Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, November 30, 2010


by Roxanne Hoffman

Roxanne Hoffman worked on Wall Street, now answers a patient hotline for a New York home healthcare provider. Her words can be found on and off the net in such journals as Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, Clockwise Cat, Danse Macabre, The Fib Review, Hospital Drive, Lucid Rhythms, Mobius: The Poetry Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine, and Shaking Like A Mountain; the indie flick Love And The Vampire; and the anthologies The Bandana Republic: A Literary Anthology by Gang Members and their Affiliates (Soft Skull Press), Love After 70 (Wising Up Press), and  It All Changed In An Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure (Harper Perennial). She and her husband own the small press, Poets Wear Prada

Monday, November 29, 2010


by Bonnie Naradzay

This is a story of heaped-up corpses, bagged in sacks.
Masked workers spray everything with a bleach solution.
Bodies, marked with cardboard tags, are piled up in stacks.

A bulldozer covers them, make a mounded earth cushion.
In Port au Prince, candidates woo voters with music and floats.
Masked workers spray everything with a bleach solution.

The streets throng with supporters singing jingles for votes
Political rallies may end with gunfire, voodoo and fights.
In Port au Prince, candidates woo voters with music and floats.

Cholera patrols the streets at night under sporadic electric lights.
Death accompanies earthquakes, cholera, and torrential rain.
Political rallies may end with gunfire, voodoo and fights.

UN troops patrol in trucks, their half-hearted greetings in vain.
Half-naked men from the slums wade into sewage to clean it.
Death accompanies earthquakes, cholera, and torrential rain.

Candidates dance, shout jingles, collide near mounded graves.
This is a story of heaped-up corpses, bagged in sacks.
Half-naked men from the slums wade into sewage to clean it.
Bodies, marked with cardboard tags, are piled up in stacks.

Bonnie Naradzay lives in the Washington DC area, earned her MFA in poetry from Stonecoast, University of Southern Maine, and has published in many print and online journals.

Sunday, November 28, 2010



Saturday, November 27, 2010


by Judith Terzi

                        ––starting with a line by Jean de Sponde

Give me a place to stand, Archimedes said...
The x-ray tango begins. We all stand,
lift our arms to Lords of the shadow standard.
They call out, "Show more." It's a one-night stand.
Anaphores of poets are unveiled to standing ovations,
jealousies notwithstanding. And cellulite of pundits,
scars from rebuilt parts withstand the invention.
The nipple rings of history stand out in the gaze.
Sartre stood for "L'enfer, c'est les autres."
Will shadows spot the misunderstood, or know
who has stood with philosophers at Café de Flore,
who has inhaled Gauloises, exhaled upstanding isms?
Stand-in starlets, their implants revealed, cry,
and children stand who have tried and failed to fly.

Judith Terzi is the author of two chapbooks, The Road to Oxnard (Pudding House contest finalist, 2010) and Sharing Tabouli (Finishing Line, 2011). Her poetry has appeared widely in print and online and has been nominated for the Best of the Net and Best of the Web anthologies. She taught high school French for many years in Pasadena, CA where she currently lives and writes.


Friday, November 26, 2010


by Iris Litt

    “That little wire in some bra cups might…set off security buzzers.”

They think my boobs are booby-trapped!
The metal-detector thinks I should be zapped.
They say I should not wear my underwire.
True, each of mine could hide a good-size bomb.
A 38D bomb!
My clothes are regulation sleek, my hair appropriately matted down
but if I defy this new one, I’ll get patted down.
I refuse to apologize for their size
but I’ll comply.  I need to fly.
I’ll convince the screener of their purity.
I’ll wear my wireless bra,
at least until I’m through security.

