Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 03, 2009


by Paul Hostovsky

I'm sitting here thinking
about that plane crash,
all 228 people on board
sitting there thinking
they're going to die--

the fuselage ripping apart,
the suitcases and bodies
and dinner trays flying...
the mouths opening, screaming:
We're going to die!

I imagine myself
sitting among them, thinking:
I'm gong to die...
gripping the arms of my chair
as though it were the steering wheel
of that doomed plane,
as though holding onto it tight enough might
help to steer it through to

safety... I'm sitting here
in the relative safety
of my chair, thinking,
I too am going to die,

though probably not any time soon.

We're going to die. It's a commonplace
to say that. But to scream it
gets people's attention. It's as though
that were the only way we can hear it.

Maybe we should scream it more often.

Paul Hostovsky's poems appear widely online and in print.