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Friday, May 06, 2016


by Phyllis Klein


   “It was more of a father-son conversation. It was personal.”
The Washington Post, April 22, 2016

And so, when the judge
gets into the cell
with the man he has just sentenced
to twenty-four hours in jail,
the man asks, “For the whole day?”
and the judge says,
“Yeah, that’s what I’m doing.”

Like a father who says,
“He’s my son and I won’t see him fall."
And a son who isn’t alone
locked down in the dark with his terror.

Because the judge has been to war, too,
and knows there are wounds
that aren’t visible. Because the man,
two decades in the military, knows
another soldier died for him in combat
and lives crushed under this,
and not only this.

And a judge can be a brother
to a man who has lost his way,
as two oak trees in a meadow
can be connected by their roots.
The way a man who has lost
his way can be a messenger
to remind us
there is so much more to know
about what’s on the inside.

Because we are so ready
to skate on the surface
of our minds. Because
we can do so much more
to be relatives in the fields        
of trees, beauty,
and devastation we call home.

Phyllis Klein believes in poetry. Her work has appeared in the Pharos of Alpha Omega Medical Society Journal,  Qarrtsiluni, Silver Birch Press, The Four Seasons Anthology, TheNewVerse.News, and is forthcoming in Crosswinds Poetry Journal and Chiron Review. She is very interested in the conversation between poets and readers of poetry. She sees artistic dialogue as an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area as a psychotherapist and poetry therapist.

Thursday, May 05, 2016


by Joan Mazza

Evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau and his colleagues have published 90 studies that prove beyond all doubt the deleterious genetic and developmental effects on wildlife of exposure to radiation from both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But all that peer-reviewed science has done little to dampen the 'official' perception of Chernobyl's silent forests as a thriving nature reserve. —The Ecologist, April 25, 2016

Thirty years after Chernobyl’s accident
spilled radiation equal to twenty Hiroshimas,
wolves, roe deer, boar, bison, and moose thrive
between abandoned apartment buildings and once-
tended fields and gardens. Animals too contaminated
to eat. Appearing to be normal, they meander
within what is left of Pripyat. Tourists travel
to photograph the haunting beauty of decaying
buildings, trees flowering in spring, ignore long-term
threats of gamma particles that enter their bodies—
silent with their sinister destruction. This zone
is an unintentional wildlife sanctuary,

while Fukushima fallout spreads eastward
across the Pacific Ocean toward the west coast
of the Americas. Southern California seaweed
holds five times the normal radiation. What this
means for other foods, for long-term human
health, we don’t yet know. The ocean maps show
the field widening, contaminating fish, plankton,
and mammals, dumping tsunami debris on islands
along the way. Another natural experiment.
Perhaps another surprise nature reserve. We wait
to see what it brings, which of the fittest survives.
No one will be excluded from this test.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Kestrel, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


by James Reiss   

Hillary Clinton by DonkeyHotey

    From Ronald
    to Donald
    to people
    who sweep all                              
away with their tricks.

     The voters
     gun toters
     scope out Reeps
     not Bo-Peeps
     while the Dems
     with ahems                      
eye Al Gore–like veeps.

     But the winner
     a grinner
     more clever
     than ever
     won’t say Trump
     on the stump                                                        
is a dirtbag—never.

     As our prez
     she says  
     she’ll drink in                              
     Abe Lincoln
     standing straight
     while we state                  
Here’s to Hillary Clinton!

Spuyten Duyvil will release James Reiss’s debut novel, When Yellow Leaves, in September, and it will publish his second novel, Façade for a Penny Arcade, in 2017. He is the author of six full-length poetry books, including The Breathers, Ten Thousand Good Mornings, and Riff on Six: New and Selected Poems. His work has appeared in such places as The Atlantic, Esquire, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, and Virginia Quarterly Review. As Professor Emeritus of English at Miami University, he is Founding Editor of Miami University Press in Oxford, Ohio. His surname rhymes with “peace.”

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


by DeWitt Clinton

I’m a really good poet, everyone reads me, everyone
Loves me more than I can even count. Just yesterday
I heard that my books are selling incredibly at all
The bookstores, really, it’s just amazing. I’m not

Surprised by this at all as I’m a really really good
Poet, I’ve been doing this for years and years.
I’ve sold I can’t count how many poems to all
The littlest of magazines, and some big shots

As well.  We’ve been getting phone calls like
Crazy, really, they want me to come read more
Of my happy and even some of my depressing
Poems. People love my poems all kinds.

