Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, August 12, 2010


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

My teacher wrote to me:

Appreciated the take on the beer murders.
Suddenly it's all about race again, though i suspect it never went away.
Again translation.
How do we communicate the rage that has become synonymous with living here?

I tried to answer his question but fell ass-over backwards into a poem (oops)

My reply:

Disguise, disguise, disguise

One mask for when we sit on the hill, eating lunch as we watch the war rage

One mask for this and that

All the time insisting that it's bad but it could be a lot, lot worse

And now the spectacle of the victimized white person

The fat, ugly, screaming, censorious white

The angry grasping fainting clawing white

Crying because he knows that there are millions out there who would happily see his war and his lunch taken away

Steve Hellyard Swartz is Poet Laureate of Schenectady, NY. He is a frequent contributor to New Verse News. Swartz is a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Patterson Review, The Southern Indiana Review, The Kennesaw Review, and online at Best Poem and switched-on gutenberg. He is the winner of a First Place Award given by the Society of Professional Journalists for Excellence in Broadcasting. In 1990, Never Leave Nevada, a movie he wrote and directed, opened at the US Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.