Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, July 27, 2014


by Michael Fisher

if they say “jew,” or
if they say “muslim”

if they say “greedy,” or
if they say “dirty”

today is my birthday
I spent it watching the numbers come in from Gaza
refreshed my browser window over and over

mathematically, one number is always greater
than another

if they say “rag-head,” or
if they say “kike”

if they say “zionist,” or
if they say “jihadist”

the Gaza strip neighbors Israel and Egypt
it is home to 1.816 million or less

my own neighbor has a chocolate lab
and a gun

he hates that I can't change my oil,
build a shed, hates that I
spend my days reading books and the news

I hate that he never considered the morality of chaos theories
and loves classic rock

still, when I pull in, I look out for the lab
he waves and adjusts his baseball cap when he sees me

can it be that easy?

they say “sub-human,” “terrorist,”
“child-killer,” “fascist,” or
they say “genocide,” “genocide,” “genocide”

I shut down my computer for the night
tomorrow numbers will grow

I wish I could say I watched the fireflies
surround the bright eyes of a dog through my window

Michael Fisher is the author of Wolf Spider from Plan B Press and Libretto for the Exhausted World on Spuyten Duyvil Press.