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Saturday, November 30, 2013


by Ed Werstein

USDA plan to speed up poultry-processing lines could increase risk of bird abuse:
Nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive each year in U.S. slaughterhouses, often because fast-moving lines fail to kill the birds before they are dropped into scalding water, Agriculture Department records show.
-- Washington Post, October 30, 2013

Today, folding clothes
I thought, for the first time
about where lint comes from.

Mom didn’t have a clothes dryer.

Every Monday with wet rag
she wiped the farm dust
and bird shit from metal wires
and let the wind and sun
do their work.

And when weather didn’t permit

out came the wooden racks
and the furnace did double duty
drying denim.

But here I stand again
like every week
with a handful of lint.

How many sweaters, sheets
and socks picked thin in forty years?

Not only Hotpoint and Maytag benefit
from clothes dryer sales.

And when someone says something
tastes like chicken,
what do they mean
when chicken doesn’t
taste like chicken anymore?

Convenience has a price:
thin clothes
bland food
traffic jams
water faucets you can light on fire

If you doubt the last one
you can Google it.

Ed Werstein, Milwaukee, WI, spent 22 years in manufacturing and union activity before his muse awoke and dragged herself out of bed. His sympathies lie with poor and working people. He advocates for peace and against corporate power. His poetry has appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Blue Collar Review, Stoneboat, Mobius: the Journal of Social Change, Stoneboat.

Friday, November 29, 2013


by Archana Sankaran

Old Beggar With a Boy - Pablo Picasso, 1903

I will keep my
strong sense of independence,
my fierce will,
precious freedom
and hopefully,
creative lust.
Until the minute coffers
where I pinned my
existential insecurities,
stand near empty.
But empty, it does not
scare me anymore.
I have seen empty,
spread those bowls of begging
and received often pity
but sometimes crumbs
that were and are of
much value to me.
That some people can
be kind, never mind if grudgingly
to strangers.
There certainly is
a clarity, a looking at truth
a freedom at empty.
Oh, what a wonderful
place I am at, tonight.
Happy at going to full.
And happy to get to empty.

Archana Sankaran is a poet based in India. She is also an artist . She finds writing poetry often emotionally cathartic. And is grateful for the gift of writing.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


by Richard Schnap

Barcelona homeless. Image source: Nae's Nest

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” -- Pope Francis, November 26, 2013

There’s the one who appears only on weekends
To stand near the crowd at popular restaurants
Asking passersby if they can spare a quarter

And the one who disappears for years at a time
To return outside the local supermarket
Pleading for change for something to eat

And the one who sits on a corner sidewalk
With a cardboard sign and a Styrofoam cup
Wrapped in a blanket as she falls asleep

And no matter what changes befall the world
There will always be those caught in its shadows
Whose voices are lost in its bitter winds

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Translated by Richard O'Connell from the Latin of Tibullus

What is the cause of war and grief that it imparts
but greed for gold, corrupting human hearts;
once long ago there was a golden age
without the curse of jealousy and rage.
Gods of my fathers, save me from the wild
blood lust of war; you knew me as a child
plain and simple, when the herdsman slept
In his low hovel and the faith was kept
by farmers coming to your tree-carved shrines
with thankful gifts of honey cakes and wines.
No battle bugles them, no scarred and torn up earth
but happy songs of harvest and unbridled mirth.
No sieges, rapes and pillage, loudly boasted of,
but lovers in close combat on the bed of love.
Here let me live in peace till I am crowned
with white hair and my offspring clustered round.
Let Peace, bright Peace shine down on our fair fields
blest with the abundance honest labor yields.

Richard O'Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


by Daniela Gioseffi

Two weeks of United Nations climate talks ended Saturday with a pair of last-minute deals keeping alive the hope that a global effort can ward off a ruinous rise in temperatures.  . . . Mohamed Adow, an activist with Christian Aid, said the deal showed that “countries have accepted the reality” of the effects of climate change, but that “they seem unwilling to take concrete actions to reduce the severity of these impacts.” --NY Times, November 23, 2013

The plan was for butterflies,
bees and bats to suck among flowers
gathering sweetness to live
as they carried pollen, seed to ova,
to bring fruit from need.

