Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, October 31, 2012


by Brandon Mullis

Once this land was beautiful
With shining silver springs
The dew-kissed fields'
old harvest yields
Fit both for man or king

But then the sky grew darker
The fields were kissed by flame
O how grand
was once our land
Before Obama came

The forests played a melody
Its fauna harmonized
The sparrow's tweet
so nectar-sweet
A robin would reprise

Now it's all so raucous
The wind sings not my name
Those dulcet tones
soothe not my bones
Not since Obama came

The sun was so much brighter
Water just seemed wetter
A woman's touch
healed twice as much
My pants fit so much better

There was no Justin Bieber
No "Glee" or "Jersey Shore"
On demon's wings
came all these things
With number 44

The world is now so flimsy
So malleable and frayed
The hidden cost
of things we've lost
Might never be repaid

We still had Michael Jackson
Steve Jobs and Neil Armstrong
These men and more
stood strong before
Obama came along

The future's bleak and ominous
Like many futures past
As in them all
we'll surely fall
If we don't do something fast

I may not have the answer
But I do know who to blame
So let's raise cheers
to those great years
Before Obama came

Brandon Mullis pretends to be a writer. While doing this, a number of short stories and poems do accidentally get written. His work has so far only been published in that mythic forest we hear so much about -- the one where no one's around to hear them, so nothing makes a sound. Rejection notices, however... let's just say if they ever become a form of currency, Brandon Mullis will be the 1%.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


by Carolyn Gregory

Image source: NASA

The banshee began to howl
near Halloween,
twisting branches in a dance
of wind and rain

She wore her necklace
of skulls and teeth,
slapping a tambourine
to a four four beat

Black cats scattered!

Her backup singers shimmeyed
and swayed,
tossing long green hair
and tapping on the window

It was an unholy dance,
full of screaming sirens.
Sequins of fire flashed by

Carolyn Gregory's poems and essays on music have been published in American Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, and Stylus. She was featured in For Lovers and Other Losses. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2011 and is a past recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council award. Her book, Open Letters, was published by Windmill Editions in 2009 and her next, Facing the Music, will be published in 2012.

Monday, October 29, 2012


by Tracey Gratch

Image source:

The sea throws its weight on an unwary shore
The sand, without wisdom, changes in form
And I, as the calm in the eye of the storm,

Have survived every wound your poor body had borne
The scars, as I read them, though faded and worn,
A subtle reminder; the center, still torn.

The sea hurls white ice at my feet as I stand
At the threshold of hope, where my life had began.
Unlikely that I would endure this dire hand

To emerge from the current as strengthened and whole,
Escaping the grasp of the strong undertow;
I pretend now to learn things, that always, I've known.

The storm will disperse and the water return
To the blue, where I live, at the edge of the earth.
Awaiting a sign, I await now a birth.

I look to the sky, the clouds taking form,
A silent forewarning; prepare for the storm.

Tracey Gratch lives in Quincy, MA with her husband and their four children. Her poems have been published in various and sundry on-line and print publications. She is at home, preparing for the storm.


by JC Sullivan

she’s visited before
but no one paid much attention, unlike Father Time
she gives everyone a second chance

so again she nudges
asks greed, propaganda and violence to please
take a back seat and when they refuse, she turns
to her female wiles

snatching up electric power, along the Eastern seaboard she dances
her full moon transforms into a terrifying tidal wave
her winds make Atlantic City a personal play thing, she
darkens Broadway
causes public transportation to cease and
beats the billionaires as she forces Wall Street to close!

in a cacophony of travel advisories and evacuations,
burst through this crucial Election year
besting both Obama and Romney                                     uniting red states and blue states

reminding us that
Mother Nature

is stronger ... than us all.

Having been a featured poet in Los Angeles and Buenos Aires, JC Sullivan fled the cubicle in 2007. A backpacking addict, she's in Mexico practicing life as an adventure to be explored. Reach her at Poetrybyjc(at)


by Mary Cresswell

           after Oliver Wendell Holmes

Image source: Carnivoraforum

This is the ship of state
swimming backwards through a grimy sea
spewing foam, its hundred sticky arms
waving wild and pale and aimlessly.

