What not to submit to a literary magazine...

Nathaniel Tower, managing editor of Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine, is sick of Alzheimer's, death endings and masturbation in line one.

If these are the only ideas you can come up with, then please stop writing forever. Or try to write a story that combines all of them. A husband with Alzheimer’s awakens from a dream that tells him his cancerous wife is cheating on him with a trust fund kid who loves Nietzsche; she is masturbating next to the husband in bed as light bursts through the window and dust motes settle on her convulsing body; in the end, she brutally murders her lover for no reason whatsoever. That story might actually be worth reading. Oh, and make sure someone gets drunk and the devil talks to God at least once.

The full list of  'things I'm tired of seeing in lit mag submissions' is here.

Inspired by The Wasteland

Nope... Poetry isn't my forte.

Write a poem inspired by,
The Waste Land,
Sweetly among the Nightingales,
How should I cram an octopus into a string bag?
Norton's Anthology gives no instructions,
And it is impossible to say what I mean.

Sprawling at the windowsill, I gape,
Read poems much of the night, and go south,
I am frightened. I shriek, Marie,
Death and ravens drift above,
My chair scuffs the hours,
And the floor exhales fear in a handful of dust.

There dies a hidden city,
Across a bridge stretching into white fog,
A heap of broken images, when the sun sets,
The shadow of failure races to meet me,
Into the heart of night, the silence,
Living nor dead, I know nothing of rhythm.

No! Not the blue screen of death, the spinning kaleidoscope,
Which I forbid myself to see. I do not find,
The Hanging Man. How could I?
My muse is history. As midnight passes in the silicon age,
I see the moment of my greatness flicker,
The cosmos won't sing to me tonight.

Shall I suck blueberries at dawn? Walk the familiar wolf?
The magic pixels throw patterns that are not what I meant, at all,
I will rhyme a time, settle a cushion against my back,
Stroke my cup, throw off the blankets,
Bite away and pull the ripcord to digital oblivion,
When I drown, owls give no comfort.

The original poem (somewhat famous) is here.