Guidelines



Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at]gmail.com.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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

by Scot Siegel


Project Number: 202048
Project Name: Recovery of Giant Garter Snake Habitat
Agency: State of California
Schedule: TBD
Terms: Lump Sum, Not To Exceed
Funding: TBD (No Stimulus Funding)
Deadline: Rolling
#

Update 5/22/09:

Project Awarded To: Cancelled


Scot Siegel is a poet and land use planner from Oregon, where he serves on the board of trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. He is the author of Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008), and Untitled Country, a chapbook due out from Pudding House Publications in 2009.
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Friday, May 29, 2009

D.C. TOUR

by Bill Costley


"They removed
Pursuit of Happiness
from their currency,
replacing it with
In God We Trust,"
observed our guide
to the ruins of D.C.,
"their Despoiled City,
useful for instruction,"
without elucidation.


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

THE GODS

by David Chorlton


The gods still meet in an operatic forest
where mist and gloom surround them
as they discuss small matters
such as who lives and who will perish.
It’s all the same to them

in their helmets and breastplates and all
the trappings of their power.
They regard mortality as a kind of weakness,

they who are immune to any virus
and protected from the wars
they ignite on a whim
with a stab of fresh lightning.
We know their names

but we can’t get rid of them
with their bad moods
and greed. Even when the votes

have been counted and they are declared
out of date, defunct and irrelevant
they won’t go away. O they say
they will change but they only

mean clothes and they’re back
in the business of fate
with baritone voices rolling
through the shadows
where they retreat to plan another

election down on Earth,
and another conflict so they
who cannot die
have others do it for them.


David Chorlton lives in Phoenix where he writes and keeps watch for the birds in his urban setting. He likes to celebrate the desert in his work, but sometimes a cautionary tone intrudes as is the case in his chapbook The Lost River, published last year by Rain Mountain Press.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HOORAH FOR SONIA, AND

by Margaret S. Mullins


Hooray for all the scruffy kids
in South Bronx public housing
Hooray for all the families
eating arroz y frijoles
Hooray for all the girls whose dads
never saw them in their prom dresses
Hooray for all the moms hanging IV's
and carrying bedpans full of shit
Hooray for all the diabetics
who skipped the cake and walked, walked, walked
Hooray for all the little girls
who read of Nancy Drew and dreamed
Hooray for Princeton, and for Yale
and little New York Catholic schools
Hooray for women who make the choice
to lead their lives so others might
Hooray for intellect finely honed
and empathy to compliment it.
Hooray for Sonia Sotomayor and
all of those who have her back.


Margaret S. Mullins splits her time between rural Maryland, where she writes, and downtown Baltimore, where she plays. She has worked in public health and renovation of old houses. Her writing has appeared in Loch Raven Review, Manorborn, Prairie Poetry, Chesapeake Reader, The Sun, and Welter. She is the editor of the upcoming Manorborn 2009 issue.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BOOM BOOM

by David Plumb


Welcome to our IPod-euphoric Idol popping
lip synching bop dong celebration.
No room for grave undertakings.
Bring them home under the canvas and stick ‘em in a hole.
My credit card expired. No time to stop.
Didn’t mean to eat four pieces of pizza.
I’m just hungry.
You know how it is in the big time.
Show some leg, a little plastic breast.
Maybe a penis shaped like a cell phone.
Anything to drop your drawers
So we can see who owns you.
Never mind where the boys are
Or the girls for that matter.
If they get caught, they’ll have pictures
without heads or maybe throats
cut, or maybe you can shoot
them for being on your lawn.
Don’t run out of gas.
Take your time.
There’s a war going on.


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.”
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Monday, May 25, 2009

CELLAR DOOR / ODE TO ADAM LAMBERT

by Lynnie Gobeille

i went to school i was very nervous , no one knew me, no one knew me
hello teacher, tell me what’s my lesson? she looked right through me
looked right through me…
and i find it hard to tell you, cause i find it hard to take
when people run in circles, it’s a mad world… it’s a very, very mad world.