I’ve sold so many of my poems, really, I know
How to sell them, have been selling, and all
Of my poet friends who used to call me friend
Now there all filing petitions saying my poetry

Isn’t that good. Which makes no sense, really
As everybody loves my work, really, I can’t
Think of anyone who doesn’t love me and love
My poetry as well. Some of my critics even

Like what I write even though the corporations
They have to write for are telling them to
Keep quiet about my poems as it’s not good
For the market but everybody everybody

Everybody loves what I do with these crazy
Lines it’s so easy, and look at who else is
Writing poetry, they can’t even write a
quatrain they're all horrible,  I’ll read my

Best poems for you tomorrow night after
I win more national prizes, almost five tonight
To be exact, people are loving me and my
Poems all over the country, it’s just amazing.

DeWitt Clinton is Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.  A few poems from a book length adaptation of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese have appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Quarterly, qarrtsiluni, Verse Wisconsin, Verse-Virtual, The Missing Slate, and at  He received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award by the Council of Wisconsin Writers. 

Monday, May 02, 2016


by George Salamon

David Cameron has rejected an attempt by the House of Lords to force the UK to take in child refugees from Europe, arguing that they are in safe countries and not comparable to those fleeing Nazi Germany. The prime minister defended his position amid a standoff between the Commons and Lords about the plight of child refugees who have already travelled to Europe from Syria and other war-torn countries. Peers first voted to amend the immigration bill to get the UK to take in 3,000 child refugees from Europe, but this was rejected by MPs earlier this week. The Lords then voted on Tuesday to ask the government to take in an unspecified number of refugees in consultation with local councils, which will be debated again by MPs next week. Alf Dubs, a Labour peer who came to Britain on the Kindertransport for Jewish children in the late 1930s, has said the government would have “probably said no” to to those fleeing the Nazis. (Photo: A family of refugees gather outside their tents at a makeshift camp in the northern border point of Idomeni, Greece. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP) —The Guardian, April 27, 2016

I was three when my parents and I scurried
Through forests of the night from Austria into Switzerland,
Where cantonal police chief Paul Grueninger
Defied federal orders and allowed 3,000 Viennese Jews
Into his Alpine paradise in 1938.
Since then, Je Suis Refugee.

The children from Syria may not be granted
My lucky toss of the dice in
Inhumanity's cruel game with humanity and
Endure  as flotsam and jetsam that has reached
Its highest total since World War Two now
That 'violence has forced 60 million from their homes.'

The refugee enjoys no amor fati, discovers no love for his destiny,
Musters no shout of "Invictus' as he struggles ashore in Greece or
Stumbles across borderland swamps in the Balkans.
The Swiss wanted Rothschildian Jews for Davos's apres-ski,
The Brits want oil-rich Arabs for Mayfair's condos.
Bleeding hearts get little respect in the
Jungle of the global economy.

To the refugee home is not where the heart is, 'though
Another's heart can become his home,
While geography offers only fragments of city
Blocks filled with borrowed lives

America showed me its good side, way back when
We wore the white hat in the West.
But refugees learn not to trust, and look for
The wormhole, secure  routes of flight and escape.
There no longer are numbers burnt on their forearms,
But the Je Suis Refugee song stuck in their throats.

George Salamon taught German language and literature at several East Coast colleges, served as business reporter and editor on a military magazine. For the past five years he has written for the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and TheNewVerse.News from St. Louis, MO.

Sunday, May 01, 2016


by Jill Crainshaw

Donald Trump was asked about his favorite Bible verse in a Thursday radio interview, and he responded by citing an Old Testament law that Jesus specifically repudiated. In the interview on news radio WHAM-1180 in Rochester, New York, host Bob Lonsberry asked Mr. Trump whether there was "a favorite Bible verse or Bible story that has informed your thinking or your character through life, sir?" Mr. Trump responded with a Mosaic law rule an "eye for an eye," mentioned in several books, most prominently Exodus 21 . . . Unfortunately, an "eye for an eye" is one of the few Mosaic Law verses that Jesus singled out in the Sermon on the Mount as overcome, by the New Covenant that His death and resurrection would seal. "You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other," Jesus says in the famous sermon Matthew 5. —RawStory, April 14, 2016. PHOTO: A billboard cartoon of Donald Trump being promoted by The Community of Saint Luke church in Auckland, New Zealand. CREDIT: The Community of Saint Luke via The Christian Post.

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried.
“Who’ll start bidding for me?”
That’s the pitch
perfect (if we believe perceptions of perfection’s
promiscuous promise)
“Do I have a deal for you!”
Rhetoric reiterated until routinized
“sharpened to a single atom” to slice,
what’s selling today
stolen tomorrow
sold again the next day.
“An eye for an eye.”
“Who’ll make it two?”
The feverish double-edged sword flashes
blinding glint
binds unsuspecting hearts and minds on
the auction block. Never
mind the cost. “Sold to the highest bidder.”

Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Her poems have appeared in *82 Review and Five Magazine and in an anthology by Wicwas Press.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


by Laura Rodley

Image source: Pinterest

It is late April and night peepers sleep;
it is too warm right now for them to weep.

They want a cool night, to turn on spring’s lathe,
awaking in the pond where wood ducks bathe.

Too warm for them and too cold for my Dad
resting in his pond of electric bed, glad

to close his eyes and breathe, oxygen on,
waiting for Rachel Maddow, nighttime fawn

who only speaks through airways, her hollow
full of lights, as though the sun she swallows;

as soon as the lights are dim, she retreats
back into the deep woods on sneakered feet,

a fawn who speaks English, siphons the news,
that now is keeping my Dad living, glued.

Laura Rodley’s New Verse News poem “Resurrection” appears in The Pushcart Prlze XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses (2013 edition). She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee,  won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.

Friday, April 29, 2016


by Sarah Sadie

“The current slump in frac sand mining has brought about new problems for residents who live near inactive mines because companies have abandoned the sites and are no longer watering huge sand piles to control silica dust. Wright noted two-thirds of the sand that is used in the hydraulic fracturing method of extracting oil and gas in the United States comes from western Wisconsin -- which has led some in the industry to call the region the ‘Saudi Arabia of Sand’.”  —, April 21, 2016. Photo: Frac sand mining operation in Wisconsin via Grassroots North Shore.

Remember before Barriques moved—
the one on Monroe, with the warped wood floors, the tables
too big or too small for our laptops, notebooks, notes and soups.
We’d go over submissions, catch up on festivals, phone calls,
calendars, email, whatever came next,
and one table over, the hummus plate overheard,
interrupted, “You’re looking  for someone speaks Spanish?
I know someone, matter of fact,
she’s native, bilingual, looking for work—”

But we were poets with no money to pay,
so no help to her. He shrugged then, “Poets?
You know, you ought to write—” he backed up. “I’m in sustainable ag. You ought to write—this fracking—nobody wants it. Out in Western Wisconsin? None of ‘em want it. But last night they had a meeting, here at the Capitol, vote taken. And no one allowed to speak. No one. What kind of a—You should write about that. About fracking. About what’s happening. And up North, with the mine. You know, people in Madison ought to get out and see, see the devastation out there—then they wouldn’t—”

We muttered something, nodding, We’re trying. Yes. We know. We know.

“You know why, right?” he asked.
“Because. They don’t want to hear it.
Whatever we’ve got to say, they just don’t want to hear it.”

Sarah Sadie’s chapbook Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes was published by Five Oaks Press in 2015 and a full-length collection We Are Traveling Through Dark at Tremendous Speeds is now out from Lit Fest Press. She teaches here and there and hosts occasional retreats for writers and other creative types.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


by Howard Winn

An image created by the artist Maurizio Cattelan of his solid-gold toilet. It is to be installed in a bathroom in the Guggenheim Museum in May. Credit Maurizio Cattelan via The New York Times, April 19, 2016.

The 18-karat gold
potty at the art museum,
entitled America in irony,
throne for one in an exclusive
rest room reserved for a
sit down shit on that
cool gold seat while out-
side the line in the gallery
waits and twitches in need
not merely to piss or defecate
but to view this elaborate
priceless commode as a
comment on the pop
art that is kitsch beyond
value summing up what
life and art has become
in the postmodern world
where ostentation and
vulgarity have triumphed.

Howard Winn's work has been published in Dalhousie Review, The Long Story, Galway Review, Descant.  Antigonish Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chaffin Review, Main Street Rag, Evansville Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, 3288 Review, Straylight Literary Magazine, and Blueline. He has a novel coming out soon from Propertius Press. His B.A. is from Vassar College. his M.A. from the Stanford University Creative Writing Program. His doctoral work was done at NYU. He is Professor of English at SUNY-Duchess.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


by Peleg Held

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by reports that Mohammad Bashir al-Ajani and his son Elyas were murdered by the militant group Islamic State which had accused them of ‘apostasy’. The deliberate murder of civilians during an armed conflict is a war crime and both those who commit them and those who order them must be brought to justice. We call on all actors involved or with interests in this conflict to use all diplomatic means possible to ensure that no more civilians – including writers – are killed.” —Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

For Mohammed Bashir al-Aani executed with his son
outside Dier Ezzor in March 2016.

