Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 29, 2009


by Carolyn Stoloff

with a bow and an apology to The Villager

The alliance presented a plan for a thoroughfare for adolescents,
a corridor down the middle of several streets
where the invading screamers could congregate.

There were four days of hearings, several lawsuits, grudges sprayed
on city walls. Meanwhile nothing changed.

The speaker still refuses to sit down.
As for night-revelers, the issue became moot, they’re still here.
And the kinky mortgage scams.

The sapling was planted as planned.
An atheist wielded the shovel. When this was announced
Smith rose and silently crossed himself.

As of now Judge U has not yet ruled,
the Governor is still breathing heavily into the phone,
and a developer declared bankruptcy bringing business to a halt.

Making matters worse, both piers collapsed.
The council member made his feelings known: ‘I’m just sick,’
he said, unabashedly holding his head in his hands.

A soft-spoken rainforest activist threatened to throw
a fit unless park benches were constructed with recycled plastic.
The couples present swore

they’d stick together in the absence of an effective solvent.
When, at the next meeting, a landlord insisted his square feet
were worth 25 million,

the announcement was met with silence.
But when the Chairperson moved to mandate
indoor bike lanes in all new buildings, the room erupted in applause.

The Chair looked every bit the proud parent.
A subway rider urged the meeting to continue to begin
expanding mass transit by allowing a passenger to enter

both doors of a train car at once, a proposal that met with 196
percent approval the last we heard, despite
the Mayor’s declaration it was an extreme remedy

that didn’t go far enough.

Carolyn Stoloff is a New York poet and painter, lover of deserts and dogs, Metropolitan Museum and trees, clouds and wildflowers. Six full-length collections and three chapbooks published, and others looking for homes.