Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, October 23, 2015


by Judith Terzi

V:   In Candide, I write that optimism is the madness
to claim that everything is good when it isn't.
What's your view of optimism, monsieur Docteur?

BC: Well, right now, as I see it, the hope we can repeal
Obamacare would seem the best of all possible
worlds. Mon Dieu, François, it's the worst thing
since brain cancer.

V. Oh, I heard you say since slavery on the Charlie
Rousseau show last week.

BC: Boy, I'm learning fast how to be a politician.
Yeah, I said slavery. Merde, I should have said
it in French so no one would understand. That's
esclavage, oui? Pardon my accent!

V: BTW, have you read Candide? So you think
healthcare for the people is more pernicious than
forced prostitution, child labor, mutilation, torture,
war. The Inquisition?

BC: Well, I can't say I've read it. Any form of socialism
is a no-fly zone for moi; it's right up there with
other horrors, including the Third Reich. Any
organized system helping the peeps is contrary
to the security of a free State, the keep
and bear Arms.

V: Oh oui, oui, your sacred 2nd! A propos of arms,
monsieur Docteur, didn't you say that the Jews
would have had a better chance with Hitler if
they had had guns? Now just where would these
six plus million guns have come from?

BC: Well, I'm not familiar with Germany's gun laws.
Then or now. Maybe Schindler's List? Ha ha ha ha.

V: You mean la liste de Craig? So you think if
you're elected, the country could become the
healthiest of worlds?

BC: Only God knows, really. What I know is that evil
shows its ugly visage from time to time. We've
seen the cancer in these past eight years like we
saw it during WWII. Vigilance, vigilance, we
need vigilance. It's terríbul.

V. Terrible!! So what's your fix, monsieur Docteur?

BC: Well, for those mass shootings at colleges & theaters,
we have to arm each & every being who crosses
the threshold. That way, each member of a group's
well-equipped to attack an attacker. And that's my
remedy as Curer-in-Chief of this diseased nation.
And that includes arming pre-schoolers as well as
chiropractors & acupuncturers.

V: Well, my good Docteur, I guess this is no time to be
making enemies, then, is it?

BC: I used to tell my patients an apple a day keeps the doc
away. Now I tell the American people: A gun a day
keeps the killing at bay. Vive la France!

Judith Terzi's most recent chapbook, If You Spot Your Brother Floating By, is a collection of memoir poems from Kattywompus Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Atlanta Review (International Publication Award, 2015), Caesura, Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo), Raintown Review, Unsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque). She lives and writes in Southern California.