I want to be the next Adam Lambert.
My poems unique in voice and style …
beamed off satellites
and sent around the world
covering every earthly mile.
Me, picked by the voter’s choice!
But with my luck?
I’d be voted off the Isle.
Perhaps I have my metaphors
and reality all confused.
I want to be Adam Lambert.
My poems to soar and rise,
make the audience stand to cheer
or weep real tears from their eyes.
I want to wear dark eyeliner,
black nail polish,
and a full length leather coat.
Walk into every room and own it
with some grand act
or words of a spectacular sort.
I would perhaps be boo’d off…..
the judges quickly dismissing me:
And all the rest of you?
My critics seated here? You’d
simply nod your heads and agree.
The audience might see… how badly
I want to be Adam Lambert.....
voting me the next runner up in poetry.
In truth, it is more likely I’d be stoned,
the critics tossing rocks and shouting:
this acts been done before.
The crowds would jeer this copy cat.
They’d bounce me out the cellar door.
Perhaps I will have to try to be
the next Billy Collins in all things poetry.
Learn to savor his words and rants
follow the formula, emulate his dance.
Or I could simply learn from Adam’s lead
strut my stuff and just be me.


Lynnie Gobeille has been published in The Sow's Ear Review, Crone’s Nest, Clear Creek Courant, The Avatar, The Prairie Home Companion, This I Believe (NPR), and The Poetry Loft (online). Two of her poems are included in The Writer’s Circle Anthology 2008. She is the Editor for The Poetry Corner in the Providence Journal South County Section, and is working on a collection of her poetry titled The Fine Art of Becoming Visible. Lives and writes in Wakefield, R.I.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

THE LONG VIEW

by Gary Beck


The short-term tenants
on the indifferent earth
greedily grubbed their way
to accumulation,
first of survival weapons,
spears, fire, meat, furs, fuel,
the primitive requirements
necessary to insure
desired continuation.

The exercise of power
won storage space
in the caves of comfort,
allowing distribution
in varied times of need,
or for public rewards
of vital commodities
for services rendered
by loyal followers.

The innovation of cities
provided greater space
for storing more goods,
permitting more resources,
regardless of the weather,
or enemy siege,
to sustain a household,
personal bodyguards,
constabulary, armies,
until one controlled many.

This is history's lesson,
only briefly contradicted
by illusions of democracy.


Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His chapbook Remembrance was published by Origami Condom Press and The Conquest of Somalia was published by Cervena Barva Press. A collection of his poetry Days of Destruction has been published in 2009 by Skive Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. He currently lives in New York City , where he's busy writing. His poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

SHADOW ON THE STREET

by Chella Courington


I find Karl Marx at Starbucks, currant scone in hand, sitting by the window. Maybe at a Dunkin’ Donuts or Waffle House. But Starbucks? Mars must be ascending in Gemini. My legs ache from squats at Gold’s Gym. First night back, hamstrings pulverized. So, Karl, that really you? Beard totally white. Eyes bluer than I remember from Economics. Mind if I sit? With his boot, he pushes out the other chair, licks a finger and wipes the plate spotless. Looking up at me, he grins.

Boom! Bags of Komodo Dragon, Sun Dried Ethiopian and Decaf House Blend go to ground, bursting on the tile floor. Masses of roasted beans bury the feet of guys drinking Ethos water and women sipping vente lattes. Spewing out of the register, blank receipts. The espresso machine splits open and steam rises from Mount St. Helens. Karl and I sit frozen: me from murdered haunches and he waiting to tell someone, I told you so.


Chella Courington holds a Doctorate in Literature from the University of South Carolina and will complete an MFA in Poetry from New England College in July. Her recent poetry appears in Not A Muse, wicked alice, The Griffin and Iguana Review. With a faint heart, she reads The New York Times and watches nightly news.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A PIG BY ANY OTHER NAME

by David Feela


The internal numeric repetition
within our new name H1N1
makes the threat more factual
than its overly literal origin,
the Swine Flu.

People won’t start to panic,
mistaking the word Pandemic
for a different strain of meaning
that culminates in mass hysteria.
And how specific we will be

when the World Heath Organization
reclassifies the virus at the threat level of six.
Six on a scale of six, with international
sickness the key to classification.
Of course, pigs are still dying

but not from the disease.
It’s the threat that pork bellies
will continue to fall
and by taking stock of our futures
we find we have no futures at all.


David Feela is a poet, free-lance writer, writing instructor, and book collector.. His work has appeared in regional and national publications, including the High Country News' "Writers on the Range," Mountain Gazette, and in the newspaper as a "Colorado Voice" for The Denver Post. He is a contributing editor and columnist for Inside/Outside Southwest and for The Four Corners Press. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press), won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas, is now available.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A CASE FOR FREE HIGHER ED

by Tyrone Nagai


Social policy-stimulus entwined,
I couldn’t borrow money from my dad.
No rainy day fund to help in a bind,
just my student loans and credit card tab.
Sheepskin in hand I started paying debt.
I’m making 30¢ more per hour.
Employers and creditors love me yet,
‘cuz I have bills piled like a tower.