Chamber after chamber fills and closes
blocking out what’s gone before.
No contamination can leak out –
thoughts sealed inside appear no more.

Adding empty gap to empty gap
the hulk is finally cast up on the beach,
where we toss it back and forth, and ask
what kind of truth had one time grown beneath.

Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast. Her third book, Trace Fossils, came out in 2011.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


by Carol Sanford

Highway shrine built in 2002 for DWI victim, Danielle Romero

You find them along expressways,
on the curves of country roads,
at city intersections harboring a patch of grass,
anywhere forty thousand of us die each year:
rough wooden crosses, wreaths
bright bows, plastic flowers
children's toys, photos.

Some tended regularly
some shrouded by weeds,
they promise, "You'll be in our thoughts"
"Love you forever," "We'll meet again."

Christina Johnson, an only child
died ten years ago--three months
short of high school graduation,
her shrine a four-foot cross
trimmed often in artificial flowers.

Driving past that spot
notorious for black ice, I imagine
her parents' lives and want comfort for them
and some lesson for us
in keeping the grief of highways
palpable and public.

Carol Sanford, a former teacher, lives in Michigan and writes poems and fiction in the loft of a cabin she and her husband built in the woods.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Poem by Charles Frederickson
Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote 

Whose world is it anyway
Shorn sheep led to slaughter
Innocent lambs barbecue spit grilled
Monopoly Boardwalk 99% mortgages foreclosed

American-can unipolarity chiding homeless hubris
Spreading unfounded panic humiliating intimidation
Displaced classless NOocracy abysmally ignorant
Resentful of U.S. vs. THEM status Quo Vadis

Corporate think-thank-thunk tanks Foxy televisionairies
Right-wing plot achieving universal domination
Bushwhacker has-beens declaring bleached supremacy
Overacting upstages gilded lily abomi-Nation

In Gold Wet Rust imperial
Self-interest oily motivation Super-Capitalism
Federal Reserve 4N Relations Council
IMFucked Vaseline friend or enema

Rapture theologians blissfully force open
Heaven’s Gate to annihilation prophecy
Nuclear holocaust Great Armageddon battle
Fallen angels neon halos unplugged

Where New World gives orders
Superclass dictating microchip virtual implants
Viral Internet cyber-propaganda mindset virus
Sold Out to highest bidder

Author's Note: Inspired by Earl Wilcox’s nudging.

 No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Friday, October 26, 2012


by Max Gutmann

It's overdue, this insurrection.
At last we will dispose
Of Darwin's dumb, duped cheering section.
Celestial insight grows;
We'll soon defeat its wicked foes
'Cause now we have a guy
Who'll see the House Committee knows
That evolution is a lie.

Can our distinct divine perfection
Be something that arose
At random?  Natural selection
Is clearly one of those
Base frauds a schoolchild could expose
If he should only try.
The proof's not difficult; it goes:
"Oh, evolution? It's a lie."

The larger point to our objection
Is showing science pros
We're focusing on their correction
And that they can't impose
Their will on ordinary joes.
Their wares we just won't buy.
Straight off this Global Warming slows
If evolution is a lie.

It's obvious. One must suppose
Evolving would imply
Improvement; Broun's election shows
That evolution is a lie.

Max Gutmann has contributed to The Dark Horse and other publications.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


by Martin Rocek

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
just look straight up if
you run off a cliff,
no need to heed science or gravity.

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
the stork only comes
to eager raped mums,
there's never unwanted gravidity.

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
if you're sick and can't pay
try the Tea Party way:
emergency room hospitality.

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
if God guides your path
there's no use for math,
the deficit's paid by divinity.

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
the poor pay the tax,
the rich just relax
and let Bain take care of their equity.

In Wile E. Coyote reality,
don't bother with truth
--it's a folly of youth--
the facts are a dull technicality.

