Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, February 28, 2013


by David Feela

“Vatican Smoke” by Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via The Cagle Post.

“What color was the smoke this time?”
“I couldn’t see, but it smelled like bacon.”
“How long will they be in there?”
“It’s impossible to say.”
“What do they do between ballots?”
“Stare at the ceiling.”
“The one Michelangelo painted?”
“That’s the one.”
“Are there enough toilets?”
“Only because they’re all men.”
“Why is that?”
“Because God is a man.”
“I don’t think anyone knows that for sure.”
“The Cardinals do.”
“And who told them?”
“The Pope.”
“The Pope is just an elevated Cardinal, isn’t he?”
“We must not question the wisdom of nepotism.”
“I think they call it Catholicism.”
“Same thing.”
“When they finally decide, how will we know?”
“White smoke will rise from the chimney.”
“What if we can't see it.”
“It will smell like the toilet needs cleaning.”

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


by Ed Bennett

John Boehner - Caricature

We have devolved,
you and I and the others,
the men and women around us
bunkered into our place,
our last stand
until the next one,

without a step or glance
into the middle ground,
the no-man’s land
of negotiation, reasonableness,
the anathema of all things
neither black nor white.

This is why we speak the parable
of vaginas with an off-switch,
the blood right of automatic fire,
the self imposed exile of
twelve million of those
who have the wrong accent.

We will ignore
the needs of those
without a lobby or PAC
but will make citizens
of every sacred corporate logo.
Let us pray.

Ed Bennett is a poet and reviewer living in Las Vegas, NV. His works have appeared in The Externalist, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Lavender Review, Quill and Parchment and Lilipo. He is a staff editor for Quill and Parchment Magazine, the recipient of a Pushcart Nomination and the author of “A Transit of Venus”.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


by Chris O’Carroll

Charlize Theron heard the boob.

We saw the boob.
We saw the boob.
We saw him singing on the tube.  We saw the boob.

Even guys who groove on breasts
Think that Seth’s a noxious pest.
We saw the boob.

We heard him mention many a famous nude scene,
Drooling like an adolescent twit.
His tiny mind’s a theatre with a lewd screen
On which he’s starring as a sack of rhymes with tit.

We saw the boob.
We saw the boob.

Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor.  In addition to his previous appearances in New Verse News, he has published poems in Antiphon, Bumbershoot, Light Quarterly, Measure, Per Contra, and other print and online journals

Monday, February 25, 2013


by Llyn Clague

"Former Sen. Ben Nelson . . . the holdout who eventually provided the key vote for President Barack Obama’s health care law, will head up the nonpartisan National Association of Insurance Commissioners . . . As CEO, earning nearly $1 million a year, Nelson will be a leading intermediary between the states and Washington." -- Politico, January 23, 2012
Image source: Mario Piperni dot Com

In wrestling, a full nelson is against the rules
because you could break the fucker’s neck.
When I competed, back in middle school,
the rules, applied to all, kept us in check.

In politics, we now have the “ben nelson,”
which says, there is one rule for me and mine,
and a different one for every one else:
a plum for my state, but not the other 49.

The deal that Ben Nelson struck was a bear:               
in return for his vote on the Senate floor
he demanded the Feds pay Nebraska ’s share
of Medicaid – costs all states bear for the poor.

That morsel was not as-usual earmark stew –
a military base for him, a prison for her,
a highway for me, maybe a bridge for you –
swaps, trade-offs, a bite for every cur.            

Nor was it made on principle or conscience,
like opposition to taxes or abortion,
or deeply held personal values: it shunts
all that aside:  it was naked extortion.

In curt terms, it was a raw grab,
taking me-ism to a new level,  
and part of what made it so bad –
it was to go on forever,

leaving every single other state
paying its own, plus Nebraska’s, aid
“in perpetuity.”  Oh, there is so much to hate
with yet another tranche of trust betrayed.
But it takes two to do dirty deals,
one to sell, and the other to buy.
Men from his own party concocted this sleaze,
using “historic ends” as their alibi.

