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Christian fiction is sometimes derided because it’s too much about the message and not enough about the story. Yeah, yeah. I’ve thought it too. But after receiving a couple rejections for my poetry this week, my perspective has changed a bit.

At least Christian fiction has a message.

Maybe I’m just sucking on sour grapes, but at the risk of sounding whiny, I’ll continue.

I don’t like fiction or poetry (or any art, for that matter) that has no point.

A story or poem that has no redemptive message and just leaves me feeling depressed and/or creeped out = NO POINT.

A story or poem that’s so cryptic and cerebral that only the author (if even that) can garner any insight from it = NO POINT. (Admittedly, I commit this one myself.)

A story or poem that’s written for the purpose of being “edgy” = NO POINT.

Here are the submission guidelines for one of the ezines I submitted to this week. “(We) publish the forceful voices of up-and-coming writers and poets. We like edgy. We like challenging. We like unique voices.”

(Funny, “edgy” in Christian fiction is portraying a passionate kiss. Edgy in the secular realm is talking about masturbation.)

Okay, so I’m now officially a bit tired of the word “edgy”. As a writer I ought not strive to be edgy but to be truthful. If the truth I present contains some hard edges, so be it.

Partly because I’m too lazy to submit somewhere else, partly because I’m whining, and partly because I’m lazy, here’s one of the non-edgy enough poems that was rejected.

by Jessica Thomas

There’s a thin film
around her

A translucent
saliva-like web
her blood pumper.

She wants to strip it.

She keeps it.

She holds it in her hands

and wiggles
her fingers
the ventricle.

It bursts.

a hole
in her chest.

A sticky film
in the cavity
it left.

Maybe a little cryptic, and maybe not my best poem, but I like the imagery. What do you think? Feel free to offer harsh criticism. It might just be a bad poem.