Martin Rocek
teaches and studies theoretical physics at Stony Brook University.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


by Jean L. Kreiling

Our town’s been stricken by an infestation
more visible than gypsy moths or bees.
These pests won’t sting or cause deforestation;
in fact, they look a little bit like trees,

but short, malformed, and ugly. They sprout words
instead of leaves—red, white, and blue, all caps;
no green-clad limbs support alighting birds
or shelter chipmunks for their morning naps.

Instead, the stunted, manufactured trunks
support annoying pleas for our support
of earnest men and women—and some skunks
and swindlers—who pursue an autumn sport.

Theirs is, in fact, a most important game;
the outcome could affect our lives and work.
But while the roadside vermin swarm, each name
propped on a pole looks like that of a jerk.

This plague will end; we must try to remember
that time always exterminates these lines
of lurid boldface blight.  By late November,
we’ll cheer the landslide loss of campaign signs.

Image source: Duane

Jean L. Kreiling's work appears widely in print and online journals and in anthologies.  She was the winner of the 2011 Able Muse Write Prize for Poetry, and she has been a finalist for the Dogwood Poetry Prize, the Frost Farm Prize, and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


by Jay Logan Lance

The Tour of France
has left its lance
behind, its jousted dance
on metal steeds, enhanced
with transfused medicaments,
belied the chance
that one, perchance,
être franc,
his cyclic prance
sept fois romanced,
his many “I did not” comments,
his anger-ridden rants,
his strong-arm stance,
his cure-for-cancer finance-
now seen askance,
and we, his many fans,
ask why, why Lance?

Jay Logan Lance is currently an MFA student at National University and a middle school science teacher in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Monday, October 22, 2012


by Susan de Sola and Ed Shacklee

"They brought us whole binders full of women."

All lies aside, this tart reminder:
It wasn’t Mitt who built the binder.
Massachusetts women – tired
of being courted, but not hired –

approached both camps. The deal was done
long before Mitt Romney won;
and though the old boys called them girlies,
they had Mitt by the short and curlies.

The governor listened, nodded, flattered,
and gave them posts – but none that mattered:
despite that firm, self-serving pledge,
he side-stepped and began to hedge,

to keep his comfy male preserve
where those who reign pretend to serve,
till gifted women started guessing
that they were only window dressing,

and each year watched their numbers drop.
But hey – perhaps they loved to shop,
gossip, have some babies, nurse –
employment only made things worse;

or so the governor suspected.
Oh, well – by then he'd been elected.
Déjà vu: like them we’re finding
how little Mitt considers binding.

Again he wants the votes he lacks:
again he says he’s got their backs,
laminated, perforated,
reproduced and regulated,

for they’ll be hired when times are flush,
otherwise there is no rush.
He condescendingly reminds them
how their domestic duty binds them.


Those fillers and binders are relevant
since Willard's amok on an elephant.
Ironic, isn't it? They found
that Mitt prefers his women bound.

Susan de Sola is an American poet living in the Netherlands. A winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize, she has work published or forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, American Arts Quarterly, Measure, Light, Ambit and River Styx, among other venues.

Ed Shacklee
is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Angle, Contra, The Flea, Light and Lucid Rhythms, among other places.


by Matthew Quinn

Mitt Romney - Caricature

No gal I know
is qualified
for the tricky task:
please bring me
binders full of women.

I search in Bain
for a dame
to fill this open slot:
please bring me
binders full of women.

I spin the rolodex,
I check the agencies,
I search my hanging files.

It's all for naught.
Though I have sought
I do not find:
please bring me
binders overflowing,
chock full
of proficient women.

Matthew Quinn is a freelance writer, editor and genealogical researcher. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with his muse and a menagerie of disembodied voices.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


by Earl J. Wilcox

"It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U. S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the senate."
-- George McGovern

Things might have been different:
More of the hungry
      would have been fed.
More of the naked
      would have been clothed.
More who suffer pain
      and neglect by others
would have known peace and
     some happy times.
George tried his damnedest
     during his lifetime
To get everyone on the same page.