Will the ben nelson itself break the neck
of the body politic?  No, probably not.
This particular piece of dreck
is only one year’s stink in the overall rot.

Yet ben nelson does deserve a special place
in the long, checkered history of public service.
It imagined a wholly new hold to debase
wrestling, making our life distinctly worse,

and his name, Ben Nelson, shall forever stand
as the utter opposite of Nathan Hale,
who gave his young life for our young land –
for a man, body and soul, up for sale.

Llyn Clague’s poems have been published widely, including in Atlanta Review, Wisconsin Review, California Quarterly, Main Street Rag, New York Quarterly, Ibbetson Street.  His sixth book, The I in India and US, was published by Main Street Rag in 2012.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


by Frank Osen

"Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country. To be watching all of this, to be treated like this, to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being insulted? It just makes me ashamed. Seriously, man."  --Rush Limbaugh, February 21, 2013
Image source: TIME Magazine (January 23, 1995 cover)

Rush Limbaugh has lately been grievin,’
And though I don’t think he’ll be leavin,’
It’s still cause for elation,
He’s ashamed of our nation.
Now he and the nation are even.

Frank Osen has won the Able Muse Book Award and his first book, Virtue, Big as Sin, will be published this Spring by Able Muse press.  He has also won the Best American Poetry series poem award.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


by Sandra Larson

        In memory of Joaquin Luna Jr.
18-year-old Joaquin Luna Jr. took his own life in November 2011 in his home in Mission, Texas. His parents reported he was depressed because, although a very good student, he was receiving only rejection letters from colleges and was also disappointed when the Dream Act failed to pass through the US Congress.  He did receive one acceptance letter after his death. 
Image source: Tucson Citizen

He pressed the revolver
underneath his chin
and fired.  
Its force
his forest
of feeling,
a wind storm
sapping his life
pieces now
on the bathroom tiles.
hear the dripping
of hope, the draining
of dreams for college,
a career in engineering.  Blue-
prints on the floor.
His desk is neat.
Letters stacked
upon it ask,
Are you a citizen?
The steely word –illegal?

Illegal, illegal
through the rooms
off his parents,
brothers’ grief.
The only response,
of puffed-up politicians,

Build a wall, build a wall, a wall!

America shoots another one.

A native of New Jersey, Sandra Sidman Larson is a retired manager and leader from the nonprofit world in the Twin Cities of Minnesota who has lived and traveled coast to coast and across the seven continents for work and for adventure. She’s been writing poetry for a quarter century and most recently she was selected for the Foreword Program at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, a program established to assist promising writers produce a manuscript for publication. Along the way she has seen her poems appear in magazines and journals and she also has three published chapbooks.  In 1996 poet Naomi Shihab Nye nominated her for a Pushcart Prize.

Friday, February 22, 2013


by Jim Gustafson

"I found one!" --Sasha Zarezina, 8, searching a snow bank in Deputatskoye, Russia, for fragments of a meteor.  New York Times, February 19, 2013

Sasha searches for pieces of the end of time
fallen from the sky. She looks for evidence,
the real stuff from which bad dreams
come down in strange stones,
just the way snow does in Siberia.

Deposited in banks,
left to draw interested children and those
who wonder out loud about the meaning of things
that come from above.

It came in the cold time, to be found
by a fair February maid. Still warm,
its bed of snow melts,
cools light years of falling flames.

Sasha’s small hand holds up
a trace of outer space,
a trophy from her hunt,
raised in wonder.
She shouts:

I found one! I have it in my hand.
We need not fear, for it is small.

She does not see the lasting tremors
glow in the eyes of those who saw
the ball of fire tumble, nor does she hear
the echo in the ears of those
who only heard its rumble.

Sasha’s rock sits by the hearth
reflecting the flames the fight
the arctic winds that run
fast beneath the stars.

Mother and father Zarezina’s fear
the future meteor.
They know better, now, than to trust
the sky when they
walk the land.