Iris Litt’s most recent book of poetry is What I Wanted to Say from Shivastan Publishing. An earlier book of poetry, Word Love,  was published by Cosmic Trend Publications.  She has had poems in many literary magazines including Onthebus, Confrontation, Hiram Poetry Review, The  New Renaissance, Asphodel, Poetry Now, Central Park, Icarus, The Rambunctious Review, Pearl, The Ledge, Earth's Daughters, Poet Lore, Scholastic, and Atlantic Monthly (special college edition).  She has had short stories in Travellers Tales, Prima Materia, Out Of The Catskills,  and The Second Word Thursdays Anthology; and articles in Pacific Coast Journal, Writer's Digest, and The Writer.  She teaches writing workshops in Woodstock, NY, and has taught creative writing at Bard College,  SUNY/Ulster, Arts Society of Kingston, Writers in the Mountains, Educational Alliance, New York Public Library, and Marble Collegiate Church. She lives in Woodstock and in New York City’s Greenwich Village.


by Earl J. Wilcox

Maker of all things, we thank you
For free balloons and cookies at the supermarket
For good pitchers who win the Cy Young award
For the Mormon Tabernacle choir
For leaf blowers replacing rakes
For pecan and pumpkin pies
For apples green and red
For write-in candidates
For Chevrolet trucks
For pinot grigio
For poetry.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


With deep appreciation and regard for the hundreds of poets whose work has appeared here this year, The New Verse News is proud to announce that it has nominated the following poems from its pages:

1. For the Sundress Publications Best of the Net 2010 Awards:

RUBBLE DREAM by Mary Krane Derr
JIHADJANE by Anne Harding Woodworth
FIFTY FOOT OAK by Laura Rodley

2. For the Dzanc Books Best of the Web 2011 Awards:

ABRACADABRA by James Penha

3. For The Pushcart Prize 2011:

LABOR DAY 2010 by Lillian Baker Kennedy
LEEWARD by Elizabeth Swados

Editor's Note: Mary K. Derr hopes her nominated poem will encourage readers to remember that Haitians still need help. She suggests donations to  Food for the Poor  and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


by Len Kuntz

The girl at the river scoops up
handfuls of
warm soup,
brewed black by the beaten
Sudan sun.

She knows how lucky she is, this thirsty child.
Her mother told her there was no water to drink anywhere,
that it had all gone bad.

Len Kuntz lives on a lake in rural Washington State with his wife, son, an eagle and three pesky beavers.  His short fiction appears widely in print and online at such places as Vis A Tergo, Clutching At Straws, and Amphibi.Us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


by David Chorlton

Join Amnesty International's Write for Rights - December 4-12, 2010

First stop Missouri, USA, to give Reggie Clemons
some hope sealed into envelopes
from people he doesn’t know
who can’t envision
the bed in which he sleeps to dream
each night of the execution
chamber. Then it’s off to a town in Romania
with a bundle for the mayor
intended to persuade him that the Roma
are human and need houses with doors
to close behind them
even when they sing at open windows. After that,
Iraq, with a sack full of questions
as to why a certain Mr. Ahmad
has been alone in a cell for ten years
without anyone telling
anyone else
why this should happen to anyone
anywhere. There’s never time to rest;
not with the letters addressed
to Pasteur Street in Teheran, all beginning
Your Excellency, but signed with angry pens
at the end of the appeal
to release a student leader
and turn off the machines by which
he is tortured. There’s a sick man in Ghana
with months yet to serve
in a prison only compassion can open,
Mr. Karma, incarcerated in Indonesia,
who raised a flag in peaceful protest,
and a Guatemalan lady in fear for her life
yet nobody investigates. Always so far to go,
and so many locks
but the letters are folded
thin as knife blades, slim enough
to fit through what little space there is
between the doorframe and the door.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix, likes to shop at the Supermercado and has his alarm clock-radio set to a Mexican station to wake him up with a reminder that Arizona benefits from its recent immigrants. His poems have appeared recently online at Stride Magazine (UK), The Blue Guitar (Arizona), and Pemmican. Chiron Review, Poem, and Pembroke Review will feature more in print soon.

Monday, November 22, 2010


by Bonnie Naradzay           

Lunch today for the inmates means white bread
and a slice of baloney.  Dinner is more of the same.
The limit now – two meals a day to stay in budget.
The jail’s run by a profit-making corporation.
Vending machines hold other selections,
like undated Twinkies and cinnamon buns.
Immigration rents beds here
for young, married Chinese women
without papers, only fake passports they bought in haste.
Fearing reprisals, they fled the provinces, their homes and families.
For one bore a child after marrying too young, at twenty,
and another had a second child, a girl.
One has an abscessed tooth. 
As a volunteer, I write down her plight,
mainly that she cannot pay a Chinese-speaking lawyer
in New York City, her only hope, or even call long distance,
collect.  I read her confession, search for gestures.
The budget does not fund dental work, I’m told.
What’s more, they charge for aspirin.
The next one, wearing the same ink-blue pajamas
and plastic shower shoes,
holds her stomach, speaks of constant pain.
The doctor comes once a month
and sees only those who signed up long before.
The system weeds out malingerers, the female warden says,
handing me a sheaf of small-print regulations.