Alas, that book was never read by many,
though George wrote the manuscript over
and over until he died.

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.


by Joan Mazza

Release of Scouts' files reveals decades of abuse
Reports cover more than 1,200 suspected molesters from the 1960s through 1985, naming doctors, lawyers, politicians and police officers. --LA Times, October 19, 2012

You said those words like a holy incantation
as you listed your son’s merit badges: rock
climbing, hiking, wildlife management. Food plan
for the homeless made him an Eagle Scout,
would count on college applications.

No need for a lecture meant to warn. Nights,
your head easy on the pillow, confidence
in your children’s safety, skills on camping trips.
(Sissy boys couldn’t join the Scouts.)

Leaders would turn them into men, would never
show them porn. What they learned was silence,
keeping secrets, loyalty. Rocks they had to swallow,
could not digest. You say, “What? What?”

Your own father held the same surety in safety
when he enlisted you to be an altar boy. Do you tell
yourself you should have earned awards for restraint,
forgiveness, understanding while you plotted

murder? Perversion files. For decades, they knew.
How much each of you learn. Nothing you could
have dreamed. Teachers, priests, scout leaders,
coaches took their power in muscled arms

and ran with it. Again, you dive into your Southern
Comfort. Here’s your award: Step up like a man
and take a white chip.

Joan Mazza has worked as a psychotherapist, writing coach, certified sex therapist, and medical microbiologist, has appeared on radio and TV as a dream specialist. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Perigee/Putnam). Her work has appeared in Kestrel, Stone’s Throw, Rattle, Writer's Digest, Playgirl, and Writer's Journal. She now writes poetry and does fabric art in rural central Virginia.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


by Agrimmeer

                                           Singing Mice Learn New Tunes--National Geographic

  Hear Mice Sing by cdellamore

Mice white as icing can’t recall their lines.
Nor can they handle Shakespearean rhymes,
the cage their stage without admission fees,
in ad-lib scenes, they let loose as they please.
Needle teeth chatter, as they self-flatter,
“I sing, therefore I am,” and similar blather,
without thinking, they keen, upon their wee knees,
a hymn or a croon for that moon of cheese.

Agrimmeer grew to adulthood in the New Haven area but through the winds of time has put down roots in Texas, where he works in energy and real estate law, and where he sometimes gets in hot water for writing poetry about those areas, but keeps doing it anyway.

Friday, October 19, 2012


by Brad Garber

Image source: Naharnet

The developers cut down all but five trees
One hundred more lay in death, waiting
For development into coffins or houses
Into which the refugees will fly and nest
Awaiting the next dislocation, the bombs
Flying like falling birds into residents
Bullets through the walls, body parts
Scattered about the roots, foodstuff
Of dissent and transformation into malls
And new nations, free of the sounds
Of singing children in the moonlight

Brad Garber has published poetry in Cream City Review, Alchemy, Fireweed, “gape seed” (an anthology published by Uphook Press), Front Range Review, theNewerYork Press, Taekwondo Times, Ray’s Road Review, Flowers & Vortexes (Promise of Light), Emerge Literary Journal, Generation Press, Penduline Press, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag and Mercury.  His essays have been published in Brainstorm NW, Naturally magazine and N, The Magazine of Naturist Living.  He has also published erotica in Oysters & Chocolate, Clean Sheets and MindFuckFiction.  A musician/lyricist since 1969, Brad was a 2003 Regional Semi-Finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition, and Honorable Mention in 1980 and 1981.

Thursday, October 18, 2012



by Wayne Scheer

So this guy,
Felix Baumgartner,
decides to jump
out of a balloon
twenty four miles
above the Earth,
falling at speeds
of 833.9 miles an hour,
breaking the sound barrier.

Why not?
Seemed like a good
thing to do at the time.
Not much on TV,
the Presidential Debates
a few days off,
things slow at work.

So he gets into his
pressurized space suit
that protects him
against the elements,
and keeps him from seeing,
hearing or feeling anything.
Who hasn't wished
for a suit like that
now and then?