The plan was for waters
to run freshly through
wetland deltas, filtering streams
along their way from mountain tops
quenching thirst running clear
rivers to the sea bringing life to the lips of children,
blossoming from the need for love
from parents, two different animals united
into a new being, ecstatic with rebirth.

The plan was for forests to clean the air
for children's breath in symbiotic balance
using carbon dioxide expelled from animals
to give forth oxygen,
to photosynthesize food from need,
making green leaves that leaf and leaf again
to feed women's breasts, not mere objects of sex,
but factories of milk, first link
in the food chain for children's mouths
to suckle milk from leaves of grass
come from fertile mud for need.

But sheer greed for things
of plastic, polymers from petroleum:
acrylic, polyester, lucite, biogenetics,
nuclear radiation, poisons,
greed for too much meat full of steroids,
land laid waste grazing cattle,
carcinogens, plutonium, filth and waste,
killed the plan slowly, bit
by bit, until the water trickled
with foul waste of industries' mistakes
and what was needed food, water, breath
was suffocated to a barren death.

Bats, bees and butterflies
ceased to buzz around flowers
bearing fruit from their sexual union
and children had no food.
Forests chopped to dust
gave forth no oxygen
or photosynthesis
or atmospheric balance
as fluorocarbons and fuel emissions
opened holes in the ozone
and burned the earth
to a carbon crisp
and love,
which was God itself,
no longer breathed
in the eyes of children,
but was silenced from its song
and art, books, poems,
had no feelings to speak
as all seed,
through "market engineering,"
was lost
to greed.

Daniela Gioseffi is an American Book Award winning author of 16 books of poetry and prose. She is editor/publisher/webmaster of, a website of poetry and commentary dealing with climate crisis concerns. She has been widely published in innumerable magazines such as The Nation, The Paris Reveiw, Chelsea, Choice, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and in anthologies from Oxford U. Press, Viking, Simon & Schuster, Harpers. Her latest book is Blood Autumn from VIA Folios / Bordighera Press. Her verse is etched in marble on a Wall of PENN Station with that of Walt Whitman and other poets.

Monday, November 25, 2013


by David Radavich

Barnum & Bailey Circus Congress of Freaks c. 1924

Holiday Finds Congress Well Short of Goals  — The landmark Senate vote this week to end the minority party’s ability to filibuster most presidential nominees is just one symptom of the deep level of dysfunction coursing through the 113th Congress . . . The list of unfinished tasks . . .  is daunting — and time is just about out. The House will be back the week after Thanksgiving, but the Senate is taking a two-week break. - NT Times, November 23, 2013

The circus animals
have all run loose.

They can’t be seen
in the night,

but their smell
permeates the fetid air.

Some of them
must be preying

now that the
keepers have gone home.

I can’t report
any more
than what you’ve heard.

The feeding pails
are empty

and water
has been scattered
in every direction.
Don’t expect cages
to be open

in the morning.

David Radavich’s recent collections include America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007), Canonicals: Love’s Hours (2009), and Middle-East Mezze (2011). His plays have been performed across the U.S., including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe. His new collection is The Countries We Live In.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


by Martha Landman

            “. . . the sign of a mind that is restless but not wandering.”  -- The Guardian

A farm girl, lover of cats,
started writing and never stopped
the controversy

from communism to feminism
a sharp contrarian
chanting slogans
a step away from lunacy

ran away from motherhood
into a household of adolescent
waifs and strays

“I will not”
written in her Bible

every pigeonhole declined
a curtsied “no” to damehood
in a non-existent empire

her visionary power captured
in a golden notebook on a
dinosaur typewriter
her novels and scepticism
travelled the world

she thought freely, independently
an irascible soul with little tact

an impenetrable icon of wisdom
a lover of Sufis and cats.

Martha Landman writes poetry in North Queensland, Australia.  Her work has appeared in various journals including Every Day Poets, Poetry 24, Eunoia Review, Muse.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


by George Held

Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011 during flights for NASA’s Operation IceBridge. By July 2013, infrared and radar images indicated that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier. --NASA

                          The watchword to my remarks [on halting global warming] is urgency.
                                                      –Bill McKibben, Brown Alumni Monthly

How few dare face the fatality we face:
Our electrified, motorized civilization
Pollutes the planet; mammoth enterprises
Fight for scarce resources, including water,
“The new oil.”

