Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


by Chris Vierck

The tv crackles to life and the first word
I hear is unthinkable, repeated twice,
said low and grim the way a voice-over
in a documentary might say the Titanic
was deemed unsinkable. Here we go again.
Something's happened. Something big.
The darkened tv slowly flickers and fades in.

Outside, the nor'easter is ripping down our trees
and the waters are flooding New York's tunnels,
the sky itself has taken to a howling rage
but this disaster is clearly made by man,
and this time no one can disagree--

33 confirmed dead

The number scrolls across the screen
without a flicker, under a commercial
for shaving cream that makes your follicles
stand up straight for the slicing down,
and my first thought is-- another bombing in Iraq,
our soldiers perhaps in the emerald city--
but it turns out different as my eyes follow
the scroll along; 33 dead at Virginia Tech,
good old VT, 33 students shot
after being chained into their class
how many years after Columbine?
how many years after McDonalds
a certain tower in Texas
and the latest postal spree?


The leaky red faucets drippin again.
All it takes is one man and his armory.

Chris Vierck is a poet who lives and writes in North Carolina.