Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 26, 2014


by Richard O'Connell

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killings using armed drones risks putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war and sets a dangerous precedent for lethal operations that other countries might adopt in the future, according to a report by a bipartisan panel that includes several former senior intelligence and military officials. --NY Times, June 26, 2014

Evil is statistical: a long-range game of mind:
Programming the data: it's merely a matter
Of parallel logistics: a mythic country
Ground in the joint jaws of an identical cancer.

Look at the map: it's a lesson in dissolution.
It could go on forever if we're careful,
Diverting blood and the precise amount of terror:
The only treason: reason: quelling the confusion.

It's a matter of girding them: a bright meat grinder:
Of obfuscating all the nasty boring facts:
Those muddy faces fleeing towards you from vague fire,
Carrying their homes and the maimed on their backs.

Richard O'Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure. National Review, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Paris Review, The Formalist,. His most recent collections are Dawn Crossing and Waiting for the Terrorists.