Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, March 08, 2013


by Chris O’Carroll

Retail giant Amazon was asked to make a "substantial donation" to a woman's refuge on Saturday night after its UK website offered T-shirts for sale promoting rape and violence against women. The T-shirts, which were also manufactured and sold in the U.S., included slogans were spun off the phrase, "Keep Calm and Carry On", a famous British propaganda slogan and included shirts that read: "Keep Calm and Hit Her", "Keep Calm and Rape a Lot" and "Keep Calm and Rape Them" for $23–$26. --Elise Solé, Shine from Yahoo! Staff | Healthy Living, Mar 4, 2013

Hey, wanna read my shirt?
It leaves some folks agape a lot,
But c’mon, who gets hurt?
It says, “Keep Calm and Rape a Lot.”

That’s one of several jests --
“. . . Hit Her,” “. . . Rape Them,” “. . .  Rape Me” --
Emblazoned across chests
Clad in hilarity.

Some chicks don’t get the jokes.
Who cares, guys?  My advice:
Just do a few keystrokes
And grab the merchandise.

Solid Gold Bomb (no kidding),
That’s the firm that makes the raiment.
Keep calm, girls.  Do our bidding
As they strike gold with each payment.

Zeus was a badass swan;
Now any guy can be.
Log onto Amazon
And buy a pro-rape T.

Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor.  In addition to his previous appearances in The New Verse News, he has published poems in BigCityLit, The Chimaera, 14 by 14, Umbrella, and The Cantab Lounge Anthology.