He jumps and falls,
fearful at first
that the hellish spins
will keep him from
breaking the record,
but he comes out of the spin cycle
and begins a clean descent
straight down,
faster than anyone
not in a capsule of some sort.

He lands, amazingly,
on his feet,
eager to see his girlfriend
and get back to his day job,
flying helicopters.

What has he learned from all this?
"Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are."
Didn't Steve Martin say that
years ago?

Since his retirement, Wayne Scheer has justified not going back to work by publishing hundreds of stories, poems and essays online and in print.  His work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net.  Revealing Moments, a collection of flash stories, was published by Thumbscrews Press.  Wayne lives in Atlanta and can be contacted at wvscheer(at)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


by Ed Shacklee

A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen From a Dutch Museum--NY Times, November 17, 2012

The Monet, Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse
were worth tens of millions of dollars apiece,
thus sturm und drang followed when they went AWOL
from Rotterdam’s lovely museum, Kunsthal,
and every TV blared the news without cease:
“Monet, Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse!”

But the burglars burgled two other fine paintings
which barely got mentioned and didn’t cause faintings.
The Meyer de Haan was an afterthought,
for what kind of bidding would he have brought?
And “Woman with Eyes Closed” by Lucian Freud
was a little too modern and not even nude,

so these were ignored as the burglars ran
off with Picasso, Monet and Gauguin,
plus the "Reading Girl in White and Yellow”
by Henry Matisse, an ingenious fellow;
but spare a few moments regret for de Haan
and Freud, who were stuffed in the back of a van --

less famous, but worthy to hang on the wall
of Rotterdam’s lovely museum, Kunsthal.

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia.  His poems have appeared in The Flea, Light Quarterly, Shot Glass Journal and Tilt-a-Whirl, among other places.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


by Peg Quinn


I heard how you boarded a van,
asked which girl was Malala

then shot her in the head.


Your fear-riddled act made
brave words famous.


I teach at a school that gives tours every Tuesday.
Don’t bring a gun -

we don’t allow gum.


All day that I gathered my classes outside
to look at the sky, wanting to make sure
the children noticed enormous dark clouds
stealing our view of the mountains while
the sun’s piercing light dazzled
the mounting storm’s edges, creating
exquisite lines.

We had to shield our eyes.


Wind-tossed hair and dresses went unnoticed.

Peg Quinn is a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee, art specialist at a private school and mural painter.

Monday, October 15, 2012


by Beate Sigriddaughter

When lightning strikes men, women beware!
Saul turns into Paul. Once playboy, now he declares
women off limits and men their head.
Luther turns from celibate monk to marriage
and proclaims that women have broader hips
so as to better sit on them at home while men
conduct importance elsewhere in the world.
Augustine, story has it, only saw lightning strike
something else. It affects him all the same.
Formerly playboy, too, he now pens spicy diatribes.
He knows whereof he speaks, condemning
women for having these beautiful bodies,
or even ugly ones, for that matter, inciting such
vicious and indomitable lust in men,
which bodies, even though their owners have no souls
and are stupid and useless, they nevertheless connived
to create purposely for the downfall of men,
just like Eve once frivolously fed an apple to Adam.
Because, you see, God created everything
except apparently women’s bodies, for which they are
entirely themselves to blame. God would have never
fashioned anything that vexing and demoralizing
to the peace of the stalwart masters of the universe.

Beate Sigriddaughter is a US citizen currently living and writing in North Vancouver, Canada. Her work has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She has also established the Glass Woman Prize to honor passionate women’s voices. Currently she is working on a novel called Tango.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


by Gershon Hepner

Obama vs. Romney 2012

Though his blah-blah made him a blockbuster;
as debater he seemed most lackluster,
by Romney so flustered,
he turned into custard,
while making his stand against Custer.