Will your grandchildren have a pure drop
To drink unless your children
Can afford to pay hundreds of dollars
Per gallon? Will the poor, driven mad
By thirst, revolt with Kalashnikovs,

IED’s, machetes to seize water supplies
for their families? All that storm water flooding
and drowning Kansas and the Philippines,
Bangladesh and the Jersey Shore
And not a drop to drink.

Scientists report time is short, even Al Gore’s
100 years sound far too optimistic,
Yet what are you doing right now to stem
Our reliance on fossil fuels and advance
Our shift to renewable, sun and wind, power?

Right now what are you doing to save Mother
Earth from the ravages of global warming,
to keep air breathable, water drinkable,
Life livable? Do it, right now, for the last days
Are near. Tomorrow is too late.

An occasional contributor to The New Verse News, George Held occasionally blogs at

Friday, November 22, 2013


by Mick Murphy

The woods are quiet today.
Not even birds
this late November.

Oddly warm for one who can
remember another day-
chill wind-
in Washington.


a boy in a short coat.

Mother, who rarely wept,
by the TV.

A coastal boy,
he once carried a man
for miles through turquoise water

unharmed by the Great White
or other creatures of the sea.

Mick Murphy is astudent of Amy Holman at the Hudson Valley Writers center in Sleepy Hollow New York. A former business executive, he has studied and written poems for many years. His work looks at personal and spiritual issues and the intersection of these with the life of his generation. He lives in the Hudson Valley of New York. He also writes about sports.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


by Lewis Gardner

Image source: “How close are we to finding dark matter?” by Jim Al-Khalili, Light & Dark, BBC Four, 18 November 2013

The astrophysicist talks about dark matter
and how it must exist although it hasn't been found,
and I remember hearing that this universe

may be only one of an infinite number of universes,
and then I think that,
despite that practically unimaginable vastness,

we usually think about how much fiber we need to eat daily
and how will we find the money to pay the tax bill
and where did I leave the tack hammer

and how we touched each other
that night in February
years ago.

Lewis Gardner shares verse, fiction, and plays at .

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


by Penelope Scambly Schott

Do I need to say I was twenty-one, my boy just four months,
my breasts still tight with milk,

my bare feet unwrinkled, and even the part in my hair
was sad?

The apartment got smaller, the kitchen table uglier,
the window gray with fog,

and all I could breathe was diaper pail deodorant
and my husband’s indifferent tobacco.

My one comfort was the warm gust from the floor vent
ballooning my white flannel nightgown.

I had thought carefully about this whole situation
and because I did want to be a good mother,

I had decided I couldn’t proceed to poison myself
without suffocating my baby first.

Then the phone rang and somebody I barely knew
said, The President has been shot.

My tiny kitchen filled up with ambulances, black limos,
the book depository, the grassy knoll,

until the moment when Kennedy was pronounced dead,
and I stood there shocked and frozen,

and then, suddenly, it came to me that maybe,
just maybe, I didn’t need to kill us,

and as I stood there holding my jolly baby,
I breathed out from healthy young lungs

the waxy gardenias of the dead.

Penelope Scambly Schott’s newest books are Lovesong for Dufur and Lillie Was a Goddess, Lillie Was a Whore.   She lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


by John Guzlowski

In the quiet space of the dining room
My wife and I lay out the place settings

The forks beside the Wedgwood plates
The spoons and knives in their places.

A napkin in her hand, she pauses
And tells me again of how her mother

Would starch and iron the squares of cotton
Wash the plates by hand and again by machine.

I smile, nod my head and turn to the window
See the roof next door lift, shingles

Exploding like scattered sparrows, and there
It is—the howl of the locomotive wind

And then a pounding at the glass door
And a screaming that will not stop.

John Guzlowski’s writing has appeared in Garrison Keillor's Writers' Almanac, The Ontario Review, Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals.  His poems about his parents’ experiences in Nazi concentration camps appear in his book Lightning and Ashes.  He blogs about his parents and their experiences at .

