Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, December 29, 2008


by Jon Wesick

actually a rusty dumpster
behind the Smithsonian
Soggy newspapers, broken glass,
black banana peel on its lid

The last deposit
a dripping garbage bag
coffee grounds, apple cores,
the Taliban
Before that
a broken comb tangled
with Karl Marx’s unruly hair

When the lights go out
dumpster divers crawl inside
searching for anything they can sell:
thumbscrews, Spanish boots,
Hitler’s old razor blades,
dead sparrows, backyard blast furnaces,
Herbert Hoover’s musty economics text,
vials of phlogiston, the recipe
Typhoid Mary used for ice cream,
McNamara’s board games,
Stalin’s toenail clippings,
Pol Pot’s busted stereo

Bad ideas get a quick rinse
in the waters of forgetfulness
and a fresh coat of PR.
Then grocery carts bulging
with Lysenko science,
crusades, jihads, and Thirty Years Wars
the shadowy junkmen scurry
to the marketplace
or political convention
to start a new round
of famine, disease, and war

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, Limestone Circle, The Magee Park Anthology, The Publication, Pudding, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Slipstream, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. His chapbooks have won honorable mentions twice in the San Diego Book Awards.