Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, August 06, 2007



by Millie Niss

Whaddya know? This bridge is broken. This bridge was necessary for crossing the river. You can’t cross the river now on this bridge. You can’t get to the other side! That is because this bridge has fallen in the water. This is not good. As your president, I am very proud of our highway infrastructure, and it is a sad day when I see exit ramps and traffic cones crushed into rubble. But don’t worry. My good friend Mary will fix this bridge. That’s Mary Peters, my Secretary of Transportation. She has a good heart. She is joining me in praying for the bridges of America, to ask God to protect them from any future harm.

People need bridges to get to work. People need to go to work to feed their children and to promote the national economy. If this bridge does not get rebuilt, China might some day beat us economically and become a dangerous military superpower. The Chinese do not share our values. They have no respect for the American way of life. They imprison Christian pastors who dare to put God above their godless state. But do not worry. This broken bridge has been a wake-up call for America. We can no longer ignore the yellowy red menace lurking in the East.

I am proposing a new piece of legislation, the Minneapolis Bridge Disaster Relief Act of 2007, which will provide twelve billion dollars in new military and Homeland Security spending to protect us against China and Chinese-influenced sleeper cells in American cities. This bill will provide American-made weapons to Taiwan and India, put surveillance cameras in Chinese restaurants, and add everyone with the last name of Lee or Wong to the national no-fly list.

Once this bill is enacted, and I am counting on my friends in the Democrat Party to join me in getting this essential national security measure passed before Congress adjourns for its summer recess tomorrow afternoon, America will be even safer from Red Chinese terror attacks than it was before the bridge broke. You can count on me, as your commander-in-chief, to keep you and your loved ones safe from the crafty Chinese. So why don’t you pick up the phone and give your Senator or Representative a call asking him to support my bill. You can tell him the President told you to call. Or you could use that Internet thing my friend Al invented.

I just want to remind you before I get back in my helicopter: Our safety as a nation is not a political issue, it is a national issue. In the fight against global terror, there should be no party politics, no business-as-usual in Washington. I have a message to the Congress: “The people of Minneapolis are counting on you. Do not put special interests above the needs of the bridges of our Heartland.”

God Bless America and God Bless the City of Minneapolis!

Millie Niss is a poet and web artist. She has a chapbook in furniture press's PO25CENTSEM series, has had her poetry published in print in The Buffalo News, Artvoice, and other journals, and online in Unlikely Stories,, furtherfield, Big Bridge, Beehive, m.a.g. and others. Her video art and multimedia art (often done in collaboration with Martha Deed) has been widely exhibited, including at the 2006 Scope New York Art Fair and in a juried show at Harvard University's Dudley House, and has been published online in The Iowa Review Web, trAce (UK), The Museum of the Essential and Beyond That (Brazil),, etc. A collection of her electronic poetry, "Oulipoems," was part of the Electronic Literature Organizations Electronic Literature Anthology, Vol. (2006). Millie has a degree in mathematics from Columbia University and is interested in the interface between art and computer programming. Her website is, and her blog is