Monday, November 18, 2013


by Kristina England

Image source: TaxProf Blog (in response to “The Sex Toys in the Attic” in the NY Times, November 9, 2013).

The most popular article of the week:
New York Time's "Sex Toys in the Attic,"
some older woman's concerns
about her "romping" days,
some toy she collected from a boyfriend.
Surely she's seen the news -
child porn ring broken up in Canada,
over 300 people involved.
Maybe she wrote the article before
the Toronto mayor took crack,
got cracked, cracked a nation.
Or she wanted to lighten the load.
God knows we need a good laugh
and perhaps the occasional mishap
of some not-so-cozy artifact
found under our mother's bed
is enough to pause this avalanche.
There is, after all, some innocence
left in this disjointed world.
And if there's not,
let's keep pretending
vibrators matter
in all these earthquakes,
tsunamis, the tremor
of our minds.

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Her fiction and poetry is published or forthcoming at Gargoyle, Found Poetry Review, The Story Shack, Tipton Poetry Journal, and other journals.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


by  Gerard Sarnat

Image © Sheri Zimmerlin. You are welcome to copy for non-profit use.

4:57, first dusk since Daylight Savings Time lapsed,
we live on

the shore of the Pacific’s rim.
Fibrillating bloody yolk broken,

orangetemple shapeshift greenflash goldenbrownmuffin
done, I’m so happy

sharing this moment with a grandson
who says there are forty billion

habitable earths and at least one
has volcanos that spout chocolate.

Elliot gestures as a red-hot flotilla
of crockodilios

punctuated by wellfleets of pointillist ember prey
makes its way

across the horizon
only to disappears into a cloudbank

never to come out.  At the storm's
critical juncture, the boy wonders,

Why thunder has jagged zigzags
or is it the other thing -- and why?

Rose-colored polarized lenses
are the closest I get to worship.

Gerard Sarnat splits time between his San Francisco Bay Area forest home and Southern California's beaches. He is a seeker and Jewbu, married forty years/father of three/grandfather, physician to the disenfranchised, past CEO and Stanford professor, and virginal poet at the tender age of sixty-two. Gerry has recently been published or is forthcoming in Aha!Poetry, AscentAspirations, Atavar, AutumnLeaves, BathysphericReview, Bird&Moon, BlackZinnias, BlueJewYorker, ChicagoPoetry, CRITJournal, Defenestration, Etude, EZAAPP, Flutter, FurnaceReview, HissQuarterly, Jack, Juked, LanguageandCulture, LoudPoet, MyFavoriteBullet, NewWorksReview, Nthposition, OrigamiCondom, PensonFire, PoetsAgainstWar, Rambler, RiverWalkJournal, SlowTrains, SoMa, Spindle, StonetableReview, SubtleTea, SugarMule, ThePotomac, ThievesJargon, UndergroundVoices, UnlikelyStories, and WildernessHouseReview among others. Just Like the Jones', about his experience caring for Jonestown survivors, was solicited by JonestownAnnual Report and will appear later this year. He is currently working on an epic prose poem, The Homeless Chronicles. The California Institute of Arts and Letters' Pessoa Press will publish his first book. Gerry is a member of Poets and Writers, qualifying in both Creative Nonfiction and Poetry.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


by Chris O’Carroll

He wasn’t good.  He wasn’t great.
It’s 50 years now since he died.
Weird fantasies proliferate
About who plotted and who lied.

We crave real grandeur.  “Camelot”
Suffices as a substitute.
The romance of who might have shot
Trumps the dull fact of who did shoot.

We did not lose a golden age
Because the sniper found his aim,
But truth is never all the rage;
Myth is a more crowd-pleasing game.

When presidents are rated, he
Ranks as a gilded bantamweight,
More tawdry than he seemed to be.
He wasn’t good.  He wasn’t great.

Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor.  On November 22, 1963, he heard the news over the intercom in a Massachusetts junior high school.  Since then, he has published numerous poems in The New Verse News, and also in First Things, Light, The Rotary Dial, Snakeskin, and other print and online journals.