Bonnie Naradzay
 lives in the Washington D.C. area, earned her MFA in poetry from Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine), and has published in numerous print and online journals.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


by Jon Wesick

After a dinner at Chuck E Cheese the Transportation Security Agency and Right to Privacy sat the American Public on the couch.

“You know we’ll always love you no matter what happens. Well,” TSA swallowed, “we’ve been going through some hard times lately and think it would be best if your mother moved out. It has nothing to do with you. She just needs a little space right now.”

“What your father’s trying to say is that he no longer finds me attractive.”

“Please, we promised not to discuss this here.”

“Oh now you want your privacy, Mister Let’s Get a Backscatter X-ray to Spice Things Up in the Bedroom! If it was supposed to be so good for our marriage, how come you’re putting them in every airport in the country? Huh?”

“I’m doing it for you. When you’re sitting at home eating goat-cheese bonbons, I’m busting my ass trying to keep you safe. Oh, I’ve seen it all: explosive g strings, sarin-laced suppositories, tampons that can fire .22 caliber bullets.” TSA fondled the images on his hard drive. “Flat-chested Victoria’s Secret models wearing Semtex falsies, even eunuch jihadists with artificial C-4 testicles.”

“Margaret said you groped her and Stan in the airport security line and called it an ‘enhanced pat down.’ Really? Men too? You never told me you swung that way.”

While the Right to Privacy packed what remained of her dignity, the American Public belched stomach acid that tasted of half-digested, bacon-jalapeño pizza. Despite the vague promises of a trip to Disney World during the holidays, he wondered if he’d ever see the Right to Privacy again.

Host of the Gelato Poetry Series, instigator of the San Diego Poetry Un-Slam, and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, Jon Wesick has published over two hundred poems in journals such as the The New Verse News, New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published forty short stories. Jon has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


by Earl J. Wilcox

It is raining here in Middle America .
Shall I elect to stay indoors today?
There seems little to do on a rainy day
except slosh up and down the driveway,
sip from a puddle now and then, fluff
my beautiful, long hair, slough off
heavy water trickling down my back.
Weighty issues of the day well up before me,

Shall I ask my master for a treat?
Shall I bark feebly at the mottled pooch?
Should I crap in the back yard?
Autumn has come. Winter beckons.
I shall need a long winter’s nap.
Here in Middle America it is raining.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.

Friday, November 19, 2010


by David S. Pointer

Americans bumped from all upward mobility
flights for the foreseeable retro future ram

Americans left behind like Abe Lincoln’s
first, second and third string law partners

unformed fraud squads watch over us? No!
unformed fraud squads watch our vaults

open and agape and ajar and airy and
reopened to restock and reopen to deplete

unformed fraud squads eventually strangle
big bankerism with their own spermatic cords

micro flogging permits escalate exponentially
macro fleecing financial crimes curb themselves

plasma bags and bone bending pliers refuse to
condone anymore intergenerational indifference

David S. Pointer lives in Murfreesboro, TN. Recent publications include "The Baseball Chronicle," "The American Dissident," and "J Journal: New Writings on Justice." David is a sociologist and has a recent surgical technology diploma.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


by James Penha

For physicists, a bit of antimatter is a precious gift indeed. . . . Now a research collaboration at CERN, Europe's particle-physics lab near Geneva, Switzerland, has managed, 38 times, to confine single antihydrogen atoms in a magnetic trap for more than 170 milliseconds. The group reported the result in Nature online on 17 November. --NatureNews 17 November 2010

We have just confined an anti-sonnet
actually trapped a bit of quatrain
in trochaic rather than iambic
pentameter: DEATH be NOT proud THOUGH--

James Penha edits The New Verse News.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

