Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, October 19, 2013


by Judith Terzi

Camus:               Did you become a Tea Party member today
                      or yesterday?

Cruz:                  Je ne sais pas. What difference does it make?
                     Adamant or ablative?
                     Buttonhole or brandish?
Camus:              Can I call you Ted?
                     Is the welfare of the people the alibi of tyrants?
Cruz:                 Entente or egregious?
                     Filibuster or fricassee?

Camus:              Ted, think about your Caucus. Do you consider
                     suicide as the only escape from the absurdity of

Cruz:                 Golf would be that, Albert. Golf. No question.
                     Herring or hubbub?
                     Infuse. Refuse. Refuse. Accuse. J'accuse! Zola, right?
Camus:             Eh bien mon frère, vous connaissez Sisyphe?
                    You know Sisyphus, right?

Cruz:                Oui, oui Albert. I graduated Princeton cum laude.
                    Judicious jab.
                    Kebob kingdom.
Camus:             LOL. I don't get the metaphor, Ted.

Cruz:                Mordant mincemeat.       
                    Nefarious narcolepsy.

Camus:             Mon frère, we should be a rockin' & a rollin',
                    pushin' that boulder up the slope ensemble.
                    Together. Juntos! I didn't write that damn essay
                    to waste time. You've read La Peste, right?
Cruz:                Plague!
                    Quite a story if I say so myself.
                    Rats, rats, rats, rats.
                    Socialist rats. Everyone helping each other. So creepy.
Camus:             TMI, Ted.
Cruz:                United we stand, Albert.
                    Vouloir, c'est pouvoir. Where there's a will,
                    there's a way. Voulez-vous . . . High school French, man.

                         So tell me, Al. Why did the Stranger want a crowd
                    at his execution? Can't remember the weirdo's name.

Camus:             Very strange question from you, mon frère. Surely
                    you get off on les cris de haine, cries of hatred, right?

Cruz:                Wrestle with the wrath like I always say.
                    Xerox the xenophobia. You get my drift.

Camus:             Yak or yodel?
                    Zion or Zen?
                    Zut alors!

Cruz:                Yesterday or today?           

Judith Terzi holds an M.A. in French Literature. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Centrifugal Eye; Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai (FutureCycle); Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo); The Raintown Review; and Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s (She Writes). Her fourth chapbook, Ghazal for a Chambermaid, is forthcoming from Finishing Line. A former high school French teacher, she also taught English and ESL at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.