Friday, November 15, 2013


by George Held

            For Shereen Tan

There you are on Facebook,
hiking the Valois with your darling
Tootsie on her leash:
the brown grass is dry and it’s fall
and the scenic mountain
on the horizon has only a cap
of snow and it’s fall all over
the northern latitudes

while in Tacloban a vomitous
stench chokes the typhoon
survivors as they drag their starving
thirst-clenched bodies
and strangled souls past bloated
corpses toward the supply copters
landing another mile ahead, toward
the endless lines at the aeroport,

toward the makeshift morgues,
praying for relief, for escape,  
for the chance to identify
Maricel’s or Mama’s body,
all untethered by fate,
while harried tourists rush
to change their destination
From Manila to Geneva.

An occasional contributor to The New Verse News, George Held occasionally blogs at

Thursday, November 14, 2013


by Martin Willitts Jr

Image source: The Craftinomicon

based on “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon” Picasso, 1907, and Fox News

Gossip twists the truth, distorts the facts
into unrecognizable shapes
into five Picasso women in Avignon.

If a person says enough lies, exactly the same,
all the time, too many people
accept it as truth. But a lie is still a lie.

And like the distorted women, brutalized
beyond recognition, gossip is
an art form that changes what was.

Ruins are still ruins. The person destroyed
must shift through the rubble of their lives.
Somewhere, underneath, smolders the truth.

Martin Willitts Jr has been nominated for 6 Pushcart and 6 Best Of The Net awards. He has 5 full-length and 20 chapbooks of poetry, including the  2013 national contest winner, Searching For What Is Not There (Hiraeth Press). He has been in The New Verse News before.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


by Tricia Knoll

Memorial in the memory of all who died in 2004 Tsunami at the Kanyakumari Beach, India. This monument was designed and constructed by B. Kanagaraj Cangan. Image source:  Indiancorrector at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

They all are, these monuments
to the unknowns, to each chance,
what more might have played out,
might have been said in the name of peace,
what more children born to cure disease,
walk for justice, lead the way, gaze at stars,
what poem written, what painting filled
in by bones buried under
the marble of war.

These tombs are everywhere
human hands have been.
Under the killer storms,
under the genocides,
and always at
histories shortened
under white marbles of war.

Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


by Richard O'Connell

Image credit: dinhhang / 123RF Stock Photo

Now the tunnel at the end of the light
Perceived: no one won, no one was right,
No one lost, but the dead and maimed
Suffered all for the armistice gained.

Richard O’Connell lives in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in  The Paris Review,  The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, Margie, National Review, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Formalist,  Light, etc.

Monday, November 11, 2013


by Dale Ritterbusch

Cloudy and a few drops of rain—
not unusual for November
in Philadelphia; sometimes
the row houses go on forever
in that hazy, particulate light, and no one
walking pays much attention, eyes focused
on the patterning ground.   So when
a young woman stops a couple
on the street and asks Where’s the veterans’
The man replies, Over there,
three blocks, turn right, the clinic
is right there, can’t miss it; you can
take your pet there any time
during the day or make an appointment.

The woman turns away, says thanks,
a look in her eyes of misunderstanding,
misdirection, maybe traffic noise,
street music, inattention carried
in the air like ash or smoke,
or maybe veterinary hospital
and veterans’ hospital sound so much alike
in the spin of the moment, the way
we want to hear, thinking the decent
thing about everyone, goodness
flowing like a rainbow of oil
in the rainy streets:  just so
careless distractions order the day
as everyone walks apart, rain
chilling even the best intentions,
collars turned up, shoulders hunched
with casual, unconsidered, indifference.

Dale Ritterbusch is the author of two collections of poetry, Lessons Learned (1995) and Far From the Temple of Heaven (2005).  He is a Professor of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he teaches creative writing and literature.  Currently he is the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English & Fine Arts at the United States Air Force Academy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


by Howie Good

Source for image and the poem: “Nicholas Oresko, 96, a Hero of the Battle of the Bulge, Dies,” New York Times, October 3, 2013

He crawled back through the snow.
He saw red, blue and purple flame.
And then his helmet hit a booby trap wire.

He lay bleeding, unseen by the Germans.
He tossed a grenade into one bunker.

“I think about that incident every day.
 It never leaves you. When you kill somebody,
you remember it, or it remembers you.”

Bayonne named a school for him.

