Dear Linh Dinh,
We are writing with what we hope is an exciting offer: we would like your work to be included in State of the Union, the Wave Books anthology of political poems forthcoming in September 2008. We would very much like to include your poem "Eating Fried Chicken" in the anthology. State of the Union will be comprised of 50 new political works from a wide range of American writers. We feel your poem would make a vital inclusion in this book.
Although we are unable to offer any direct payment for the use of any of the poems in the anthology, Wave Books will donate all royalties to an organization that supports veterans of the war in Iraq. We will provide each poet with five copies of the finished anthology.
With all best wishes,
To which I had no choice but reply:
Hi Wave Books,
I'd gladly let you use my poem in your anthology but I can't, in good conscience, support any royalties going to the idiotic or cynical war criminals of our sick enterprise in Iraq. I have written in an essay:
"In truth, the only difference between a defense contractor and an American GI in Iraq is the size of their paychecks, since both are hired guns, willing to kill for money. What else are they fighting for? Oh yes, for our SUVs, NASCAR, exurban way of life, which is non-negotiable. It's the petroleum, Gomer. Is there no higher purpose?"
Why do we feel compelled to "support the troops" instead of their victims?!