I’m the perfect American worker,
a slave to financial institutions.
Would you like fries to go with your burger
or freedom to go with revolution?
I even got a raise in this abyss,
not due to smarts, but from my laziness.


Tyrone Nagai is pursuing his MFA at San Diego State University. He is also associate editor of Fiction International.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

WATERBOARDING

by John E. Carroll


Water, cold cold water
     turning the lips sickly blue
               lovely hue

surfboarding
sailboarding
skimboarding

waterboarding

Cheney’s recreation--
                    dude!

a deluge of water
pouring, relentlessly
               mercilessly on cue

The truth about 9/11
               would emerge
                    from murky, layered depths
               if Cheney were waterboarded


John E. Carroll teaches literature and critical theory at California State University, Stanislaus. He has published poems in various journals and little magazines, including Big Moon, College English, Indigena, TalkArts, among others. He is completing a collection of poems about American Indians and his Choctaw heritage.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

TROOPS SEARCH A VILLAGE

by Timothy M. Connelly


Troops swoop into the village
in helicopters loaded with supplies.
Soldiers take up positions
around the village
as the medics dispense bandages and aspirin.
The people seem happy the troops are there.
They swarm the soldiers
for free tubes of Chapstick.
The soldiers have raided the village before.
Three people are detained,
one man is taken for questioning.
The troops believe
the enemy is present in the village.
“We have good intelligence
that something is going on here,”
says the Captain.


Timothy M. Connelly has been a soldier, a reporter. He now has discovered poetry as a way of expressing his feelings about war, poverty and the human condition.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

CHENEY REDUX

by Anne G. Davies


Bush has gone back to his scrublands in Texas
He's neither visible nor audible
Considering the havoc he wreaked on the world
His decision is wholly laudable.

Not so the man who pulled the strings
Issuing directives from underground
Now Cheney holds forth on talk shows
Playing that old Conservative sound:

Colin Powell was never one of us
He's a crypto-Demo at heart
Good riddance to that turncoat Spector
I'm delighted to see him depart.
Bless dear Rush, who provides surety
That there will always be Republican purity.

I weary of hearing about torture
What's wrong with a few shocks to the scrotum?
If it produces the info we need,
We should praise our guys and promote them.

Last words from the Prince of Darkness
As he descends once more to his lair:
Only the GOP can guarantee
That Al Quaeda will remain Over There.


Anne G. Davies is a fund-raising writer by profession and a writer and versifier by avocation. Her work has been published in local and regional papers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

WORLD HEADLINES WESTERN BASTARD GHAZAL

by Diane Raptosh


Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man
Man Pretending to Fall Off Bridge Actually Falls

Mannequin Threatens to Bust Ohio Barbecue Joint
Australian Man Chases Fugitive Emu

Lebanese Asked Not to Kiss Three Times in Anti-Flu Drive
Farmers Fear Pigs May Get Swine Flu from People

Old Man Cuffed in Italy for Coke in Oranges
Osprey Loses Carp Lunch to Power Line, Causing Outage

Alabama Man Sleeps with Gun, Shoots Self
Girl Beats Back Muggers with Marching Band Baton

In Brief: Loud Sounds Scare Scrawny Folk Most
Lawnmower Saves Man from Exploding Grenade

Iraq Memo: 'Everyone Knows Someone Killed by the War'
Analysis: Churchgoers Most Likely to Back Torture

Photo Gallery: Glazier Dies by Own Nail Gun
Photo Gallery: Physician Does Her Rounds in Gaza Hospital

In Depth: Big Pharma Fouls U.S. Water Supply
Handheld Movie: Mining by Mountaintop Removal

Battling Death, Armies, and One's Own Preoccupations
View: We Are Each of Us Torturers in America

Russia's Main Steel Plant Tells Workers 'Grow Potatoes Here'
New Frog Species Abound in Madagascar