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)

Saturday, November 09, 2013


by Jonel Abellanosa

Edward Snowden

              For Edward Snowden

In our culture of constantly buying
evolving fear greed for control sells,
you’ve been demonized.
Who doesn’t imagine
the searing bite, the poison?
Whose skin doesn’t bristle
at your absent tiptoes?
I’m in time to watch
you weave your mandala’s
inner circles counterclockwise.
You’ve more to share:
not to overreach,
to take only what strays
in your space,
to listen only to your surroundings.
As you still,
the peace-laureled dictator’s
lies echo:
More innocent men, women, children dying
as unmanned aerial warfare
perfecting technology
and doctrine won’t drone
as pesky mosquitoes into your web.

Jonel Abellanosa lives in Cebu City, the Philippines.  His poetry is forthcoming in Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature, Anglican Theological Review, the PEN Peace Mindanao anthology, Dirtcakes journal, and has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Qarrtsiluni, Red River Review, Fox Chase Review, Burning Word, Barefoot Review, Philippines Free Press and Philippine Graphic magazine.

Friday, November 08, 2013


by  Hannah Thomassen

Image credit: cascoly2 / 123RF Stock Photo

a potter
lived down the road
in the woods
forty years
spinning bowls
growing old
with the forest
heart attack
some time back
a rickety run
every day
after that
our neighbor
our friend
the potter
died in the winter
in that little house
in the forest
they clear
cut this week.

           Here is the house
           left standing alone
           and here the last tree
           like the steeple
           that calls us to prayer
           and where are the doors
           we need to go through
           what will become of the people?

Hannah Thomassen lives in the Cascade foothills of Oregon where she works as a self-employed poet and lives with a husband, a dog, three chickens and two donkeys. Her work has appeared in a few places here and there. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013


by Ann Reisfeld Boutté

Ted Cruz - The Sheriff of Texas

That noble tradition
born in nineteenth century England
has, in the twenty-first century,
gone the way of Yellow Pages,
paper maps and pay phones.
Once happy warriors,
inspired orators in search
of lofty ideas, our leaders
have succumbed to the lure
of wealth and power,
slithered into the politics of
character demonization and
look-into-the-camera lies.
Toxic fallout has oozed
beyond the Beltway, infiltrating
Red State/Blue State cities
and towns, workplaces, churches,
clubs and families. Old and dear
friends, cousins, siblings, even
parents and children, whipped into
frenzies of righteous indignation
and unable to bridge the divide,
have unceremoniously forsworn
topical discussions.  Both sides,
firmly rooted in warring camps,
yearn for and dread the
inevitable reckoning,
I told you so.

Ann Reisfeld Boutté is a writer of poetry, essays, and feature stories. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume IV, Texas Poetry Calendars, and Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry. She has a Master’s Degree in journalism and has worked as a feature writer for a national wire service. She was a Juried Poet in the Houston Poetry Fest in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


by Daniel Bosch

Police managed to whisk a 2-foot-long alligator into a box after a traveler spotted it under an escalator at O’Hare International Airport. -- Chicago Tribune, November 4, 2013 (Image source: Chicago Herpetological Society)

Any Alligator
In a state

Of nature
Will say “Fresh”

When he means
“Future,” will

Favor carrion’s
Flavors, stow

Prey away
In an under-

Water cache,
A murky keep

Where steeps
His three or

Four months’
Hoard of dis-

Gorged flesh.
The sound

Byte for all
He catches is

“See you later.”
He’s no flight

Risk, he’ll fight
And die

Right there for
What’s in store.

But in O’Hare,
Where scale-

Pelted carry-ons
Mock him,

Where deeply
Impressed dead

Kin parade
As O.T.K.

Boots, where

Black belts
Train in heavy-

Duty grey

Some T.S.A.
Agents looking

On, some
Looking in,

In O’Hare,
It’s no wonder

Any Alligator
Fresh out

From under
An up-bound

Might confuse

An interrogator
Saying “Terror”

For “Terra” or
“Hate” for “Hide.”

Daniel Bosch is Senior Editor @ .

