Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


by Michael Shorb

Celebrating synapses of dubious
authenticity the upcoming
vote in the Congress of Clowns
heavily lobbied by well-dressed and
well-endowed slaves of
the meat and sugar industries-

Investment strategies are swept from
coffer tables of the rich and fatuous,
ground into floors of the Age of Reason-

Caught in the maw of global
warming the rabbit-eyed wetlands
shrink to a torrid vanishing point.
That's not fair in the witch's mirror
or the evaporating glacier
or anywhere else by the time
dusty African villagers starve and
the last light bulb for 100
miles flickers out-

But the sermon's been canceled in favor
of 24-hour barbecue and polar
bears smoke cigarettes in the shade
of Alaskan taverns and you,
if you carry a six figure
mortgage, watch yourself-

they're itching for a fight.

Michael Shorb's work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Nation, Michigan Quarterly Review, California Quarterly, and The Sun. He writes frequently about political, historical and environmental issues, and lives in San Francisco, CA.