Couple Detained for Sex on Windsor Castle Lawn
Happy Serf Liberation Day

Condi Channels Nixon
Geometry is All


Diane Raptosh teaches literature and creative writing at the College of Idaho. She has published three collections of poems, Just West of Now (Guernica Editions, 1992), Labor Songs (Guernica, 1999), and Parents from a Different Alphabet: Prose Poems (Guernica, 2008). She has published widely in journals as The Los Angeles Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, New Verse News, and Women's Studies Quarterly. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in numerous anthologies in the U.S. and Canada. She recently won her third fellowship in literature from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

REPORT FROM THE NEW COMMON ERA

by Scot Siegel


If you are reading this from earth
the storm was busy while we worked

They let the dikes go you know
there was no one guarding the gates

The weather was self-effacing
but stubborn; the globe went into a funk

Some were lucky and found arable land
in the unlikeliest places

The last of the freshwater lakes
made excellent farms

We learned to digest salt grass
& lived on reverse osmosis

Everything below forty degrees
was our battery

Solar worked well for a while;
then the wind grew to hurricane pitch

Dust blew over us like a cape
and hovered for centuries –

We had to go off-grid; learned to live
with no economy

The whole race went underground
while the earth yearned to recover
The process was slow; entire tribes
disappeared while we waited

The consumers were the first to go
(we gave them proper burials)

Some said g-d,
after her three thousand year sabbatical

had returned in a flourish
to save us

But we knew better; prayer was a luxury
like books

in the beginning our skeletons
did all the work


Scot Siegel is a poet and land use planner from Oregon, where he serves on the board of trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. He is the author of Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008), and Untitled Country, a chapbook due out from Pudding House Publications in 2009.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

WHY ISN'T OBAMA?

by Bill Costley


Whenever I explain my life
to my European friends,
I say: I fought in no war,
but against war & lies
& deceptions & they nod,
instantly realizing: Yes,
we’re all anti-American,
but why isn’t Obama?


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A DIMINISHING VERSE ON DIMINISHING RETURNS

by Janice D. Soderling


My banker said, "We've millions we can spare,
And you should buy, and sell, and hedge a pair.
To back your CDOs, you just list air."

"Why work?" he said, "Invest and watch them grow,
Those fattish figures on the bottom row.
Just buy, buy, buy. It's stupid not to owe."

He spoke of "seed costs" and "returns to scale"
And how a clever girl could harvest kale
And drink champagne instead of common ale.

He oozed experience and boyish charm.
I thought a little debt would do no harm.
A little fling, then came the law's long arm.

My eyes grew glazed; my visage, wan and bleak.
I thought my jugular had sprung a leak.
The loans fell due, I stammered Urk and Eek.

Nothing helped, although I damned and prayed.
Cruel debt collectors swooped down in a raid.
No angel fluttered nimbly to my aid.

Oh, empty purse! Oh, empty glass and plate.
Oh afterthought, too little and too late.
The ball I stand behind is numbered eight.

The sweetest talk comes from a sly loan shark.
Share not my fate, oh sister, list and hark:
Flooded markets float no saving ark.

Don't fall for talk of funds and multi-blend
From oily bankers desperate to lend.
That's how a poor girl comes to a bad end.


Janice D. Soderling has previous work at New Verse News and at many print and online publications such as Glimmer Train Stories, Nthposition, Mezzo Cammin, The Chimaera, 14 x 14, Shakespeare's Monkey Revue. Forthcoming in an Other Stories anthology and at Boston Literary Magazine.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BALLAD FOR SARAH PALIN'S BABYMOMMADRAMA

by Judy Juanita


before anybody
says one word of defense
for this sweet young pale pregnant
pretty girl, can we hear an official
disclaimer? goes like this:

we regret demonizing whole generations of young black unwed females [neither pale nor pretty by white ethnocentric standards.] we regret stereotyping them as immoral dregs on public welfare rolls. we apologize for not recognizing that sexuality is a human trait not a racial trait and that teen pregnancy happened in the "best of homes" back in the day as well, before we did away with welfare & forced mothers into minimum wage jobs two and three bus rides away from their little not-pale children [I believe you called them bastards but we invented better terms- babymomma, babydaddy- that I know all about because I’m a babydaddymomma] kids left all day to watch tv and play video games unsupervised--what we call the bootiful clinton legacy. that's why some very stoopid people mistook bill for a black prez.

but that's so 80s/90s.
let’s return to late 2008
when fair virgins of the
almost-no-longer-majority
race get impregnated mysteriously
and became upright political footballs.

let's let bygones be bygones and
remember the golden-white rule:
when people of color do it, it's evil;
when whites do it, it's a badge of honor.


