Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


by Jesse Millner

Source: The NY Daily News
Authorities suspect that the allegedly deranged attacker who gnawed off 75 percent of a homeless man's face in Miami on Saturday was under the influence of a dangerous yet sometimes legal drug known as "bath salts." The Week. May 27, 2012.

There’s nothing better than a hot bath
Late afternoon after spending sweaty hours
Trimming fire bush and hibiscus, tearing
Out invasive Boston fern.  I like to lie
Back in the tub with my favorite
Vanilla cinnamon bath salts, inhaling
The sweet scents as I leisurely read
Melville’s Typee, and after a while
I’m transported from South Florida
to the South Pacific. Where it’s

Early in the 19th century
And I’m hiding out from cannibals
On some beautiful atoll.  Everything’s
Vividly green, except for the blooming
Flowers: red, yellow, pink blossoms
Shining through the dark jungle
Like shivering Christmas lights.  I really like

Melville, and I really enjoy the way
His narrator doesn’t judge the natives
For eating human flesh, for dancing
Each night beneath piercing tropical
Stars that shine down and brighten
The spaces between the men
And women who truly live in Paradise,
Unlike this peninsula at the end of the world
Where I breathe in cinnamon and vanilla bath salts
And long for the naked polygamous women
I encounter with each turn of the page.

Jesse Millner's work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including River Styx, Willow Springs, and Pearl. His most recent poetry collection, Dispatches from the Department of Supernatural Explanation, was released by Kitsune Books in April 2012. Jesse teaches writing courses at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.