Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Submittable Takes Over the World

by Fred Longworth

Eventually, the business of the entire world
was done by ACCEPTED or DECLINED.
A woman would have a baby
and within minutes she’d be handed a legal form
with checkboxes for ACCEPTED or DECLINED.
Before gangbangers could shoot at
random people during drive-bys,
the targets would have to hold up one finger
signifying ACCEPTED or two fingers
denoting DECLINED.
Dating would be outlawed.
A random man would approach a random
woman and say: “How about it?”
And she would bare one breast for ACCEPTED
and, in a spirit of consummate irony,
both breasts for DECLINED.
Brain tumors couldn’t just take a hammer
and chisel and gouge their way into a skull.
No, they’d have to ask politely: “Sir,
would you like a glioblastoma multiforme?”
And the man would nod once for
ACCEPTED and twice for DECLINED.
Even death, which Dear Emily couldn’t stop for,
yet which chased her down
like a Catholic Priest in a mosh pit
of naked prepubescent boys,
would have to ask, “Emily, the carriage
is out for a run. What do you say?”
And Emily would hold up her labor
for ACCEPTED and her leisure for DECLINED.



SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Fred Longworth

restores vintage audio components for a living. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Bloodroot, California Quarterly, Centrifugal Eye, City Works, Comstock Review, Gloss: A Journal of Poetry, Pearl, Rattapallax, Spillway, and Stirring. He has a sonnet forthcoming in the formalist journal, Able Muse. He thinks too many contemporary poems hide behind their words. But shhh!—don’t tell anyone.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury