Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer; if one of
those bottles should happen to fall, 98 bottles of beer on the
wall. 98 bottles of beer on the wall… And what seemed like
98 campers piled in the nauseating yellow bus, pushing and
punching one another, going on some stupid field trip. God,
he hated camp. Years before he reached adolescence he
wanted to just curl up in his room with the door shut. Well,
he's grown now, he's got his own apartment, and for seven
months he actually held a job as a stock boy in a huge
discount store. Too many people there, half of them asking
him questions, the other half pushing some brat in a
stroller. At least they taught him how to stack and balance.
99 bottles of beer on the wall… Hell, 99 bottles don't even
scratch the surface.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: