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Thursday, March 31, 2011


by Scot Siegel

The flowers listen intently now
It is the sound of everything

happening all at once
The hum is so high it is almost

inaudible now. The definition
of atrocity––sharp blades,

bright green shoots amidst
the oil drums––a matter of scale

they say. The rules of engagement
shift like a mountain of sand

Daisies unfurl in the shadows now,
unlikely alliances…

Everything is about to change

Scot Siegel lives in Oregon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


by Diane Raptosh


            The U.S. is broker than all get out is how it’s been put.
                                                              I’m broke, no bread, I mean like nothing,
                     Ray Charles belted, and he meant it. The wood thrush

     through twin voice boxes sings with himself. Bup bup
              bup. You can break the bank, break land, break fasts: a horse
                         that’s Cowboy Broke is double  fried.

                                              Betty ate some bitter batter. There is this game
             plan called the Double Irish Defense. It quietly
     moves firms’ profits

                                               through Ireland and the Netherlands, clean
         into Bermuda.
                                         This land is growing cash

                  the way Old Brooklyn sprouted
                                 weed in guiltless backyards: sanitation workers
                                                               seized more than nineteen tons of pot

                                             from city lots alone, summer of ’51. The next
            year, a crop was found beside the Brooklyn
                   Federal Building. Alongside dandelion rosettes. And tissue pips.

                             Declare a war on that.


                                    When strapped for cash you can’t exactly stick up Carl’s Junior.
                             I’ve got kids, like I said.  Their eyeballs glide back
and forth across my face the way ant larvae sway

             to say feed me. You ever stared into that? Sutton never would
                                rob a bank if a baby cried or a woman freaked at the sight
  of his Thompson. He’d step outside to roll a Bull Durham

                                        or try on some waterproof pants for his window washer disguise.
    I like to think of him as my stunt-double, the single
                                                              meal at my table. If you have one

                                                                       buck in your wallet that’s more
                             than the tax burden of Citibank for a year.    Fine
                                      is not a sound. I didn’t have a plan. The sun began mooning me

that July day, nudging me toward the front doors of Wells Fargo.
             That was my first one. It takes thirteen
                                                               million calories to raise up a child. Times that

                                              by three, and that’s a ton of Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Meals,
                    even at $3.99 pre-tax—sometime during which deal Wells Fargo
            guped a whole firm that hopes to keep being called  Wachovia    Wachovia    Wachovia


I’ve hovered on the Twitter trends for days.
                                               But nowhere did this fact click through—
              The Fortune 500 now runs the Republic. Hit-and-run

                            sleight of hand and tongue—Peter Piper picked
                                                      the purse of pickled workers. Prisons
                        both empty towns and keep them alive.

            Videos of me tucking a gun at my waist and a wad of fat
                                       bills in my left-hand front pocket went suddenly viral. I need money
      to feed my kids, you see

                                              me say. The sheriff ID’d me through telephone tips.
            They claim I wasn’t living with children
                                    at time of arrest, but that’s a flat lie.

                               The gun wasn’t real, the fierceness a stunt to veil frailty: I had toquit
            my barista shifts just before Christmas. The Kickin’ Cup filed
                      a complaint. Couldn’t make bills. The system

                                                                    will have to call you back. What’s just one inch
                      past the edge of the universe?     A small band
of men have made off with the wealth. My cellmate always smelled like malt vinegar.


                                Among us rosarians, the line dividing old
                       and modern roses is 1867—the year the hybrid tea
                                     was introduced. The antiques earned their bloated

                                odors: the Boule de Neige, a Bourbon, spouts white blooms
                         that smell like cold cream. A single blossom
           of Sombreuil, the white-flowered climbing tea,

                             fills a whole room like thoughts
     that choose to groom their own
              thinking. When I sing in the shower, I swerve

to the left to make room
               for a possible harmony. Towns
                                 get their prisons and fill them

                                                                         with folks who vend their dime bags.
                                But for stealing a billion dollars?
                                                                         The Declaration of Independence

                                                           was printed on hemp. Right piece
                                                     of art if you ask me,
                                                  little nets of madness on the writing.