They tear at the strings
and a dew falls into the bright
of the lower skies.
I hear a singing under the blue:
cisterned voices,
thickening amber, welling new
in the combs behind dropped eyes.
There is a weaver this night—
working steady, working through,
weaving strands of the silenced,
binding many to the few.

Author's note: The title is taken from a line of Paul Celan's "Praise of Distance".

Peleg Held lives in Portland, Maine with his partner and his dog Emitt. There is also the semi-feral cat, Smudge. And a kid or two. pelegheld(at)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


by David Spicer

Adapted from a DonkeyHotey caricature.

I denounce the day the ogre who promised
us the world arrived, disturbing the village’s
decorum. I witnessed his ancient resolve
as he scolded and attacked the town leaders
to the students’ cheers and drumbeats,
ignored the fact that the shylocks’ siege
had doomed us. He wanted those who
murmured against him imprisoned, chuckled
at and dismissed Vera—his experienced opponent
for Mayor—called her a typist for the shylocks.
He gestured like a conductor of a mad orchestra
in his speeches, pointed at his audiences like
an angry mentor, declared victory to thunderous
fanfare when defeat seemed certain. After we
expressed hope but asked how he’d fulfill his
guarantees, he twitched, paced the interview room,
beet-faced. The day I met him, I had returned
from singing hymns in German trenches,
an asthenic figure, searching for a hero
and ready to serve, and dazzled by his gruff
wail and white-haired pledges: free goldfish
for the children, higher wages for all, a jail cell
for the untouchable shylocks. But he offered no
solutions for our bombed houses without walls,
only those vows that tumbled from his mouth
like the fantasy sausages we loved, before the elders
voted for Vera, who destroyed him at the polls,
and he vanished into the sleepy hills he called home.

David Spicer has had poems in Yellow Mama, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, concis, Jersey Devil Press, The American Poetry Review, TheNewVerse.News, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart, is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, and is the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Monday, April 25, 2016


by Marsha Owens

Image source: Democratic Underground

the slimy egg, salted and peppered,
slurs sideways on the plate as if to plead
hold on to sanity. Then I see the sign,
whoever killed my hen may you rot in hell,
which is on everyone’s mind these days,
that is, and I had met Shakespeare before
all ruffled red and cock-sure, watched him
prance and dance around the yard, circle
the girls, cluck how he loves them like they love
just like the Donald proclaims insidious love
for his chattel, then adds oh-by-the-way
they must be punished
should their eggs get sucked into some
venomous void, and I watched him mount
the stage with bullets in his skull where eyes
should be, where the soul of Putin, we’re told,
resides, and I sip from my coffee cup the rancid
taste of deceit, I drive by rough-hewn boards
splintered around the yard make-shift
marking the territory where the wall wasn’t built
to keep the hen in whose tiny brain
and chicken feet walked right on down
to Mexico into the hot oil, stewed
into oblivion, a delicacy of chicken
bones just a few miles up the road
from hell.

Marsha Owens lives and writes in Richmond, VA, celebrates her roots in the Chesapeake Bay area, and looks forward to tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


by Alejandro Escudé

Prince reminds me to be my own prince.
The stage-man and the music he stood behind
like a god, the gold, the purple and the purple stars
under which he danced—

his music was not music when I was a boy,
it was a cathedral under which we dreamed of music,
the sound was not sound but a voice we rode
like a current of wind-guitars—

such is the way with poets; we recall
not the awards, but the bravado that protected us
from the mean people he spoke of, the cold,
the elevator that threatened to break us down
and did not, because of him.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems, My Earthbound Eye, in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


 by Earl J Wilcox

Spending way too much time
Counting iambs or rhyming
“thees” and “thous.” Zooks!
Running out of menopausal dames
and horny college students.
Best I put the pen down,
Take a stroll by the old stream.
Maybe I’ll be inspired to dish
Up a clever zinger for the nonce.
Hell. I’ve done it again!
Mumbling aloud like I write.
Gotta stop doing that crap.