Jim Gustafson graduated from Florida Southern College, received his master’s degree from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and is a currently pursuing his MFA at the University of Tampa. His latest book, Driving Home, was just released by Aldrich Press. Jim lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Poem by Charles Frederickson
Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote 

Spring of 2013 sprang sprung
Wireless Slinky descending into oblivion
Faithful almost pregnant hopes misplaced
Beastly encounters of uncivilized kind
Obama venturing into wildcat cage
Spotted tigers changing starry stripes
Circus Minimus centrist ring distractions
Mane pride flaming hope singed
Caught between chipped stonewall boulders
Both sides blame-gaming each other
Rising tide engulfing global condemnation
Criticizing unsettled borderline territorial domination
Tripped objectives uncivil Syrian wars
Holding back bullyrag Iran strike
Iron dome rocket-interceptor defensive offence
Pushing tug of peace patience
Sending crudible messages massaging superegos
U.S. committed to Israel ’s survival
While reconciling tainted blood-brother doubts
Jocks supporting secular democratic ideals
Cocoon swayed by geopolitical realities
Giant silkworm emerging from pupa
Caterpillars molting Machiavellian expectation skins
Luna moths acknowledging legitimate fears

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


by Daniel Bosch

Schooled by hard knocks, new
Siberian road signs read:
“Danger Falling Rocks.”

Image via @_marsi

No MXs, no
Tomahawks, long expected;
Just a rock star’s glow.

Daniel Bosch was the winner of the very first Boston Review Poetry Prize.  His dialogical reviews of poems by George Kalogeris and Frederick Seidel have recently been published at Berfrois and The Rumpus.  He lives in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


by B.Z. Niditch

Meat industry under scrutiny as horsemeat scandal spreads --CNN, London, February 15, 2013
Image source: Cream Bmp Daily

Ordering for four
at our table
but unfortunately
for our sandwich
there is no label
now smothered
in ketchup
and pickles beside,
one does not want
to be snide or rude
but why does the food
taste funny
when we asked
for our money back,
and what stealth
is involved
for the meat rack.

Here's to your
good health,
no great deal
that buys
what they advertise,
we expected no trick
like-wise, scandal
stealth or treat,
for it's no hearty meal
that makes their wealth
only a steal,
as we learn a lesson
while we eat,
it was not hamburger
but horse meat!

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art, The Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Hawaii Review, Le Guepard (France), Kadmos (France), Prism International, Jejune (Czech Republic), Leopold Bloom (Budapest), Antioch Review, and Prairie Schooner.  He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Monday, February 18, 2013


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

Steve Sack, Cagle Cartoons, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Silver-brittle sky-house snaps
handcuffs on its prisoners

the urgency of fear
startles some lizards

who walk on water  bodies  upright
escaping locomotion  no tracks

the fuchsia  impatiens
spills her blossoms onto brick

the sky is falling cries Henny-penny
I must warn the people

a duck rides a decoy like a horse
veering nowhere on its back

a boy fastens a target to a tree
alien green parrots scream

the needle sinks into the flesh
the arrow flies into the black

hungry pythons swallow deer
a dog named Forrest drowns

a child draws her lost cat
pointed ears small paws rounded eyes

she tapes it to a tree until its face
fades from it penciled tail

in a coat of oil a bird grows cold
its blackened wing remains

Henny-penny trips and falls
foxes make a meal of her

leave her carcass
on their party's trail

Lucille Gang Shulklapper has published short stories as well as four chapbooks of poetry, most recently, In the Tunnel, (March Street Press, 2008).  She has won awards and competitions from National League of Pen Women: Nob Hill Branch, Palm Beach Repertory Theater, the R. Rofihe Poetry Trophy, and others.  Her work has been anthologized and appears in many publications, including: Jerry Jazz Musician;  Poetic Voices Without Borders, Gulfstream and The Prose Poem Project. She has led workshops for The Florida Center for the Book, and workshops facilitated through The Palm Beach Poetry Festival.  Her first picture book, Stuck in Bed, Fred, has been accepted for publication in 2013.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


by Laura Shovan

Image source: Transition Force, US Army Garrison, Fort McClellan, Alabama

This is a really beautiful camp.
I found George in excellent health.

