Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, April 28, 2013


by David Chorlton

It takes a slide guitar
accompanied by strings and a backup trio
with sweet, high voices
to fit an opera-sized grief
into a country song. This is where
art portrays feelings
unbearable in life, whether
concerning royalty, gods, or just a man
who lost a woman
and drinks her memory
until the bars close every night.
A singer once, recording
the second take for what became
his greatest hit, stared through
the studio window
at his former wife and never took his eyes
off her until the final
chorus faded. The moment
could have been translated
into Italian, reconstructed on a stage
at La Scala or the Met
with a soprano and a tenor
bringing the audience to tears
the way we might
on learning that George today
at last got over Tammy.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978, and still sees his surroundings with an outsider's eye. This helps his writing projects, which include a new poetry collection,"The Devil's Sonata," from FutureCycle Press.