Gershon Hepner was born in Leipzig in 1938, came to England one day before the Second World War, became a doctor in 1963, emigrated to the US in 1968, and has been living in Los Angeles since 1976. He has four children and nine grandchildren, and a wife who is a talented poetess. He has been writing an average of five poems a day since 1992.


by J.R. Solonche

Barack Obama v Mitt Romney Denver Debate

Okay, my bad, oh well.
I gave him heck instead of hell.

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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


by Josette Torres

Great Debate, "Wah wah, wah wah, wah, waaah."

I am willing
to hear you out.
Cadences of talking
points. Bobbing
and weaving in
rebuttal. Smooth,
long trouser lines.
White space between
answers. Images
of two politicians
in conflict. Every word
a candidate’s mouth
forms infused
with deeper meaning.
Literature written
in a hurry streams
from uniform rows
of filing center tables.
Heads bow over
laptops. Journalist
minds sink deep
in composition.
You tell me through
your Blackberry
of blood pooling,
congealing on the stage,
pushing beloved
political metaphors
at me—
I tilt my head
and think, Maybe.

Josette Torres received her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech in 2010. She also holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Purdue University. Her work has previously appeared in Big River Poetry Review, 16 Blocks, and Pens on Fire and is forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal and Eunoia Review. She is the Writer in Residence at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Poem by Charles Frederickson
Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

I scream for bananana republican
Split topped with mixed nuts
Gooey fudged prom-ices whipping cr่eme-de-la-creme
Never on Sundae vanilla supremacy

Nit-Mitt Willard Romoney suffering truthache
Re-born sterling silver spoonfed mouthpiece
Tiffany barefoot stumbles transcendental flip-flops
Shooting self in NRA flatfoot

Whatever Flavor of the Month
You want neo-politicians to be
Palin-praline rocky-rogue flaky cones
Half-baked cookie dough mint deflation

Freddie Macadamia Maalox bagel Prozac
Black Russian holy mosque cow
Norange sorbet spumoney matters meltdown
Tutti-frutti gaydar below parfait

Let`s pretend tea-witched party fake-believe
Uncorked champagne campaign bubbles burst
Overgrown tykes entertaining imaginary friends
Lost their sparkle sauterne whines

Legacy of slavery segregation racism
Blurry rearview mirror distorted reflections
Dark Ages revisited taken aback
Pro-rich anti-taxes pro-war anti-Sharia lawlessness

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


by ayaz daryl nielsen

ayaz daryl nielsen is a poet/father/husband/veteran/x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/x-hospice nurse (and still a nurse)/editor of the print pub bear creek haiku. His poetry has appeared in many fine publications including Yellow Mama, Lilliput Review and Christian Science Monitor.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


by Max Gutmann

Antonin Scalia - Caricature
After Scott Brown, in debate with Elizabeth Warren, named Antonin Scalia as his model Supreme Court justice, then, in reaction to crowd booing, added Kennedy, Roberts, and finally liberal Sotomayor.

                                                                       (to the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story)

The conservative justice Scott Brown praised:
Scalia, Scalia, Scalia, Scalia.
Leaving all who were watching a bit amazed:
Scalia, Scalia, Scalia, Scalia,
Scalia, Scalia.

The first judge he named was Scalia.
He couldn't quite resist,
But everybody hissed the name.
He saw, was a real bad idea
So, though it sounded glib,
He countered with that lib'ral dame.

Say it loud and there's trouble brewing.
Say it soft to avoid all that booing.
Scott Brown is now ruing Scalia.

Scalia, Scalia etc.

Has a ring but it's just no use, it's
Not too popular in Massachusetts.
Like some fat robed moose sits Scalia.

Max Gutmann
has contributed to LightenUp Online and other publications.

