may also return the Artist's Proof we previously mailed you if you find that more convenient than ordering online. But either way, we must hear from you by May 20th if you wish to be included in this historic poetry edition. Here follows the poem (I admit it's not very good, I wrote it at least a year ago and in only half an hour): The Fall My hackles rose as the cackles grew and the sky had suddenly turned to a crimson red hue A blurry black specter plummeted to my body curling around me its grin growing broadly i heard its whisper as it dragged me into the air "I am going to take you to hell." It was then that we fell the ground rising quickly and sharply thick sand swirling mightly about me the spirit laughed as hell came into view volcanoes spewing fire so hot it was blue I was a murderer I didn't think these guys were the real deal, they invited me down to Washington after I sent this (down=d.c) but I didn't go because I thought it was a *ahem* crock of shit. I did a little searching around the site (surprise surprise poetry.com) and it turns out that the bastards were real and that I could've won 10,000 buckaroonees!! I know this poem sucks a fat one but they apparently think it's really good, I've given them the go-ahead to publish it in their book. Next time they start up this contest I'll be there with something that'll really knock their socks off. I know this post has been long but thanks for reading it.