Diane Raptosh teaches literature and creative writing at The College of Idaho. She has published three books of poems, Just West of Now (Guernica Editions, 1992), Labor Songs (Guernica, 1999), and Parents from a Different Alphabet: Prose Poems (Guernica, 2008). Her work has previously appeared in The New Verse News. She may be reached at draptosh(at)

Monday, March 28, 2011


by Sari Grandstaff

springtime in Japan
radiation plumes spreading...
a country mourning

Sari Granstaff's poetry appears in Pirene's Fountain, MiPoesias, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Frogpond, Contemporary Haibun Volume 12 and Riverine:  An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers, among other journals and anthologies.  She lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York State where she is a member of the Hudson Valley Haiku-kai.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

In the break between storms
I go out into the front yard
To smell the blossoms
Of the ceanothus

These are gloomy times
Rain day after day after day
But seasonal sadness
Is the least of our problems

Japan decimated and radioactive
From earthquake tsunami meltdowns
Iraq Afghanistan Libya
The objects of lethal US affections

All over the world
The stench of rotting economies
Hundreds of millions in agony
While the buzzardly few lick their chops

Yesterday in icy rain
Two thousand of us angry fools
Marched and shivered in the streets
For freedom justice and peace

This morning the scent of ceanothus
Does not offer comfort or refuge
But sharpens the sense of injustice
Magnifies the impatience with oppression

A pause for a few aromatic whiffs
A perfumed interlude for re-imagining
The fragrant possible world
Then back into the fray

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poetry has appeared in many print and online journals.  With his wife Cynthia he is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, Outside In,  and co-editor of the forthcoming book About Face: GI Resisters Turn Against War (PM Press, 2011).  He is also co-producer/director of the documentary Por Que Venimos.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


by Earl J. Wilcox

After Robert Frost, March 26, 1874-Jan. 29, 1963

I am one acquainted with wars,
their bravado, mock heroics,
faux patriotic feelings,
their shrill fake thrill of shells exploding
in the skies like celebrations to kill.
I am one acquainted with wars.

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, March 25, 2011


by Phyllis Wax

Wednesday, Dec.15, 2010  (Reuters) A fire at a multi-story garment factory near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, killed 25 people and injured more than 100 on Tuesday, police, firefighters and doctors said.  More than 10,000 people, most of them women, work at the complex ....
locked in
to prevent pilfering                     

Low-paid seamstresses
waiting to be searched
at the finish of work                                 

A careless match             
and a pile of scraps
Smoke fills the workroom
Flames climb the stairs
of the twelve-story structure

On the top three floors
young women and girls                             
most Italian or Jewish

Fire truck ladders stretch
only to floor six     From windows             
on nine, a hundred feet up, they jump

to keep from being burned alive, bodies
thudding as they land
bodies piling up outside

Others burn to the bone
charred skeletons bent
over sewing machines

One hundred forty-six die

Phyllis Wax muses on the news and history from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI.  Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Your Daily Poem, Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, Ars Medica, Out of Line, Verse Wisconsin, Seeding the Snow, A Prairie Journal, The New Verse Newsand many other journals and anthologies.  She can be reached at poetwax(at)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Poem by Charles Frederickson; Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

“Fudoushin” imperturbable resolutely invincible fortitude
Characteristic kanji hiragana katakana steadfastness
Tattooed ethos overcoming great odds
Seamless tightly knit fray togetherness

“Gaman” uncomplaining perseverance starbright spheres
Stoicism gracefully enduring impossible hardships
Unbent radiance rising above horizon
Glistening teardrop pearls hand-knotted restrung

Collaborative up-stARTISTS Charles Frederickson and Saknarin Chinayote have created more than a thousand colorful hand-drawn, colorful e-gadfly etchings. Art gallery exhibits can be accessed in the archives of Ascent Aspirations, Listen and Be Heard, New Verse News, Poetry Cemetery and Avant-Garde Times. Published covers and graphics artwork have appeared in Dance to Death, Decanto, Eclipse, Poetry Sz and Taj Mahal Review.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


by Danielle Jacobowitz

The dust of uncountable years
had settled into her skin,
turning her hair
a startling shade
of white.

We froze
as the aging sea
stretched and shook,
watched wordless
as she opened her mouth
and closed it over the land,

dragging her teeth
and raking her fingernails
down the walls
of our homes,

leaving the earth
ridden with holes
for her to leak through.

"What of our children?"
we cried
as her terrible lips
leaving only tremors
to remind us
of the one
she returned

in her unfathomable

Danielle Jacobowitz has been writing poetry for twelve years. She has been published once in the Seacoast Entertainer in Portsmouth, NH. Four months ago, she moved to Seattle, WA for a music teaching position.