When his memory fails to show up for work one day
He decides to hire one
From an international corporation
That has purchased at very reasonable prices
Millions of perfectly functioning memories
From the unfortunate poor all over the world
So grateful for a handful of coins

He finds that the memory
Performs the required tasks efficiently and effectively
And without complaint
What goes in is what comes out --
Appointments addresses phone numbers
Checkbook balances the GDP the price of coltan
The names of people he meets at cocktail parties
When his library books are due
His second cousin's birthday
Where he left his keys

However from time to time he experiences certain anomalies
For example vivid images of helicopter gunships
Firing into occupied houses
Body parts twitching in the dust
Security forces dragging him from his people's land
Soldiers raping him in front of his children
Prison guards sodomizing him
With a broomstick
An orange-haired balloon-bellied toddler
Unable even to cry
Dying in his arms

So he sends that memory back and tries out a few more
Only to discover that the nightmarish episodes are much the same
Yet he does his best not to give in to despair
To keep his spirits up and carry on
Then quite unexpectedly one morning
His own memory returns to the job
And he is able to experience once again
The pleasure of recalling the beautiful old house he grew up in
Summers at the lake
His first convertible
Passionate sexual encounters
The births of his children
To experience once again
The pleasure of carrying out the business of his days
And of sleeping soundly through his nights
Untroubled by the recollections of the others

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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


by Fred Schraff

Worldwide consumers’
voracious appetites
for cell phones, laptops
and MP3 players
fuel Africa’s darkest side
where minerals containing
tungsten, tin and tantalum
are mined at gunpoint
by terrorized workers
conveyed by smugglers
to far east processors
for anonymous rebirth
as electronics purchased
in countries by people
who don’t want to know.

Fred Schraff lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was born. He holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering. He currently works as a design engineer in an electronic company and writes poetry for relaxation.

Monday, November 15, 2010


by George Held
   Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2010

Once more Armistice Day falls on 11/11
But in 2010 who knows what “armistice”
Or “caisson” mean?

Once more the boys (& girls) are “over there,”
In unimaginable places called Iraq
And Afghanistan.

At 11 AM the big parade up Fifth Avenue
Begins with files of Korean War Vets, a few
WW II Vets later,

And a float carrying three little old men
With a sign saying they are our oldest
Medal of Honor recipients

And the crowd hold signs that say “We ♥ Vets”
And “Thank you, Thank you” cascades from voices
Young and old, foreign and native.

Patriotism is hip again, supporting the troops
Is cool again, maybe even war is in again:
“This is my country!”

Plays the high school band from Topeka, then
Segues into “America, the Beautiful” in march
Tempo, and I wave

My little American flag; then kilted bagpipers
From a Marine Corps auxiliary outfit play
“Amazing Grace,”

And I tear up, and wave after wave
Of uniformed veterans march by
In perfect fall weather:

The Vietnam Vets, once shunned, now idols
Of a grateful nation, especially grateful that now
There’s no draft.

At the end, to much applause, come Iraq Vets—
Iraq, lost cause of a devious leadership—and Afghan Vets—
Who sacrificed

For another feckless regime—and they are few,
Because most have been redeployed
Multiple times

And those back home have PTSD
Or bodies unfit for marching in parades,
And some are AWOL,

And then the endless march sends forth
Gorgeously reconditioned ’40s and ’50s cars,
Even a LaSalle,

And Humvees and weapons carriers, driven by Vets,
And uniformed school children lug 30-foot-square
American flags,

And then I see the Iran Vets and the Pakistan Vets
And the other veterans of the future in this state
Of perpetual war,

And another marching band plays “God
Bless America,” and I pray to the empty sky,
“Yes, God bless us.”

George Held’s poetry chapbook Phased is available in a print-on-demand version at

Sunday, November 14, 2010


by Bill Costley

Ex-Fr. Joseph Grassi (S.J.) is dying.
We’ve renamed his film series after him.
Most recently he showed my & Woody
Allen’s favorite film: “Bicycle Thieves”
(1948, Italy), directed by Vittorio De Sica.

We’ve just showed “Bite the Bullet” (1975),
next up is “The Professionals” (1966) both
written & directed by Richard Brooks
who directed “Elmer Gantry” (1960), Sinclair
Lewis' satire on freewheeling '20s evangelism.