Monday, October 08, 2012


by David Chorlton

Image source: NY Times

The sculptor of tombstones
cannot work quickly enough
to accommodate the war
going on around him
while the boy
discovered in a house’s rubble
is white as powdered marble
and crumbles in the arms
that try to raise him.
There aren’t a thousand words
to trade for the picture
of a man who lays his head
upon a dead friend’s chest,
or for that of the light
passing through a hole in the ceiling
the way a believer might imagine
a signal from God, but the floor
is broken plaster and the sky
keeps exploding. Against a wall of fire,
a man tries to run
faster than the bullets following him.
Two sections of a hospital room bed
have folded from their springs
at ninety degree angles
as if a patient heard again
the shots that had killed him
and suddenly sat up
to find his body vanished.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in1978. He pursued his visual art and had several shows as well as writing and publishing his poetry in magazines and collections, the latest of which is The Devil’s Sonata from FutureCycle Press.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


by Earl J Wilcox

Image source: bluebirdbanter

Something there is that loves a baseball game:
its happy crowd---the hot dogs, cold beer,
the heat or cold.  Yet when my team’s behind
and the arcane infield fly rule pops into view,
we then hate the insane umps, the other team,
our cold dogs and warm beer but most of all
the chill of losing.

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.

Saturday, October 06, 2012


by J.D. Smith

Image source: ebay

A man of a certain age, declining
with an empire at whose height he was born,
idles at a coffee shop in the capital.
On laptops of ambition
younger patrons tap out theses,
filter spreadsheets.
They could pose a threat,
or they could be scaling other ladders.
or they stand far enough below
that there’s no need to kick out
or grease the rungs they must climb.
Then again, they may be hunting the big game
that is going extinct in their fields.
These days, though, call for foraging.
Holding fast the bird in the hand,       
the man of a certain age returns                      
to browsing a book on great dinosaurs
and mammals that moved underfoot.

J.D. Smith’s third collection, Labor Day at Venice Beach, will be published later this year, as will his first humor collection, Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth. His poems have appeared in journals and sites including 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry and Texas Review. He has work forthcoming in Dark Mountain 3.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


by Martha Deed

NACO, Ariz., Oct 3, 2012 - Investigators were scouring a rugged area near the U.S.-Mexico line looking for evidence in the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent. Nicholas Ivie and a colleague were on patrol in the desert near Naco, about 100 miles from Tucson, when gunfire broke out shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Border Patrol.
. . . The last Border Patrol agent fatally shot on duty was Brian Terry, who died in a shootout with bandits near the border in December 2010. The Border Patrol station in Naco, where the two agents shot Tuesday were stationed, was recently named after Terry. --Newsday/AP

a border patrol officer
a father’s son
rides one-lane dirt park paths
lights out on cliff edges
500-ft drops at midnight –
darkest nights the best
for finding backpacks,
shoes, human “sign” –
the moonlit nights the worst
for border hopping
in the high mountain desert
the worst for getting home alive

When you study medicine
every runny nose
is a sign of this week’s disease
and if a Border Patrol officer
patrolling a national park,
bird songs, butterflies,
and flowers are no longer
noticed or enjoyed, replaced by
surveilling –
each unauthorized path
each piece of litter
in the national forest:
suggests a possible crime

the legal tourists come
they are warned against
scorpions, rattlesnakes
lightning, floods and bears
and dirty people in business dress
crossing the mountains
only the latter need be reported

Montezuma Pass, elev. 6575,
Near Naco, Arizona

Author’s note: One of my stepsons was a Border Patrol Agent in 2008. He was stationed at Naco, AZ where both Brian Terry and now Nick Ivie were killed.  And -- he worked with both men.  Step-son resigned from the Border Patrol several years ago when a promise to move him to a less dangerous post did not happen. His father and I visited him in Naco, and I wrote a poem about it at the time.

Martha Deed lives in North Tonawanda, NY.  Her most recent book is The Last Collaboration, originally published online (Furtherfield, 2012), and now available in book form.  The Last Collaboration is a mixed-genre story of her daughter Millie Niss's encounters with health care in the final year of her life, presented as Millie would have wanted it to be done.  Companion piece to City Bird: Selected Poems (1991-2009) (BlazeVox, 2010) by Millie Niss, edited by Martha Deed. Martha Deed has previously published at The New Verse News.



by Ed Shacklee

Mitt Mobile in the Final Stretch

To show his foggy visions clearer,
Mitt Romney hogs the rearview mirror

and puts the “my” back in myopia
by looking backwards at utopia.

