Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, December 19, 2010


by Earl J. Wilcox

You don’t know us without you’ve heard about a man named Mr. Mark Twain
or Sam Clemens. The lies they’ve told about them two is mostly true, though
who can believe a lie if a feller can’t even make up his mind about what his
name is. Now the way we hear it is Sam wrote a book about hisself and Mark,
but made it clear he did not want anybody to know what he said in the book
until a whole hundred years after he was dead and gone.  Land o’goshen, child,
enough could happen in a century to make a person want to just up and tell
a stretcher or two.  Hell fire and damnation, telling the truth about Teddy Roosevelt
or any of them writer friends of Sam and Mark might just give the whole world the heebie-jeebies or even cause us to git religion and go to church. Shoot, we ain’t going
to give away everything they said in that book they wrote a hundred years ago
because if we did it might make us feel civilized— and we’ve been there before!

Yrz truly,
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

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.