We’re doing what we can to continue Joe’s
service to the senior citizens who live here
at Valley Village in Santa Clara. We may
choose less famous films, but we’ve added
a commentator who was on the set & met

the director. We’re calling that authenticity,
something rare in these times of rabidly
unverifiable partiginous propaganda intent
on dismantling this country quickly while
we’re trying to keep this country in frame.

Bill Costley has served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union. He lives in Santa Clara, CA.

Friday, November 12, 2010


by Judy Kronenfeld

“…to perpetually circumnavigate the globe,
spreading laughter from continent to continent.”
         --“The Laughing Guru,” The New Yorker

A chuckle at the negotiating
table, almost completely
suppressed, like a burp, as Abu Mazen startles
awake, having dreamt
of his oldest son as a child
climbing into his lap
to tweak his ear. And Bibi,
hearing, he thinks, one tiny hee
that seems to end in a glottal stop
feels an odd tickle in his throat.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying
he doesn’t know who has told
the crowd there are gays
in Iran, ‘cause there are not, titters
into his lifted arm. Kim Jong-Il,
stuffed with giant rabbit meat,
giggles as he topples off
his platform shoes.
Myanmar’s Than Shwe remembers
a joke told by one of the two Moustache Brothers
he imprisoned, and guffaws.  Marxist Mugabe slips
on the marble floor of his 25-bedroom palace
and horse-laughs until he roars.
A great wave, like wind
mowing down wheat across
the American plains, across the vast
breadbasket of Russia, roiling
the Atlantic, making the Pacific seethe, rushes around
the globe. The Janjaweed’s Kalashnikovs
shake in their arms as they split
their sides, and  tears spill
from their eyes. The Taliban in Kandahar
cackle and shriek and let their AK-47s
fall, as they roll on the floors
of their caves. Al-Qaeda in Peshawar
leave off building their IEDs;
they burst their seams, they pee
in the pants of their shalwar kameezes,
they laugh until they drop.
And then they all stop.

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of  two books and two chapbooks of poetry. Her most recent full collection is Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize (Litchfield Review Press, 2008); her most recent chapbook is Ghost Nurseries (Finishing Line, 2005).  Her poems, as well as the occasional short story and personal essay have appeared in many print and online journals including New Verse News, Calyx, Cimarron Review, The American Poetry Journal, Fox Chase Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Natural Bridge, The Hiram Poetry Review, Passager, Poetry International,  The Spoon River Poetry Review, Stirring, The Women’s Review of Books and The Pedestal, as well as in a dozen anthologies or text books, including Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California (Greenhouse Review Press/Alcatraz Editions, 2008), Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease (Kent State University Press, 2009), and Love over 60: An Anthology of Women's Poems (Mayapple Press, 2010).

Thursday, November 11, 2010


by Kim Doyle

He threw himself on top of her,
the flash of intense light had seared
his eyes, even though he was inside,
wide awake in bed.

We're dead, he thought.
In truth, the computer died,
the night light went out, she sighed
and objected thinking that

it was some sort of night passion.
The waves of sound followed
rolling and crashing.
Atomics he shouted out loud.

It must be the Capital so far off,
so god damned proud.
He heard the trees outside sizzle,
and a drizzle of something scorch the roof.

Al-Qaeda, Real IRA, Democrats, Republicans -
any group without reason.
The end of the silly season.
Hate the traitor, love the treason.

Kim Doyle is an Op/Ed poet for The Brunswick Citizen and remembers "Duck and Cover."  Now that was really silly. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

Did you know that Obama's trip to India is costing one trillion dollars per day, and that's a conservative estimate?

Did you know that we have sent 100,000 Persian cats, each one a certified black-belt sensei, on several Navy warships, to the Gulf of Bombay, just in case?

Did you know that a cabal of liberal Jewish filmmakers, led by a dozen Judd Apatow-lookalikes, are filming Obama's triumphal return to his birthplace of Indonesia, which will have its world premiere in front of a delirious crowd of 150,000 octaroon Hitler Youth at a rally in Nuremberg, Germany just in time for the Presidential election of 1936?