Monday, March 21, 2011


by Alan Catlin

One of Kurosawa’s last dreams:
a panorama of chaos,
thousands fleeing
a nuclear meltdown
with nowhere to go.

The sacred, black mountain
in red:
six reactors exploding
in the distance;
a horizon built on flame.

What remains after:
a woman with two
infants, a man not her
husband, encompassed
by clouds of color coded
fallout, a wasteland
of useless possessions
on a precipice overlooking
a drowning sea.

Alan Catlin has published numerous chapbooks and full length books of poetry and prose. Pygmy Forest Press is publishing the collected "Deep Water Horizon" poems.


by Jed Myers

Today, the earth did not shake
these particular streets.

From my window, each time I looked,
the scene emphasized stillness—

except for some rain, wind
bending the branches, crows

out of and under cover, fast
clouds, cars and planes,

and that squat old woman in her coat,
coming out when it wasn’t pouring,

to sit on the bus stop bench and smoke
one more cigarette. The earth

appeared satisfied to hold
itself together here, to let

things ride. Today,
on this stretch of Pacific shore,

no shudder of the stony skin
we stake our lives in—no ruptured

pipes around unharnessed dragons,
no ocean surges swallowing

whole towns, nor human
tide drifting up like ghosts

out of mangled lives. Tonight?
It hasn’t happened yet…

Drops turn to rivulets
across unbroken glass.

I, like the rest of us—
like most around here, bones

intact—will set the clock
and somehow sleep. Tomorrow’s

packed—things I’ve got to get to
down the hairline-fractured road.

Jed Myers is a Seattle poet and singer-songwriter. His poems appear in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and in the new Rose Alley Press anthology, Many Trails to the Summit. By day he's a psychiatrist with a therapy practice and teaches at the University of Washington.


Sunday, March 20, 2011


by J. D. Mackenzie

The invasion began in the early hours of March 20, 2003 in Iraq.

With all the reminders that I’d forgotten
our anniversary, my first thought was
how insensitive of me.
This day meant so much to us both.

I’d neglected the date
made no special plans
but couldn’t forget this time of year.
The whole world remembered it, too.

I didn’t get you a card, never thought
to ask you what you wanted.  It wouldn’t
surprise me if you felt that I didn’t care
because every year degrades your dignity more.

Confession: I took you against your will.
You’re a battered woman in a torn burqa
who deserved better than this, but I can’t seem
to let you go because breaking up is hard to do.

On March 20, 2003 our relationship got off to a rocky start.
The statues came down, the banner bleated
Mission Accomplished and all that that pretended.    
Do you remember your ephemeral smile, through tears?

Can we agree ours is a relationship
that can’t endure another year because
both of us know that it just isn’t working?
Can this be the last anniversary
we don’t celebrate together?

J. D. Mackenzie remembers the invasion of March 20, 2003 and a few days later the then-President Bush II prancing about an aircraft carrier deck in front of the Mission Accomplished banner.  If media folks and political leaders neglect to get this story right, it's up to poets...

Saturday, March 19, 2011


by Shana Wolstein

Sometimes, I watch movies made for children
—for them we let life remain simple.
Today, like that, I watched a fish desire
to be a little girl and the ocean
chased after to reclaim her. The whimsy
of paved streets used as roadways for ancient
fish that slide across mountains like trains; but
this is no longer simple. I wonder
what other whimsy has fallen ill in
the wake of the real wave. What hope fell when
a thousand bodies washed ashore, when just
yesterday I heard only two or three
hundred dead. (To think that only could curb
such a thing.) In the movie, the ocean
is the mother, the father, an evil
wizard; they forgive humanity for
the promise of love. As mom and dad they
come together, we never question why
they began apart, if this disconnect
is to blame. The fish wants to be a little
girl because of love, because she loves a
little boy who promises forever.
But today there is Japan, wiped clean—
the promises we made to the ground and sky
that we had formed something there, in-between.
Is this our space for blame? At one point, we
hoped for time. Long enough to question life:
the how of living, the why. Now we hope
only that it does not get worse. We hope,
like Ponyo, for balance. To set the world
against what we wish and to find order
in this design. For the fish drank blood and
that bonded her to land: her sisters, swirls
of schooling fish, their red scales like linen
uniforms, their eyes bulge out like scared kids.
Now the ocean laps the blood of Japan
and finds itself bound there too. Energy
swells and threatens to engulf again and
we buzz in the saturated air—
not breathing, to hold a kiss like flying.
Because Ponyo ends in the air and we
end, forever falling away from it.

