Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, August 16, 2011


by Alan Catlin

    after photos by Don McCullin

This is the city after
the riots, at any time,
any place where red
brick row houses are
still standing in working
class slum, walk up front
doors and windows boarded
closed; KEEP OUT
ORDER, written in white
paint, long streaks trailing
down from rude letters,
overprinted in red:
FUCK OFF. No longer
children, preteen boys
sharing a smoke, sitting on
upper tenement steps, angry,
defiant, sullen, looking toward
where latest action is, car bombs
and Molotov cocktails in
the morning instead of
breakfast, Looking away,
they are already bored, now
that London burning is how
they live now.

Photo Credit:  “[Don McCullin’s] breakthrough photograph was this evocative London image. It shows seven of McCullin’s schoolfriends, moody young thugs from the Seven Sisters Road posing in a bombed-out house opposite the Rainbow in Finsbury Park. One of them later killed a policeman. McCullin sold the snap to the Observer and his career began.” --Peter Watts, “The Great Wen: A London Blog.”

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.