Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, April 03, 2015


by Rick Mullin

Mar 31, 2015: UPDATE 9:57pm PDT
Joni was found unconscious in her home this afternoon. She regained consciousness on the ambulance ride to an L.A. area hospital. She is currently in intensive care undergoing tests and is awake and in good spirits. More updates to come as we hear them. Light a candle and sing a song, let's all send good wishes her way.

I love the way she winged it on Hejira.
Crow, not seagulls, sounded right to me.
She got away with Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter,
Don Alias on the date, and spoke
of Mingus where she used to sing. And Jaco.
It was kinda Blue-to-Kind of Blue.

A kind of transformation of the blue
horizon on a field of that high era
shot in black and white, a season chock-a-
block with ice on lipstick black. To me
she seemed the more divine. She spoke
to me from someplace new, the daughter

of a snowbound country, not the daughter
Woodstock might have wished for. But what blew
me out was anecdotal, the bespoke
position of her fingers, the Hejira
of the coffee house and Do Re Me
tautology. The maundering with Jaco

on the frozen tide, a sliding ride with Jaco
holding down the line. Abandoned daughter
of the Blues, insurgent, blond and white like me,
she bartered for the flatted fifth, a blue
note on the top. Eponymous “Hejira”
spread harmonics, spinning hub and spoke

along the endless highway Dylan spoke
of on the stage at Newport. Him, the jack of
anything he got his hands on. Oh, Hejira
to the new Medina. But Mohammad’s daughter
left behind the radio of blue
oblivion and came across to me

on carbon leather skates. She came to me
exhaling lacy signals where she spoke
into the weather and the grayscale blue.
I caught a glimpse of something like a Jack-o-
Lantern smiling in the clouds, a daughter
lost and laughing on the moon’s Hejira,

longing for Hejira, calling me,
a daughter dancing on the ice. She spoke
of Miles and swung for Jaco in the blue.

Rick Mullin's poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies. His most recent book, Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle, was published in December by Dos Madres Press, Loveland, Ohio.