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Poem of application for a tenure-track position

The Poet Applies for a Tenure-Track Position

October 4, 2013

Dear Search Committee, please accept
my application for Assistant Professor
                     of English. I have recently won,
                                 after years of trying,
my father's approval. When he first read
               my collection — Daddy, Daddy
& The Death of Being
— he wasn't pleased.
               But I explained elegantly, Dad,
sometimes the poem is a fiction
                               of grandiose order,

which is an idea I often try to instill
in students, building off the ideas
                    of Miss Edie Beale
in Grey Gardens — The border
between the present and past isn't clear.

Dear Search Committee, I'm queer
             and thus fabulous for a diversity
hire. My father says prepare for the fire
                            of Hell, young man.

Does your university give benefits
                            for same-sex marriages?
Okay, he's not my husband, but a fuck-
                           buddy. With any luck
you might make space for him?
                           He's a copy writer, you see,
and could easily fill that adjunct position
for teaching freshman composition.
            Dear Search Committee, please
                    accept me. My therapist
says this job would provide the change
I've been needing. And in exchange
                    for teaching one class
                              a year, all I ask
         is full travel funding
and an office with a view.
Attached you will find three letters
of support and my curriculum vitae.
          Dear Search Committee,
make haste. Carpe diem, festina lente.
You'll love me, you'll soon agree,
              the least difficult of men,
with a pedigree, just tell me when.

Bio

D. Gilson is a Ph.D. student in American literature and culture at George Washington University. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Indiana Review and The Rumpus. His chapbooks include Catch & Release, winner of the 2011 Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press and   Brit Lit   (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013). His forthcoming book Crush, with Will Stockton, comes out in April from Punctum Books.

 

 

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