                                    Please help.
I was stationed at Fort McClellan.
I have developed a symptom of passing out.
Doctors called it "Syncope".
None of them could figure out
what caused it. 

Hi my name is: _____
I went through Basic training
in Echo 1 company. We had to go through
that building they called the Gas Chamber.
Does anybody know what type of gas
or chemical was in there?

I want to hear from you.
We were exposed to toxic substances,
big time. The McClellan Cocktail:
depleted Uranium, Sarin gas, mustard gas,
and let's not forget that old standby,
Agent Orange.

                                    I drove track vehicles
through dust and mud, unknowing the danger.
I taught troops to make the smoke
that covered the base, was told Fog Oil SGF2
was harmless. We breathed it in for hours.
I went thru the live nerve agent chamber.
They drew blood to check us but never
told us why.

                                    I was face down
in toxic-smelling stuff on the firing range.
They sprayed stuff to keep the bugs away.
They sprayed us in the "gas chamber,"
said I had "sensitive skin" when I broke out
in weeping blisters and dizzy spells.
We were "just women." It's a damn shame
they couldn't tell us what we were
crawling around in.

                                    Tell you more
when I get home.

Author’s note: This is a found poem. The italics in this poem are taken from a used postcard, cancelled in 1944. All of the stanzas not italicized are taken directly from blogs and internet postings by veterans who trained at Fort McClellan. I deleted a word here and there, but have not changed the vets’ language.

Editor of Little Patuxent Review, Laura Shovan was a finalist for the 2012 Rita Dove Poetry Award. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, won the Harriss Poetry Prize. She edited Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. In January and February, 2013, Laura is blogging 44 poems inspired by antique postcards at

Saturday, February 16, 2013


by Jerome Betts

Oil in seabirds death identified --Press Association, Feb 6, 2013

Birds found on Chesil beach have been taken to the RSPCA's West Hatch centre near Taunton. Photograph: Geoff Moore/Rex Features. Image source: The Guardian

A painter's boast, one long past day,
Beside his Guillemots and Spray:
‘Such are the touches I can give
That when they’re caught in oil, they live.’

This week, his grandsons found the sands
Left grease and feathers on their hands
And told small children asking why
That when they’re caught in oil, they die.

Jerome Betts lives in Devon, England, and has contributed verse to LightenUp OnLine, New Verse News, Per Contra, Snakeskin and Tilt-A-Whirl, as well as numerous print publications.

Friday, February 15, 2013


by David Feela

I think a pope was trying to hide from me...

Getting ready to leave,
the Pope has suitcases
opened for airing,
vestments dry-cleaned
and prayer books stacked
on the bedside table
like a miniature Pisa.

He knows enough to take
just what he needs,
to fold his hands,
to visualize a better world.
If the moving men
do their job, then
nothing more needs to be said

about those other men
who took what didn’t belong
to them.  Aren’t we all
brothers and sisters? 
Don’t we live together
in a house belonging to God?
Let us give thanks

so many knickknacks
broken during the last move
have been swept away,
and that our closets
are so large, the daylight
will never illuminate
what gets left behind.

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


by Howie Good

Image source: appszoom
We share one long border.
When she breathes in,
I must breathe out.

There may be arguments
against this, or at least

against us attempting
to build a kingdom
out of blowing rain.

What began in regicide
continues somehow

in majesty & the small,
impossibly bright light
of her drowned candle.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He has a number of chapbooks forthcoming, including Elephant Gun from Dog on a Chain Press. His poetry has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthology. goodh51(at)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


For Valentine's Day

Poem by Charles Frederickson
Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

Falling in Love Dove passion
Bitter-tweet better chocolate than never
Milk shake sensually shook shaken
Do-or-diet not for disfatisfied quitters

There’s more to life than
Chocolates but not right now
Nobody knows the truffles I’ve
Seen here today gone today

Fad-approved fudging statistics dark improves
Endothetial function lowers blood pressure
Milk chocolate justifiably dairy product
Cocoa-loco beans nutrageous veggie snacks