Judy Juanita's poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Obsidian II, Painted Bride Quarterly, LIPS, Paterson Review, Croton Review and 13th Moon. She is a playwright and teaches writing in Oakland, Calif.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

SCULPTURE, OHIO, SPRING 1970

by Mary Turzillo


March 23rd, late enough to be the 24th,
a mile away, I heard the boom,
called the cops to find out what happened.
It was the Thinker
in front of Cleveland Art Museum,
blown all to hell,
legs blasted.
Who set the dynamite?
Weathermen? or wacko kids?
Bronze doesn’t talk.

May 4, same year, I was forty miles away,
grading my Kent student’s themes.
It took only 13 seconds.
But it took a lifetime, too:
people maimed and dead, bullets through car windows,
through a young living girl,
bullets punching,
neat as the hole in binder paper,
a Don Drumm sculpture.
Who did it? Bullets tell tales
and it was ruled, months later,
a righteous shooting.
The mute witness, that tall steel Drumm,
isn’t talking, makes no judgments.
Steel doesn’t talk.

The dead are silent, too,
and in my coward’s way,
I’m a witness.
I wasn’t on campus.
I only recoiled.
As to the sculptures,
Rodin, and Drumm,
a thinking man, an abstract tower.
Bronze doesn’t breathe
And steel is mute.

It was the spring
of another American revolution;
alumni bear scars nobody sees.
We look daily on the remnants,
because we can see, we breath, we mourn.
And the sculptures are a record.
Bronze weeps verdigris,
And steel bleeds rust.


Mary Turzillo is a Kent State University Emeritus Professor. She won a 1999 Nebula for her novelette, "Mars Is no Place for Children."
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

SIZE MATTER

TWO POEMS
by Buff Whitman-Bradley


In grateful acknowledgment of Bill Holm
who first shone the light of poetry on
the humble box elder bug

i

On the arm of my lawn chair two box elder bugs
Have backed into each other for sex
I try to imagine what it would be like
If they were the size of aircraft carriers --
What thunderous coupling!

ii

In a better world aircraft carriers
Would be the size of box elder bugs
Think how minute
The jet fighters they carry would be
Think of miniscule pilots
Scrambling from below decks
To climb into microscopic cockpits
And take off on a bombing raid
Over an enemy city where
Even if their precision missiles and bombs
Go astray as they so often seem to do
And strike a wedding party or a school
The explosions are so infinitesimally small
That no one even notices
And the celebration goes on and on
Deep into the night
And classes continue until the final bell
Parents welcome their children home
After school
Families sit down to supper together
There are no empty chairs
And meanwhile the fighters have landed
Back on the U.S.S. Box Elder Bug
And after debriefing and a few beers
The wee little pilots take off
Their flight suits
Crawl into their wee little bunks
And drift off to sleep
And visiting them in their untroubled slumber
Come tiny dreams of victory


Buff Whitman-Bradley is a peace and social justice activist in Northern California. In addition to writing, he produces documentary videos and audios. With his wife Cynthia, he is co-producer/director of the award winning video Outside In, about people who visit prisoners on San Quentin's death row.
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Saturday, May 09, 2009

LOOSE, LIKE DR. SEUSS

by Kim Doyle


Lesbian, lispian, anti-Thisbe-ian lovers,
like no others. Loved their Mothers
in a peculiar tit lickin' way. That is to
say, with a fidelity that reflects ominously
on you and me, who can take ‘em or leave ‘em.

Prior poorly paisley gaylie lazy guys
kissed their fathers. It was a bother
with no tongue, they were well hung,
but all played on the other team.
What a scream; a narcissusian, nightmare dream.

Am I bein’ mean to make such reams
of mortifyin’ rhyme? The times are changin’,
marriages re-arrangin’ themselves. Let’s all bask
in a homoerotic sun that says at last, free, at last
free to be you and me.


Kim Doyle is on the other, other team. Just like having "stars on thars." What frees others frees him; a lesson from Civil Rights activity.
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Friday, May 08, 2009

GLOBALIZATION

by Robert M. Chute


Reading any newsprint from Boston
to Bombay, tuning in the leading
story on any TV news, it’s easy
to see why globalization is
the catch-word of the day as
brutality and violence seem
as common as opportunity,
the means as universal as
paving stones and bricks (bullets
by the handful for the well-to-do),
with a little petrol added to the mix
of fractious politics to prove, if fueled
by impulse, anything will burn, be turned
to the global coin of ash and smoke.