Perhaps the reverse gear is needed,
but every year that dream’s receded

and as the future nears it worsens
for awfully tense, past perfect persons.

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia.  His poems have appeared in The Flea, Light Quarterly, Shot Glass Journal and Tilt-a-Whirl, among other places.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Poem by Charles Frederickson
Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

Pollute-ions denominated lost cause devoted
Keynote speech denoted liars debarred
Unconventional promises delighted AC/DC defused
Bullyrag jeer smear fear demeaned

Tripping over two-too right defeat
Luxury yacht sinking thickset defog
Anything but de tooth decay
Gravy train arriving before departing

Rednecks decapitated ballooning egos deflated
47% detox IRS taxes defiled
One% exposing themselves nakedness debriefed
Hostile polemics fake smiles decried

Mass-media censorship journalists feel depressed
Fiction writers described facts decomposed
Softball players debased flunkies degraded
10S pros defaulted wannabes defamed

Able bodied cruising semen debunked
Stealthy wealthy organ donors delivered
Dirty laundry decreased depressed depleted
Models deposed lonesome cowboys deranged

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


by Max Gutmann

Mr. Ryan will cut all our taxes
And not add to our deficit strain.
How's that possible? Well,
He is not gonna tell;
It would take him too long to explain.

If we voters, says Ryan, knew Romney
And his plans, he would easily gain
In the polls, where he's low.
As to what we should know:
It would take him too long to explain.

Among all of our vague politicians,
Mr. Ryan's the serious, sane
Mr. Budgeting Guy.
He's well known for it. Why?
That's increasingly hard to explain.

Max Gutmann has contributed to Per Contra and other publications.

Monday, October 01, 2012


by Michael Brockley
When he welcomed me into his home I was stunned with how handsome he is. His face like those of the leading men in the westerns my father watched. One daughter read Charlotte’s Web while sitting on the floor with her back against the sofa. The son who wants to be an astronaut flipped through a Watchmen novel while repeating the word freedom to his girlfriend on his Bluetooth. A citrus fragrance soothed the sunlit great hall. His wife dusted an autographed photograph of the bare-chested Russian prime minister riding a quarter horse in the woods surrounding Kyzyl. Around the pool, unsmiling maids sipped cocktails and snacked on a dish of walnuts, grapes and cheeses. He offered the grand tour. In the master bedroom, a worn Book of Mormon and The Qu’ran tented on a chair by a writing desk. A Bible opened to Isaiah atop a dresser. He carried the latest issue of Forbes with his picture on the cover. The one with the articles about complexity horizons and the paradox of exporting jobs for the poor. He’s kept in touch with the people he fired. Every year, a secretary sends them Christmas cards the weekend after Thanksgiving. His wife joined us on the patio after the maids left, having prepared a pitcher of lemonade and a tray of madeleines. She swept the deck around the chaise where he had spilled crumbs. After she left, he rummaged under the cushion until he found The Book of Orgasms. Let’s just keep my prose poem collection a secret between two entrepreneurs, he said, as he pulled The Rooster’s Wife from his shorts.

Michael Brockley is a 63-year old school psychologist who has worked in special education in rural northeast Indiana for 25 years. He has poetry publications in Wind, The Windless Orchard, Spitball, The Indiana Review, The Indiannual, The Spoon River Quarterly, The River City Review and The Ball State Literary Forum. Tom Koontz' Barnwood Press published his chapbook Second Chance in 1990, and he has lately placed work in Indiana publications such as Maize, Country Feedback, Flying Island, The TIpton Poetry Journal and Facing Poverty.  A video of Mike reading his "Hollywood's Poem" which was published in Facing Poverty can be found on YouTube. His poem "When the Woman in the White Sweater at the Cancelled Charles Simic Reading Asked If I Was David Shumate" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Barry Harris of the Tipton Poetry Journal.