Earl J Wilcox lives in South Carolina, cooks, writes, watches baseball, contributes regularly to The New Verse News.

Friday, April 22, 2016

or ELECTION 2016

by Sherry Stuart-Berman

Wild boar going into the forest at dusk to forage for food in Chianti, Italy. Credit Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times, March 7, 2016.

The Baron says: We need a wall.
Hordes of voracious wild boars
and roe deer suck
our sugary grapes, they forage
our oak and chestnut woods;
there are car accidents, huge holes
in the ground, we can’t harvest
our wine, we’re at war.

For years the hunters
preferred to unleash the dogs,
lure the swine with loaves
of bread and corn, then shoot em’.

But as you can see, folks, that’s not working.
We need steel posts, gas-fueled cannons,
electric wires, and machines to emit
high-pitched frequencies
only animals can hear.
Let’s make Chianti great again!

Sherry Stuart-Berman is a social worker and therapist working in community mental health.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Earth’s Daughters, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Fifth Review, Atticus Review, Knot Magazine, and the anthologies, Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai, 2 Horatio, and Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books. She lives in New York with her husband and son.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


by Rick Mullin

April 19, 2016

It burned for hours on the Internet,
the skyline of Manhattan lost behind
a meadow ghost of plodding smoke, regret,
despair, ennui and memory combined.

I watched it at my desk. I shared the link,
anticipating mayhem on the Path
to Hoboken, a donnybrook outside
the Railhead Bar, a cavalcade of wrath
and rank confusion. Madness. Suicide.
The Erie Lackawanna on the brink

of nothing, I would learn at 5 o’clock.
An unremarkable commute. The crowd
was not in crisis mode. The normal shock
and shuffle led upstairs to where no cloud
of earthly origin drove Jerseyans to drink.

Rick Mullin's new poetry collection is Stignatz & the User of Vicenza.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


by Ed Goodell

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP/Corbis via New York Magazine

a dramatic dialogue
dedicated to "Lyin’" Ted Cruz
and that "Sniveling Coward," Donald Trump

Speaker 1

Did Jupiter blink when the sun slid low
In the fall of a savage year?
Or was it something else, a weight, I fear,
That subdued what truths we did know?

Speaker 2 
Your concerns are of no concern to me,
Less real than an effervescence.
This purchase you seek bespeaks no presence –
Let us trust in fortuity!

Speaker 1

I never questioned the unintended,
Nor held certainty above chance;
But this is head-knocking, not providence:
Little fists, duress, lies tendered.

Speaker 2 
Trifles trifling! Change inevitable!
These old gods – we’d never progress!
From a future of ease you would digress,
Your plaints most plainly pitiful.


New alliances forming, landscapes shifting,
Nestlings stay nested as trees take wing;
For November winds bring indefinite things
When the leaves are adrift and drifting.

Ed Goodell is a teacher of English and Journalism at Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia. When not in Jakarta, he makes his home in Olympia, Wa.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


by Gary Beck

“In the United States of America there are companies that profit if you go to jail. These corporations spent over $45 million in lobbying to make sure when you get sent to jail, you go to their jails. They are so good at this that there was a 40% increase of private prison detainees between 2002-2012. They are currently outpacing state and federally funded prisons. Yet there is no evidence that there are any savings in the use of private prisons. . . . Stewart Detention Center (SDC) in Lumpkin, Georgia, is one of the largest immigration detention facilities in the United States with the capacity to jail 1,752 people. Although the facility is owned by Stewart County and is contracted as an IGSA (Intergovernmental Service Agreements), the facility is actually operated by CCA. SDC houses immigration violation detainees who are mainly Hispanic, from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and had the highest count of inmates partly because of its capacity. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents detain men, women and children suspected of violating civil immigration laws at these facilities. Most of those held at the 250 sites nationwide are illegal immigrants awaiting deportation, but some green card holders, asylum seekers and others are also there. A recent report on conditions in immigrant detention centers such as Stewart finds a systematic and ongoing failure by the government to adequately inspect facilities run by public and private contractors. The report entitled 'Lives in Peril: How Ineffective Inspections Make ICE Complicit in Immigration Detention Abuse,' alleges a pattern of basic human rights violations leading to deaths, suicides, violence and sexual assaults in facilities that were given a clean bill of health by federal inspectors.” —Father Jeremiah J. McCarthy, Southern Cross, March 16, 2016

