__Like Don Quixote’s windmills,
rhymes keep spinning in my head!
My dark-passion is to write Light Verse;
my curse, to go unread.
__I keep submitting—vain attempts!—
though earnest, judged a joke.
My Poetic License—not expired—
they’ve chosen to revoke.
__Though I’d rework, rewrite, revise
to grace some lit mag’s list,
those hateful eds—oh, they won’t budge—
“Reject!”  “Reject!” persist.
__I’m out of sync and time and ink;
I’m tired of being dissed!
I score more readers writing checks
and birthday cards to Sis!
__So …  light’s out!  
Door locked. Rhyme-Pen capped.
God knows, I can’t intuit.
I’ve tried to channel Ogden Nash.
Alas! I couldn’t do it.


Poet’s Note: The title is a reference to the Nash Rambler: American Auto 1950-1954. 



Tonia Kalouria, a former Spanish teacher and “soap” actress, is now a poet in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Her most recent—and rhyming—poems appear in Literary Veganism and Fox Hollow Stories, and two anthologies: “Quoth the Raven” and “Poems from the Lockdown.”

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12 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Dear Ms. Kalouria,
    If you’re looking for sympathy, 1) this sample shows you are capable; 2) you have picked a good target: unless you are snarky or inclined to show off your academic creds, or else work, publishers pretty much pass (present site excepted).
    If you’re seeking advice about where to turn or what to do, I’m at a loss, too. So at least you have company.

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Post here, where your abundantly obvious talents will be appreciated.

  3. jd

    Enjoyed very much for its truth
    with humor. I like the title too as I can
    relate to it. Many of my efforts materialized
    behind the wheel of a car, though not a

  4. Paul Freeman

    Dear Tonia, you’ve got naught to fear,
    Your Ogden came through loud and clear.
    Aspiring to be Mr Nash
    Inspires me too to have a bash.

  5. Tonia Kalouria

    Dear Julian, Joe, jd, Gail and Paul,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments, encouragement and acceptance.
    Actually, yours truly has fared better lately than our poor Ogden wanna-be who has not yet learned to follow the “To thine own self be true” maxim.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Tonia, I love the title and opening simile, and this witty, well wrought poem captures the angst of submitting one’s precious poetry for publishing… perfectly! A tongue-in-cheek smile of a poem. Thank you!

  7. C.B. Anderson

    So, Tonia, do you actually drive a Rambler, or just any kind of Nash? I can actually remember (barely) that brand of automobile, and I can almost here the jingle they used in their tv ads. And, yeah, editors can be tough, but you just have to persist. Eventually you will win. The idea is that every rejection is an opportunity to hone your craft, to make your poems sharper, more interesting and funnier. The real problem is that there are not nearly as many formal-friendly venues as there were ten years ago.

    • Tonia Kalouria

      Dear CB,
      No, I am not the madcap Rambler driver. Wouldn’t that be fun:-) I just used him to illustrate the fallacy of not being true to one’s self.
      Thank you for commenting.

  8. James A. Tweedie

    I recently submitted several powerful and well-crafted poems about soldiers at war to a military magazine. They thought that the rhyme, rhythm and structure distracted from the otherwise fine message and suggested I rewrite them as prose.

    And that’s how it is these days.

    I found another site yesterday that said they were not partial to poems that rhymed. Then, at the bottom of the page, perhaps a different editor added that they are very interested in formal poems such as sonnets, villanelles, etc.

    Go figure.

    Tonia, for light verse you should (if you haven’t already) submit to Lighten Up On Line, Better than Starbucks, Asses of Parnassus, WestWard Quarterly, or Light (Journal of Light Verse).

    If your light poetry is as good as “The Madcap Rambler,” and you happen to “click” with an editor, you could possibly slip one through!

    Good luck to you and give us some more!

    • Tonia Kalouria

      James, how kind of you for the tips and positive feedback. I really appreciate it. Actually, I had one poem on LUPO and another due out either June, or Sept. As for A of Parnasses, one is due out there in prox one month.
      (Was waiting to update my bio.)

      • James A. Tweedie

        Woo hoo! Congrats! When it comes to formal poetry, even small successes and affirmations are worth celebrating!

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