Robert M. Chute's book of poetry based on scientific articles, Reading Nature, is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
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Thursday, May 07, 2009

HEALTH CARE

by Tyrone Nagai


Add 12 months of paid leave for new mothers,
so both baby and mommy stay healthy.
Insurance that actually covers
this need exists in all modern countries.
Of course that’s assuming we fix health care,
granting insurance to all, forever.
It’s no burden for taxpayers to bare;
we all benefit from this endeavor.

Just think of young Diamante Driver.
The 12-year-old died from an abscessed tooth.
Eighty bucks to make him a survivor,
the price to extract and clean his nerve root.
Our health care system needs a redesign.
That’s what I’m talking about for ’09.


Tyrone Nagai is pursuing his MFA at San Diego State University. He is also associate editor of Fiction International.
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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

THE SUTURES

by Jennifer Fenn


The sutures still seen
Across Armenia's face,
She stares through veined eyes
At the latest U.S. president
To leave out the word "genocide".

"Never forget! 1.5 million Armenians killed!"
She cries
As crowds with placards emerge
All over the country
Like drops of blood
Trickling
From the stitched wound.

Obama urges
The most important thing now
Is to focus on the future
After these "great atrocities",
Comments like Band-Aids
Now soaked with scarlet.


Jennifer Fenn’s poetry has appeared previously in The New Verse News, National Catholic Reporter, Samsara, Black Book Press, Amaze: the Cinquain Journal and is scheduled to appear in Nomad's Choir.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

DE-CATTATION

by Bill Costley


“Cat out of bag.”

John Yoo sweats
casuistical bullets
formulating it:

If a bag collapses
& the cat gets out,
the bag

(he legalizes it:)

suffers de-cattation
& the cat’s deprived
of its bag, the bag, its cat.

(he codifies it:)

No such deprivation must occur.
The cat may retain its bag
without impunity.


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union.
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Monday, May 04, 2009

SHORTENED SCHOOL YEAR

by Scot Siegel


Due to the budget shortfall
(which is projected to continue
well into the next biennium,
and beyond…)

They’ve retired all the used books
(and our favorite senior teachers)
Replaced them with new myths
(no one is learning)

There’s no time left for knowledge
in the information age


Scot Siegel is a poet and land use planner from Oregon, where he serves on the board of trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. He is the author of Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008), and Untitled Country, a chapbook due out from Pudding House Publications in 2009.
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Sunday, May 03, 2009

KILLER ROBOTS

by Andrew Hilbert


"Killer robots and a revolution in warfare"
the headline read
accompanied by a photograph of a female's
hand bristling the metal fingers of a
killer robot.

(destruction, yes, may breed creation
but the hope for destruction funds creation.)

it looked a lot like God and Adam
touching from Heaven to Earth.
i wonder what God had in mind
when he created humans;
what did the headlines read?


Andrew Hilbert has a degree in History at Cal State Long Beach and lives in Orange County, California.
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Friday, May 01, 2009

SEE, I TOLD YOU

by Linda Lerner


fear leapt off roofs in 1930’s flashback
leaving her homeless, alone to raise two kids
when my father’s rage at his boss, a job he hated
exploded and sent her running for cover,
this housewife camouflaged a soldier whose quiet street
sudden noise turned into a combat zone:

fear rising from boiling water
kept her shutting off lights after us,
scraping crumbs off plates to seal for reuse
watering down milk and juice:

It was war---war without discharge,
no one could convince her the depression ended
decades ago, that it wasn’t an illusion
and any moment banks wouldn’t start closing
century old businesses fail, the market start plunging
and news of some bankrupt family men jumping
into death’s insurance safety net--

when something’s over doesn’t mean it’s finished;
the years were bread lines she stood on
waiting patiently for that vindication
I wish in an absurd crazy kind of way
she were here now to finally get:

see, I told you, she can’t say,
but I still hear


Linda Lerner is the author of twelve poetry collections, the most recent being Living in Dangerous Times (Pressa Press) and City Woman (March Street Press). Recent poems appear in Tribes, Onthebus, The Paterson Literary Review, The New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, and Van Gogh’s Ear. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 1995 Andrew Gettler and she began Poets on the Line, the first poetry anthology on the Net for which she received two grants for the Nam Vet Poets issue. Its anthology remains on line although new publication ceased in 2000.
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