Reluctantly hell-thigh life behind bars
His & Hershey melt-away S & M & M kisses
Mounds fudge lava Almond Joy
Mars Galaxy Spockoholic Milky Weigh

Chunky monkey Snickers Milk Dudes
Ghirardelli-deli pleasing plump Godiva
Toot-toot-tootsie rocky road roll
Cadbury Ritter Sport Toblerone & only

Thinking outside Whitman Sampler box
Poking bottoms craving car-mellow fix
Oh Henry! Butterfinger Clark KitKat
3 Mousseketeers always craving S’more

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


by B.Z. Niditch

Mixed Decision for Shell in Nigeria Oil Spill Suits --NY Times, January 30, 2013;
Image source: Aljazeera January 31, 2013

In gutted morning
of the Ogoni villagers
the poor wake up
as we earth friends
of the Niger delta
hold faithful pencils
and write
of your struggle,
knowing each bruise
on the assembled
gathering to hear
the radio
with battered lilies
from years of pollution
in the injustice
of acid rain
dulled by hunger
without fishing grounds
under the rope
of tar skies
oil once filled
the delta
as Aaron's beard,
in the name and life
of Ken Saro-Wiwa
you are not abandoned
to the huge profits
of yet another
international corporation.

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.  He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Monday, February 11, 2013


given by Marilyn Monroe to Sylvia Plath in a dream

by Kate Bernadette Benedict

[In his new biography of Sylvia Plath, American Isis, Carl] Rollyson points to an often ignored journal entry from October 1959 in which Plath recounts being visited by Marilyn Monroe in a dream. Monroe, Plath writes, was dressed like a "fairy godmother" and appeared in a setting that she imagined to be similar to an upcoming dinner party with T.S. Eliot to which she and Hughes had been invited. Plath writes: "I spoke, almost in tears, of how much she and Arthur Miller meant to us, although they could, of course, not know us at all. She gave me an expert manicure. . . . She invited me to visit during the Christmas holidays, promising a new, flowering life." --Micah Mattix, The Wall Street Journal 
Image source: The Cheryl Flavour

Who is this, under stage light, bowing over my gnawed and ink-dark nails?
It is the White Goddess, with the platinum air.

It is the moon woman, in full, in full illumination.
She is in my thrall, it is a wonderment. She is at my beck and call.

See how she eradicates the blue discolorations!
She achieves an alchemy; the cuticles dissolve.

The bright chromium of her tools, the shimmering lotions!
How is it such holiness misspends itself on me¾

Me with my Maenad’s fury and my matronly hair?
It is like being stung by a seraph or poured into the cup of a tulip.

The jars are arrayed before us, the glamorous polishes.
Tangerines, mauves, and those appalling plasma reds.

These lights are the lights of Migraine, I cannot choose now.
But the hour is late, and the audience is waiting.

See them staring at us, in the Stygian shadows?
A vast arrangement of bald heads, utterly still.

What do they want from us, blonde godmother?
What must we do, do, do to make them satisfied?

I do not think they require a death.
That is another matter entirely.

What is the name of that pale lacquer with the mirrory sheen?
I would name it Isis, I would name it Icicle.

How you perfect me now, with your finishing touches!
White nails, the immaculate hands of a virgin, my hands.

They will dance poems onto pages, danses macabres, arabesques.
I will join you one day in the Pantheon, I am statuesque.

Kate Bernadette Benedict is a poet living in Riverdale, NY. She was the editor/publisher of the online poetry journals Umbrella and Tilt-a-Whirl.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


by Sandra Eisdorfer

(Photo: NASA Goddard)

    immigration  gun control
    onto mindfulness

    choice: Roe at 40
    diplomacy  not bullets
    meditation soon

    Arab spring winters
    climate  changes coastlines now
    await inner peace

Sandra Eisdorfer was a university press editor (Duke, University of North Carolina Press, Oxford), now teaches writing classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University.

Saturday, February 09, 2013


by Chris O’Carroll

Photograph by Guccifer, The Smoking Gun via The Province

Skill as an artist has nothing to do
With whether you’re evil or good.
Hitler and Churchill both wanted to paint
And the evidence says they both could.

Skill as a painter has nothing to do
With whether you’re stupid or smart.
“Fool and War Criminal Nude in the Bath” --
It might or might not be bad art.

Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor.  In addition to his previous appearances in New Verse News, he has published poems in Angle, First Things, Lighten Up Online, Literary Review, Snakeskin, and other print and online journals.

Friday, February 08, 2013


by Penelope Scambly Schott

Image source: Save the Children

The early robin plumps on a fence post
well ahead of the meadow larks –
I count one vote for spring.

My lonely neighbor left her lights on all night
and rose in frost to sweep her patio
clean of sunflower husks.

In a camp just beyond the Syrian border
most of the 75,000 shivering refugees
are under the age of four.

I remember completely being three years old –
how near my hands were to my elbows
and my fingers to my mouth.

Today, on this fragrant slice of warm toast
veined with cinnamon sugar,
the spread butter melts.

We all have our mouths wide open
and some of us sing.

Penelope Scambly Schott’s forthcoming book Lillie Was a Goddess, Lillie Was a Whore is a series of poems about prostitution.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


by E.F. Schraeder

Image source: Kikim Media

By the time I sat down I was
exhausted from my last patient.
Fifteen people a day

deserve full attention. 
Fifteen minutes
per consult.  Period. 

Sorry I kept you waiting, I say,
but look at her: perched
on that flat table beneath

a thin paper shroud, brown eyes pleading,
really? like a trapped field mouse.
She says nothing.  Good.

Don’t accept it, the thing
this medicine machine turns us
into greedy little monsters.

E.F. Schraeder's creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Corvus Magazine, New Verse News, Five Poetry,  and elsewhere. Her chapbook, The Hunger Tree, was a semifinalist in the New Women's Voices series at Finishing Line Press and is forthcoming in summer 2013.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


by Dave Goldenberg

Richard III, Infamous English King, Found Under Parking Lot --US News headline, February 4, 2013.
Image source: University of Leicester

"March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell

If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell."
--Shakespeare's Richard III

To none would this cold grave as heav'n appear,

And so it seems, clod-cloister'd in cold clay,

That I did damn'd in hell these centuries lay

'Neath Vauxhalls and Renaults in second gear

Yet 'tis in heav'n I have come to stay.

The Bard hath penned perhaps no greater role--

And lions have inhabited my soul,

Such as Pacino and Olivier.

Dave Goldenberg is a New York ad guy who moved his office about 30 miles uptown. Although he's won awards as a writer and creative director, he's equally at home in his left brain. Over 20 years he's served every kind of client, from AOL and American Express and Schick to MTV and America Online. But that's just his day job. He's also a folksinger on the local circuit, a passionate skier and an unapologetic Yankees fan.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


by Earl J. Wilcox

Image source: HotDogma

Arkansas Senate OKs concealed weapons in church --USA TODAY, January 29, 2013

If you don’t like the preacher calling you out---
sinners, fornicators, back sliders, whoremongers,
two timers, lukewarm Christians, dead beat dads---
responding to the Word is an altar call to arms.
Say Amen like the NRA and gun-toting patriots.
Answer the call with a bullet in the barrel,
blow the messenger to kingdom come.

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.

Monday, February 04, 2013


by Diane Kendig

Protesters return to Steubenville voicing concerns about rape case --Steubenville Herald-Star, February 3, 2013

The Lessons of Steubenville --The New Yorker, January 11, 2013

Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City--The New York Times, December 16, 2012

From outside Harding Field
I think of the legal brief,
and of the freshman girl
who has had no relief
though surely she has dreams.

The coaches played their teams
for pics and Tweets don’t count
at least not to any amount.

a motion gets filed mid-December
asking the court please remember
she may not be victim, but whore.

Diane Kendig, who has worked as a poet, writer, translator and teacher for over 40 years, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The Places We Find Ourselves (fall 2009). A recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships in Poetry and a Fulbright lectureship in translation, she has published widely in literary journals, including J Journal, Wordgathering, About Places, and qarrtsiluni.