Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 19, 2016


by Devon Balwit

Image by Melodi2 via Answer Angels.

I write hate crime, mass shooting, extremist,
target, victim, second amendment, make
my students copy and pronounce, make
them lift their heads from their phones
and listen, all of us awkward, the ones
fasting for Ramadan, the ones who may
be gay, the ones who, secretly, do not care,
Orlando a place they’ve never heard of
in a country they barely know; they want
my language, not my history, and this lesson,
they can do without, my fumbling to do
justice to horror, while balancing the fragile
egg of blame in my tiny spoon, trying to dash
to the finish without letting it fall, homophobia,
intolerance, assault rifles, class ends and
I’ve taught something; none of us sure what.

Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest.  Her work has appeared in TheNewVerse.News twice before. Her recent work has appeared or will soon in The Fog Machine, The Cape Rock, The Fem, Of(f) Course, drylandlit_press, and The Prick of the Spindle.