Shana Wolstein is currently studying toward an MFA at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Her work has appeared previously on-line at La Fovea and is forthcoming in Third Coast Magazine.


Friday, March 18, 2011


by Lauren Camp

I got the pinking shears out and sliced up today’s newspaper.
Little airborne triangles of newsprint fluttered to the floor.
Libya became Lib,
Lib became Bill, and I remembered my friend,
how when we were kids in 1973,
we belted out the Oreo song
(back then all TV commercials qualified as songs
in my limited musical library).

But I won’t sing it for you now.
There’s nothing to sing about.
The news is thick enough that three pages hurt my palm.
The scissor blade was dulling.

The flickers all tell knock-knock jokes this time of year,
and another part of the house sinks into a hole.
I pull you outside to see the damage.
We stand in the platter of mulch I tossed down
to cover Elizabeth’s double-headed black hollyhock seeds.
Look down, I say. You’re stepping on them.
They’ll never grow now.

Lauren Camp has published a book of poems, This Business of Wisdom (West End Press, 2010). She is an accomplished visual artist and a radio host for Santa Fe Public Radio. A recent guest editor for World Literature Today, her poems have also appeared in Leveler, dirtcakes, Upstairs at Duroc, and other journals. She lives, works and blogs in a rural farming village near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Thursday, March 17, 2011



Wednesday, March 16, 2011


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Driving east into the carnival sunrise, I can’t help think
of the Far East, houses spinning in water like tea cups
we spun at the county fair as quake and tsunami chase
the calendar. Whirlpools of birds eddy at the horizon
over Athens, not that Athens, but the one just down M-
66 where the diners at the Kopper Kettle talk about
Japan. Just mentioning it makes the Reuben sandwich
taste radioactive. Maybe those reactors will, like old
cars, heal themselves. When the core melts down,
is it like the cheese on cheesy fries? The bright midway
of disaster keeps the buttons of the drowned, sun a horrible
tv camera on disaster. I juggle three oranges in the pattern
of a biological hazard sign. There will be no rice paper
for a thousand years. On the day the island sank, people
floated for a few hours. Sayonara, citizens, swimmers.
Reactors weep plutonium tears, and for dessert, perhaps
something microwaved and too hot to touch.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske
drives to teach and listens to NPR.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


by Catherine McGuire

Behind, the closed door of yesterday; another world, that once felt solid.
Before you, unrecognizable, your life.

Like the tangled debris, your memories swept into fractured heaps,
show no coherent shapes; refuse to know what happened.

A neighbor stumbles by, sleepwalking; you can’t recall her name.
Someone’s shoe mud-stuck to the curb. A Suburu, vertical against a pole.

Reek of gasoline, strong enough to bring tears, suggests the danger still lurking.
So much is brined in toxins. All boundaries failed.

Last night, a cold waking nightmare; wrapped in blankets on the 2nd floor
the only nitelights were burning pyres: homes, factories, one inferno of refinery.

Spring had been pushing up in the lanes – bulbs and buds – the trill of birds had returned.
The morning silence is punctuated by groaning timbers, keen of failing metal, the wind’s rales.

There is no news; there are small meals rescued and eaten cold.
There is a search for unscathed bottled water, warm clothes.

You find an intact shovel sticking from a pile by the garage.
You start clearing mud from the first floor, out to the yard where it also doesn’t belong.

What to do is all around: mud, splintered table, fragments of porcelain bowls.
There is no water to wash, so it’s all push and shove.

A stranger walks by holding a small limp figure. You put the shovel down, follow,
walk towards downtown, needing to speak to someone. Anyone.

Passing the library, you find yourself
bursting into tears in front of one blush-pink camellia bloom.

Catherine McGuire is an Oregon poet struggling to comprehend the disaster on the other side of the Pacific. Words, her primary gift, almost fail in the face of such loss.

Monday, March 14, 2011


by Maria Lisella

They call them abd, slaves.
Darker than all the rest,
lower than the Chinese
working in Libya for years.
They are trapped.