While Chris Matthews grilled Trump during the most recent townhall, the GOP candidate uttered one of many outrageous statements regarding the country’s prison system that went unchallenged and largely unnoticed. “I do think we can do a lot of privatizations, and private prisons it seems to work a lot better,” said Trump when asked how he planned to reform the country’s prison system.Matthews didn’t ask Trump to elaborate or explain why he believes giving prisons a profit motive to lock people up is a good idea. But the fact of the matter is that the private prison boom in America has been so disastrous that even members of the Republican party have began speaking out against them. —Raw Story, April 3, 2016 
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group avoided a combined $113 million in federal income taxes in 2015 alone, according to an analysis of federal financial filings by the racial and economic justice group Enlace. The prison business is booming despite efforts to reduce the nation's prison population, which has exploded in recent decades and forced the government to contract with private prison companies to meet demand. Last year, CCA reported $222 million in net profits, and GEO Group reported $139 million. CCA and GEO Group have enjoyed increased profits per prisoner housed in their facilities since 2012, when both companies began converting themselves into special real estate trusts that are exempt from the federal corporate income tax, at least in the eyes of the IRS. —Truthout, April 8, 2016.

Crime, more violent,
more sophisticated
innovates new ways
to injure the helpless,
defraud the innocent.
Protection is haphazard,
except for the privileged
and punishment is futile
without rehabilitation,
meaningful alternatives.
So the penal industry thrives
as other businesses go broke,
leaving citizens abandoned
on vulnerable streets.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. He has published chapbooks of poetry (Days of Destruction, ExpectationsDawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, DisplaysConditioned Response, and Resonance) and fiction (A Glimpse of Youth). Fault Lines, Perceptions, Tremors and Perturbations will be published by Winter Goose Publishing;  A Glimpse of Youth by Sweatshoppe Publications. His novels include Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Acts of Defiance (Artema Press), and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions; Now I Accuse and Other Stories by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. He currently lives in New York City.

Monday, April 18, 2016


by James Penha

“You’ll see people complaining that the media doesn’t give as much prominence to terrorism atrocities outside of Western Europe as it does to those that take place in cities like Paris or Brussels. The data shows it is much, much harder to get people to read those stories.” 
—Martin Belam, Medium, March 28, 2016

I shall always New York. And on Marathon Day I stand again
with Boston, and #BlackLivesMatter in every Charleston nightly.
Bien sûr je suis Paris parce que j’aime Paris chaque instant,
chaque moment de l'année. Bruxelles?  Bruxelles est assez
de français pour moi d'être Bruxelles maar ook
Vlaams naar Brussel elk moment van het jaar.
Last summer I devoured simit and baklava at Taksim windows
and petted sprawled dogs in the shade of the Obelisks: İstanbul'u
(but to Ankara I have never been).
Part of me must be Lahore. Remember? it was Easter after all
although I cannot find a timely # for that attack 3 weeks ago
(#PeshawarAttack impertinent; #PakistanBleeding obsolete) and
if میں نے پاکستان تھے whenever a bomb explodes in Pakistan
how to find the time to face Java and Bali?
islands where I love a Muslim whose faith in  الله 
is sighted darkly at every Western checkpoint, mall, hotel,
monitored whitely by attendants on Southwest Airlines,
and so I will—must—be Aleppo, Hit and Lashkar Gah 
walking dead from graves cracked open by exceptional shocks
of retribution and survival 
of the selfish.

James Penha edits TheNewVerse.News .

Sunday, April 17, 2016


by Gil Hoy

In buildings along the park, New York University students and workers pressed against windows to watch Senator Bernie Sanders and the vast crowd below on the chilly night. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times, April 13, 2016.

Idealism and authenticity
speak to river crowds.

Huddled hopeful men,
women, children,
Some old, mostly young,
mostly middle class;

They've come to gaze
into his eyes, to look through
Lens bridge and frame—
wanting to believe again;

To drink the speak
of a political revolution
Where everyone is worthy;

Listen to unfeigned songs from
the white-stranded consistent

Wrinkled doors of a skinny,
slight, only-man who dares to
Challenge the status quo;

The speaker's crescendo
voice rises, then falls, cracks from
Human fatigue, then rises again,
just before he exits the stage.

Gil Hoy is a Boston trial lawyer and is currently studying poetry at Boston University, through its Evergreen program, where he previously received a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. Hoy received an MA in Government from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy's poetry has appeared (or is scheduled for publication) most recently in Right Hand Pointing-One Sentence Poems, The Potomac, Clark Street ReviewTheNewVerse.News and The Penmen Review.