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


by Karen Neuberg

Image source: LevittownNow

We are unsure who to s/elect
and take a peek under. This leads
to new understanding and at least one
skinned knee. How easily the world rocks
back and forth between mystery
and revelation. Vision or revulsion
stack in individual ways resulting   
in no consensus. Someone suggests
a water test. Another fire. No one cares
to make the attempt. We continue
leaderless but full of direction until a previously-
unknown candidate emerges from behind a boulder
and behaves as though s/he knows both
what we do and what we don’t.

Karen Neuberg lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her chapbook, Detailed Still, was published by Poets Wear Prada. She has previously published at The New Verse News.

Monday, November 04, 2013


by Jim Gustafson

Image source: The Verge

Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.  --NY Times, November 1, 2013

There will, or so it seems, come a day
            when warming left-overs for dinner
                         will be only a good memory,

like the one of our visit to grandma and grandpa
            on their farm,  when we played in the straw
                         in the loft of the barn,

ate the white chicken that ran the yard,
            potatoes pulled from patch, cooked  then mashed,
                        and fresh plucked peaches in pie.

Grandma and grandpa have now grown cold
            in the ground next to church down the road.
                        All day their granite stone warms in the sun.

At night it holds the heat, and listens to corn
            cry for drink, beans beg for dew,
                        as restless children in old farm houses

pull blankets from their bodies, wish
            for just a breeze to come cool the night
                        with fresh promise.

Jim Gustafson is an MFA student at the University of Tampa. His most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in January, 2013. Jim lives in Fort Myers, Florida where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


by Bill Sullivan

Image source: CNN

Betsy says there's food galore
but too few souls who will share.
Billy says that when he's in a store
he wants to grab a peach and a pear

but he doesn't dare.  Eddie fears
another fruitless day and night
but never a whine, never a tear. 
Bobby shouts,"It just isn't right."

An ignoble lady, long ago, said,
"Let them eat cake."  Our portly
rich say, The takers are over fed
on fillets--it's so unsightly."

Slash the food stamps and meals
the pols on farm subsidies demand.
Children quake at such a cruel deal,
scrape plates, reach out hands.

Bill Sullivan taught English and American studies at Keene State College before retiring to Westerly, Rhode Island.  He is co-author of two books on twentieth century poetry and co-producer of Here Am I, Send Me, a documentary film on Jonathan Daniels, a slain civil rights activist.  His poem have appeared in a number of print and on line publications.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


A New York City Mayor’s Legacy
by Linda Lerner

Photo by Linda Lerner

I jump out of the way as
they come speeding out of the virtual world
wind blown sun dappled winding in
and out of traffic into heart stopping danger
ride under cover: faster cheaper works for everyone…

when I first saw those bikes corralled in stalls
through out the city I imagined horses,
the awful smell of horseshit
on the street, not the sanitized version of
another era’s get-a-way there for

for anyone to jump on
pay at one of the many stations afterwards
and return to a cyber safe house;
if along the way someone gets knocked down, hurt
a few keep riding as though nothing happened
others stop, bewildered, when an ambulance is called
and…couldn’t be…. they were in their proper lanes
                                                                 or when
 a truck door flies open smacking a biker
on the head  blood gushing out
the border marking two worlds blurs
the man taken to a hospital, stitched up, and released
doesn’t quite know which side he’s on
how he got so lost  why  or
what he needed to break out from

Linda Lerner's Takes Guts and Years Sometimes (New & Selected Poems) is published by New York Quarterly Press.

Friday, November 01, 2013


by Mark Danowsky

I put on my headphones
in preparation to head out
with the dog, tuned in
to public radio, but paused

Our army wiped out . . .
artillery, air force,
everything wiped out. This
may be the last broadcast.
We'll stay here to the end . . .  

And I might have paused longer
had I tuned in when he said,

Police and army reserves are unable
to control the mad flight. By morning
the fugitives will have swelled
Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton,
it is estimated, to twice
their normal population. At this time
martial law prevails throughout
New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

But the old-timey recording quality
was a dead giveaway. And had it been
Audie Cornish or Robert Siegel
instead of Orson Welles
I would have re-bolted the front door
then run to the newsfeed.

Mark Danowsky’s poetry has recently appeared in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Red River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Snow Monkey and The Best of Every Day Poets Anthology Two.  He resides in Northwest Philadelphia and works for a private detective agency.