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Looking For An Agent
by Gail White

You wouldn’t think there were so many people
with a novel tucked in a box under the bed
or in two computer folders and a flash drive,
or not yet written, but plotted in their head,

but there must be millions of ‘em. Way too many
for publishers to look at. Hence the need
for an agent. Hence the urgency to convince one
to stop the clock and give your book a read.

So you buy a book on how to find an agent.
It lists two hundred, so you pick twenty-five
and then twenty-five more, and then you get discouraged
and wish you’d never learned to write or drive

or eat with a fork. You practice come-on letters.
“My YA novel is based on Charlotte Mew.”
But they say it’s not what they’re looking for, or else
it IS what they’re looking for, but not from you.

Maybe you shouldn’t be trying to write for money.
Wouldn’t you rather write poetry anyway?
You loved it once. If you only want to be famous
you can write stuff that doesn’t have to pay…

No, don’t get mad. I was only thinking out loud.
Keep trying, keep trying. One should never despair.
Miracles happen. People do strike oil
in their yard. Or lightning strikes them. Life is fair.