 “We are somebody
and we are from somewhere.”
They camp at the airport,
on the tarmac, the Libyans step on them,
beat them, whipping dogs.

“Tell someone, we are dying.”

Maria Lisella's Pushcart Poetry Prize-nominated work appears in Amore on Hope Street and Two Naked Feet. She co-curates the Italian American Writers Association literary readings and has been a travel writer for the past 25 years.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Poem by Charles Frederickson; Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

Asian quake shakes global confidence
Tsunami waves capsizing frothy teardrops
Downcast eyelids wide asleep awakening
Miscalculated aftermath ruts left behind

Desalinized dead man’s float seascape
Silent whispers stillborn life aborted
Exquisite fetus wrapped in kelp
Mauve horizon fading mummified dreams

Forsaken prayers begging wrathful pardon
Bottomless reflection pool rainbow overflow
Make-or-break consequential truths falsified
Splintered peg-leg crutches hobble limp

Mushrooming cloud hangs over homeless
Fading gamma sunray future unplugged
Cakewalk strut AC/DC current prongs
Shutdown circuit breakers forced open

Collaborative up-stARTISTS Charles Frederickson and Saknarin Chinayote have created more than a thousand colorful hand-drawn, colorful e-gadfly etchings. Art gallery exhibits can be accessed in the archives of Ascent Aspirations, Listen and Be Heard, New Verse News, Poetry Cemetery and Avant-Garde Times. Published covers and graphics artwork have appeared in Dance to Death, Decanto, Eclipse, Poetry Sz and Taj Mahal Review.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


by Joel Solonche


J.R. Solonche is co-author (with wife Joan Siegel) of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). His poems have appeared in many magazines, journals, and anthologies since the 1970s. He teaches at SUNY Orange in Middletown, New York.

Friday, March 11, 2011


by Michael Monroe

Charlie Sheen is exploding
across the front page news:
His eyes landed somewhere near
John Boehner, who’s calling fowl,
threatening shutdowns,
a tear dripping down his tan cheek.
His arms and legs landed on the ground
in front of Scott Walker
who threw them into a wastebasket,
thinking they belonged
to some disgruntled teacher.
His torso landed next to
the protesters in Libya,
who are looking on with confusion
at the drug-drenched blood,
wondering what it’s doing there
during their battle for democracy.
And his brain landed somewhere
near Moammar Gadhafi,
who’s looking on with confusion
at nothing in particular.

Michael Monroe's work has been or will be published in Gargoyle Magazine, Struggle, The Blue Collar Review, The Loch Raven Review, Manorborn, and various other publications.  His poems have also previously appeared in The New Verse News. Two of his poems were recorded on the Words on War CD produced by Birdhouse Studios and he often does poetry readings with Gimme Shelter Productions to raise money for the homeless in Baltimore.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


by David Plumb

She quit the service after ten years to care for her three year old
then joined the reserves, sent to Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
She feels compelled to serve and listening to her clear beliefs   
makes me wish I could share her feelings amidst this awful lie.
How innocence, romance and willful deceit sit
in the same chair, how our undying love
for country falls to unforgivable betrayal and awe.

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.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


by donnarkevic

Such a lie
he tells, fooling the Okie recruiter.
At sixteen, fears are pennies
on a dead man’s eyes.

As the steamer steers for war,
Father chews on a fat cigar
and tosses his black bowler
as the crowd cheers,
and Mother recalls the lantern light
on the night of little Frankie’s birth.
As the summer sun dims,
the cold sea erases the ship
bit by bit.

He expects to return home before harvest,
but instead he reaps the fall
of many, driving an ambulance
behind the trenches,
how the mangled bodies
outlive the memories of French cathedrals,
museums, and the ornate tombs
of kings and heroes.

Years later, in a closet,
like a forty-eight star flag,
his doughboy tunic hangs,
on the mantle a sepia-toned photo,
a boy’s eyes piercing the future
like a fixed bayonet.

