Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, September 16, 2008


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

Samirah widens the holes in her rags.
These shirt . . . these pants? I never wear them again.

Yes, my name is Samirah; I wander
into doughnut shop
so hungry, I taste the smells.
They force me eat my own vomit

when I can’t keep chili peppers down
where they force in mouth. Yes, I steal
food from garbage. Yes, I do
not want say their name;

please let me point them . . . they cut my ears
and do you have tissue I can wipe
this stuff that comes from them like
bad water? Yes, what you touch hurts,

you call them scars?
Yes, I come from Indonesia
to be maid, to live in
picture of house they send

and for money I send Bunda my mother . . . she . . .
yes, I go home, no holes in food, holes in me.

A workshop Leader for The Florida Center for the Book, the first affiliate of the Library of Congress, Lucille Gang Shulklapper writes fiction and poetry. Her work has been anthologized and appears in many publications, as well as in four poetry chapbooks, What You Cannot Have; The Substance of Sunlight; Godd, It’s Not Hollywood; and In The Tunnel. Living up to traditional expectations led to work as a salesperson, model, realtor, teacher, and curriculum coordinator throughout schooling, marriage, children, and grandchildren.