Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


by David Plumb

For Sgt. John Mele, 25, from Bunnell, Florida, killed in Iraq 14 September 2007, leaving a wife and a six-year-old son.

This is not a poem about romancing war
nor a lament for the death of soldiers.
I can’t speak for men and woman who die
for absolutely nothing.
For fake sheiks and oil-slicked dreams
and secret mercenary hutches
and goofy governors who swear
allegiance to gods that kill.
This is not for smirking presidents
or Cheney-Blossoms who don’t give one hoot
beyond checkbooks and pumped up hearts.
Nor Greenspan slippery rhetoric to sell a book
about how he rolled over and died.
This is not about children with empty rooms
and wives with no one to hold
or credit card debt or killing because we can
or Egyptian women who want to drive cars
or China’s McFuckits on every corner
or Christ blow up dolls, or an Indian trinket on your car mirror
or crying in your beer because you can’t afford
diapers for your parakeet or your mate.
This is not for poets who swoon possums in the night
and collect MacArthur Grants, with the line, “Me myself said.”
This poem is not about Legislators wearing Exxon tampons
tacked to retirement packages.
This poem is not even trying to clean the windshield that is you.
This is not a poem about driving cars you can’t afford.
This is not about the cell phone
you can’t put down for fear of death or loneliness.
This is not about last year’s grief, or me or
lack of confusion, or kings, or queens
or cross–eyed monkeys that hold hands
with your life these days, or is it?

David Plumb’s latest fiction book is A Slight Change in the Weather. He has worked as a paramedic, a cab driver, a, cook and tour guide. A long time San Francisco writer, he now lives in South Florida . Will Rogers said, “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Plumb says, “It depends on the parrot.”