The day before he dies,
on the porch of his farmhouse
in the face of sunshine,
his one hundred and ten years bask.
As he closes his eyes,
comrades resurrect, calling him home,
to muster with them alongside a neat row
of endless white marble headstones.

donnarkevic's recent poetry has appeared in Convergence Review, Earth Speak, and Off the Coast. Recent short story publications include Colere and the anthology, Seeking the Swan. In 2005, Main Street Rag published Laundry, a poetry chapbook. Also in 2005, The Interview, a play, won 2nd place in the Playwright's Circle competition.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


by Mary Saracino

on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day

“I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century.” --US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Honor her right to own her own body
her right to feed her children
earn a fair wage, work under safe conditions
love whomever she pleases.
Honor her right to affordable health care
clean water, clean air, clean land, clean food;
her right to read and write
to laugh and cry, uncensored.
Honor her right to live free from war
oppression, violence, the threat of rape;
her right to speak her voice
write poems, novels, the story of her life
paint pictures, take photographs, sculpt statues
sing her song and the songs of her people.
Honor her right to dream and dance
to live in peace, to revere her ancestors,
bless her grandchildren, remember her Source;
Honor her right to own her own soul.
Honor the women of every hue
from every continent and nation
from whose wombs all life emerges
from whose wombs all memory begins
who cradle the blood and bones of generations
who comfort the babies, the sons, and the daughters
care for the elders, the youth, and the men.
To free the world, first honor the women
from whom all beginnings begin.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet and memoir-writer who lives in Lafayette, CO . Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. Her short story, "Vicky's Secret" earned the 2007 Glass Woman Prize.

Monday, March 07, 2011


by Robert M. Chute

The waste of war.
Frost in blossom time
a fruitless fall.
History hobbles
war to war. Blind
commanders training
green recruits.

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

Sunday, March 06, 2011


by Jen Hinton

fewer experts
more action
fewer pundits
more traction

less analysis
more enlightenment
less useless ballast
more “let’s try it again”

fewer benchwarmers
more foot soldiers
fewer just there to talk
more just ready to walk

fewer professors with quotes
more file clerks who vote
less “fairness and balance”
more viewers with remotes

less fanning the bullshit
more shit hitting the fan
less watching the “Boob Tube”
more pickets on You Tube

less Horatio Alger-dreaming
once divided-and-conquered
now together scheming

less alone-and-miserable
once unseen
now becoming visible

Jen Hinton lives in Schaumburg, IL and has participated in performance poetry and literary readings in the Chicago area. She has five previously published poems in The New Verse News, including "Something For Harvey," nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. She is working on a collection of poetry and short stories.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


by David Feela

Moammar Gadhafi’s hitherto unseen
conscience has materialized 
in the form of two Libyan jets
landing on the island of Malta.

A siege for a new century begins.
This time bullets rain from the rooftops
of Tripoli, and it’s not Maltese blood
that taints the Mediterranean’s blue.

This time it’s the soul’s hunger
that goes unfed, and nourishment
demands Gadhafi’s cornucopia
finally be emptied.  It’s an odd

crusade, these knights of the Libyan
Air Force appearing over Malta
like falcons, requesting permission
to join the ranks of humanity.

David Feela's work has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas, is now available.

Friday, March 04, 2011


by Barbara Lightner

For Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker

They set the scene.
I’ll not forget.
The dreaded rainbow,
the shimmy-shine shenanigans,
the outside swithering in.

It was all-important,
many sibilant syllables
hissing there;
vague whisperings
from a fringe stage
menacing right;
proscenium unbalanced
in a pursuit of
total disregard.

Our sesamé child,
parturient, bottom
patted dry, furies
a fling of words
against jackdaws
declaiming from the wings.

No, I’ll not forget,
not what was yesterday;
not what today;
not what will be,

Barbara Lightner is a 70-year old shameless agitator, retired. She began writing incidental poetry in law school to escape the tension and boredom of death by law, and has been at it ever since. She has been published in works by Grey Fox Press, Angel Press, The Feminist Connection, and others. Her poetry has appeared in various journals, including Verse Wisconsin, Poesia, New Verse News, and in the anthologies Letters to the World, and The Lesbian Path



by Jean Liebert

I joined my union sixty years ago
To have health insurance I couldn’t lose
And a pension when work-days were over.
I’ve paid for both, plus union dues.

Did Blue Cross lose money on me?
I laugh at that.  (It’s so absurd.)
My pension has managers who invest
And fight off government raids, I’ve heard.

What’s the news today from Wisconsin?
“Our wages were always higher than others.”
Not true but not unreasonable.
Our education oft exceeds our brothers.

Walker says our health costs are lower.
True.  This can’t be dealt with by yourself.
But when you were offered a ‘public option,’
You foolishly blocked its adoption.

What’s the bottom line?
Is the Middle Class on its way out?
Beware these righteous governors.
They all want to take away your clout!