Did you know that when my mother broke her hip on Saturday morning, the hospital ER admission clerk gave me a dirty look when I said: "You still accept Medicare here"?

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.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


by Patricia Barone

        for Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman

You are far more influential than you think.
Not thinking makes you far more
influenced yourself,
that’s for sure.

The full content of your heart
is an aneurysm in your brain, ballooning
flatus: You feel and so you influence
Americans, who only want to be
in the warm fluid of us, of US,

we who despise the ones who think
and confront US
with facts,
who stir up
dark people below
who want to have our lives,
destroy our marriages,
with their fluency.

You are. Far more influential than Jesus,
you think you think but you don’t—
you hate, “refudiate,” refuse
to think of the harm
you cause.

Patricia Barone, who expects the No-Nothings to ultimately defeat themselves, has published a book of poetry, Handmade Paper, and a novella, The Wind, with New Rivers Press. Her work recently appeared in The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks, Poems of Loss and Renewal from Nodin Press. She has received a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in poetry.


Monday, November 08, 2010


by George Held

O Haiti, what you done to be so punished?
Earthquake, cholera, hurricane—
You musta done something mighty bad
To be punished like a gal what broke
All Ten Commandments.

O Haiti, what you done to be so punished?
Earthquake, cholera, hurricane—
Was it you squatted in the middle of the sea
Or lost the war with the Dominicans
And were left in “the land of high mountains”?

O Haiti, what you done to be so punished?
Earthquake, cholera, hurricane—
Was it you let the French take out l’Ouverture,
Let the U.S. Marines bring back slavery,
Let Trujillo kill thousands of gens de couleur?

O Haiti, what you done to be so punished?
Earthquake, cholera, hurricane—
Does le bon Dieu have a special place
In Hell for you? What you done, what
You done to be so punished?

George Held’s poetry chapbook Phased is available in a print-on-demand version at

Sunday, November 07, 2010


by Salman Ahmad with Peter Gabriel‬

Pakistani rock band Junoon's founder Salman Ahmad has composed and recorded this special song for Pakistan Flood relief called "Open Your Eyes". The intention is for "Open Your Eyes" to help bring focus on Pakistan's plight and the urgent need to rebuild lives ravaged by the unrelenting floods. Donations for Pakistan flood relief can be made through Salman and Samina Global Wellness initiative.

Friday, November 05, 2010


by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Glenn Beck would burn his cards to please her,
leaks real tears each time he sees her.
You’d think she’d brought the Holy Grail in,
the way they roar for Sarah Palin.

If her lipstick sent a message,
we all know what it would presage.
Sarah says she’s called by God,
and no one even finds it odd.

She named her kids Track, Trig and Bristol.
For peace of mind, she shoots a pistol.
She doesn’t finish what she starts
(in Sarah’s case, this breaks no hearts).

A country gal who rakes the cash in
(don’t say someone brought the trash in),
there is no lie too mean or low
if Sarah gets her pot of dough.

Look out—she’s seizing on some word
that didn’t mean quite what she heard.
She took offense, she bellowed “Foul!”
Today, those words are what she’ll howl.

She goes for those designer suits
that show off boobs and hard-worked glutes.
She runs to trim her thighs and hips:
she’s cheerleader for the Apocalypse.

She’s gleeful when she causes sorrow;
she talks like there’ll be no tomorrow.
But teeth will gnash, and there’ll be wailin’,
if we get stuck with President Palin.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a clinical psychologist in Claremont, California.  She came of age politically when she was 12, and her mother compelled her to make phone calls for Barry Goldwater.  Karen complied, but added her own voice, namely, that her mother had signed up for the job, and that if she didn’t care enough about the candidate to do it herself, they probably shouldn’t vote for him.  Her mother still doesn’t know about this.  In an earlier life, she was a German Lit major so that she could read poetry for credit.  Her poems have appeared recently in:  The Dirty Napkin, Off the Coast, Umbrella, qarrtsiluni, Poemeleon, Lilliput Review, and Abyss & Apex. Others are forthcoming in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.  She was nominated for the 2010 Pushcart Prize.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Host of the Gelato Poetry Series, instigator of the San Diego Poetry Un-Slam, and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, Jon Wesick has published over two hundred poems in journals such as the The New Verse News, New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published forty short stories. Jon has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.


by Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


by Elly Cummens

I met a brave traveler today,
The woman and I talked.
Have a place to stay? I asked.
Not tonight . . . apartment rent
Cost me too much, she said.
But it’s okay. My kid is going
To college on a scholarship!
Her smile lost a front tooth.
It will be all right this time,
I’m headed for Portland.
St. Vincent’s is cheaper.