Jean Thurston Liebert, age 92, lives in Corvallis, Oregon.   She writes poetry, short stories and a novella, Another World.  Her published work is included in Apricot Memories, a non-fiction history of the apricot industry in California; Linn Benton Community College’s Collections; the Oregon Writers Colony anthology, Take a Bite of Literature and the online site New Verse News.   Her 2010 fiction was cited as notable by Oregon Writers Colony.   

Thursday, March 03, 2011


by Michael Monroe

“God hates fags” they say.
If God’s hands of love
are reaching across the world,
they must be the splinters in those hands,
testing the bounds of the First Amendment
like flightless birds
testing the air in a hurricane.
The Supreme Court justices
must’ve been pulling their collective hair
out in clumps on this one:
Say yay and the country hates you.
Say nay and the Constitution crumbles
all because of a handful of bad apples.
The best thing to do is toss them aside
and search for the edible ones.

Michael Monroe's work has been or will be published in Gargoyle Magazine, Struggle, The Blue Collar Review, The Loch Raven Review, Manorborn, and various other publications.  His poems have also previously appeared in The New Verse News. Two of his poems were recorded on the Words on War CD produced by Birdhouse Studios and he often does poetry readings with Gimme Shelter Productions to raise money for the homeless in Baltimore.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011


by Jane Herschlag

Photo of the poet by Karen Guancione at New York City Hall, 16 January 2011.

The temperature is cold,
but the sun shines
and we find a legal spot
five blocks from Manhattan’s
City Hall Rally.

The air is filled with targeted anger,
and camaraderie with all ralliers..
A blitz of photography, reporters,
cell phone dispatches—e-mails,
tweets, blogs and posts.

Dogs wear sloganed coats,
kids wear signs,
union names emblazon red jackets
of college youths, and the old,
some with canes.

Placards and voices are raised
with pride—
Unions Make Us Strong
Cut Bonuses, Not Teachers
Stop Punishing Workers for Wall Street’s Crimes
Stop The Billionaires War On Working America
Stop Welfare For The Wealthy

Save The American Dream
Save The Middle Class
Save My Teachers
Save NPR and PBS

Axis of Evil—Koch  Murdoch  Walker
This Country Does Not Belong To The Koch Brothers
Governor Walker—We Are Laying You Off
When Will The Rich Make Sacrifices
Union Labor Built This Country
Corporations Are Not People
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg
We Love The Fab 14

Tired and hungry,
My husband and I get cookied, coffeed
and revel in the newly-found
middle class voices.

Bully In The Spotlight, Jane Herschlag’s 40 page docu-poetry chapbook is published by Pudding House Publications. Her poems are included in three anthologies and many university presses. She won eight prestigious writing awards from Hunter College and CCNY. She taught creative writing to children and adults at in Manhattan and Danbury. She curated the Open Mic reading series for the Writer’s Voice in NYC for seven years and in Danbury for one year. She has run a poetry peer group for ten years. See to access poems and current photography shows.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


by David Chorlton

With one world moving gently along my street
and sounds from another coming from the radio
I watch the man from the next block tap
his way along with a cane
as he takes his gentle walk
and listen to the latest revolution’s
move by move report
complete with body count and expert analysis.
The sunlight today is diluted.
Shadows blur at their edges.
A Cooper’s hawk slides on the air
a wingbeat above the roof as the Inca doves
and pigeons disappear with a drumming. A book
I was reading blurs too, where Juarez,
Mexico, becomes a portent of the world
the impoverished inherit then pass on to everyone else.
Images begin to act at cross purposes: the cat
sitting peacefully next to the porch flowers,
aerial assaults on the assembled
protesters; the cover illustration with a searchlight
illuminating a corpse; the open case
to a recently played recording
of viol music; a painted landscape with a sky
slashed open by a storm. Piracy;
collective bargaining denied; a rambling speech
of resistance; Purcell’s Fantasia from 1680 -
why can’t I concentrate? This is the twenty-first
century and we aren’t supposed to. We’re
called on to connect the details: cheap labour
to CD players; foreign policy to dictators
to their overthrow; the animals we can save
to the ones who are eaten to the ease
with which a life can be taken to the words
used in describing the act. Cutting throats
to cutting corporate taxes. Powerlessness
to the beauty in old music.

David Chorlton's 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.