I can eat good over there.
All I need is a bus ticket.
Her eyes asked do you care?
Being a proud woman, too, I
Have a soft spot for my sex.
We make up the most poor
Of the very poor, they say.
I watched her gather up her
Bundles for the trip. It was
Something to keep in mind.
A moment to remember.

Always giving, feeding and
Volunteering . . . unless you
Get hooked on satisfaction.
I can’t be satisfied for long.
I love poetry, and when it
Rings clear, I gloat happily.
But who can be satisfied for
Long when injustice walks
The streets without a bed,
And she only needs one gift:
A ticket to Portland?

Elly Cummens is a teacher in the visual arts and lecturer. She plays in a recorder ensemble and is a volunteer for special music and arts programs in local schools. She lives in Eugene, Oregon. She has received grants and awards and is published in Passager, Binnacle, The Canada Poetry Journal, Argus News, The Black Book, Lakeland's Paradise (a book she also illustrated), Oregon Writers' Colony, and others.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


by Gary Lehmann

In 1896, running for President of the United States was simple for Republican William McKinley.  All he had to do was sit on his front porch in Canton , Ohio and answer reporters’ questions as diplomatically as possible.  The idea was not to offend anyone.

He was the clear front-runner and had few opponents.  Grover Cleveland, the Democrat who held the presidency before him, had ushered in a period of economic depression.  The nation was tired of Democratic Depression.  Time for a change.

McKinley carefully engineered his campaign so that he didn’t need to take a stand on any of the burning issues of his day.   Why should he speak up on the currency question and take the chance of offending people who were already set to vote for him?

McKinley’s campaign was over-funded and lacked any real opposition.  Like James Garfield and William Henry Harrison before him, McKinley sat on his front porch and said, if the press wants to talk with me, they know where I live.  Stop by and have a chat.

While McKinley’s opponent, William Jennings Bryan gave over 600 speeches and traveled the country over by train, McKinley ran a winning campaign by doing nothing.  He sat back in his rocking chair, smoked a few cigars, and talked nice to people.

McKinley’s campaign organizer, Mark Hanna, spent millions of dollars putting up posters all over America.  A vote for McKinley is a vote for Republican Prosperity.  Who’s going to vote against that? This running for President is a breeze.

Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Gary Lehmann’s essays, poetry and short stories are widely published. Books include The Span I Will Cross [Process Press, 2004], Public Lives and Private Secrets [Foothills Publishing, 2005], and American Sponsored Torture [FootHills Publishing, 2007].

Monday, November 01, 2010


by J. D. Mackenzie

I miss the honest Senators
the ones from Rome of old
whose coffers swelled with stolen loot
their togas hemmed in gold

Their pay included shameless bribes
like young boys, nymphs and wine
their power stretched across the land
from Carthage to the Rhine

They held some strange religious views
that never seemed to matter
no one cared which gods they served
which vices made them fatter

Their campaigns spoke of honesty
through eloquent debates
informed enough to tell between the
Furies and the Fates

So as this dreadful season ends
I cannot help but note
Christine and Carly don’t have game
and have not earned your vote

J. D. Mackenzie, having patiently observed the psychiatry of the current crop of conservative candidates, now deeply regrets leaving the mental health profession twenty years ago.  His poems can be found in The New Verse News and other political publications.


by Earl J. Wilcox

‘Tis not a children’s night, not a costume party,
this season when goblins and ghosts rule the land.
Take heed, all you who are sober and sane.
Keep a wary eye on covens controlled by candidates
who dabble in witchcraft, who want to clean out
Washington with ammo treats from the Second Amendment.

Pray for a gracious harvest moon to shed light
on those who scour the land to trick naïve, foolish,
unsuspecting independent-minded children not yet
schooled in the old game of hide the truth, seek evil.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.