Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, August 13, 2016


by Llyn Clague

IMAGE OF OUTFIT VIA DEAGOSTINI / GETTY; PHOTOGRAPH OF TRUMP BY JOHN TAGGART / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY. Detail of photgraphic result published in The New Yorker, Daily Shouts, October 28, 2015.

Sonnet LXXI

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than flitting across your screen you see my obit
Announcing I am gone.  No smarmy op-ed
Will weep that I have left this hypocrite
World.  No, if you peruse these lines, do not think
Of me who wrote them: so great is your love
Of self I would not give them cause to wink
At you for my shortcomings, and so shove
You off the cliff of their so precious hauteur.
If, I say, you look back upon this verse,
My smallness must not reduce your superior
Vision of greatness, of better, not worse.
Let not the wise world mock your glory
By tying you to my too ordinary story.

Sonnet XCI

Some glory in their birth, some in their wealth,
Some in their cleverness, or in a pretty face,
Some in bodily strength or personal health,
Or cars and yachts boosted in this rat race.
Every type has its particular niche
Where it finds its special gratification.
But these trifles – even, Donald, your riches,
to me but means to ever greater action –
Are nothing: with your love of self you trump
Smooth cleverness,  a beauty-pageant chest,
The bulge of biceps, and arrogant assump-
Tions of birth certificates. I boast I’ve the best:      
Wretched in this alone, that, losing, you take
Self-love away, and wretched my heart will break.

Sonnet XXIX

When, disgraced by boss, society, and fate,
Along with others filled with helpless rage,
I cry to heaven with my unbounded hate
And look upon myself as a rat in a cage,
Haply, Donald, I think on thee, and my heart,
Like hope in a gambler in your casino,
Leaps up into a sweet realm apart,
Made magic by almighty, endless ego.
When I revel in the inebriation
Of your inspired take-downs, smears and sneers
And abandon myself to the elation
Spreading far and wide with all your cheers,
Then, bathed in the glow of your Caesarian
Narcissism, I scorn compassion from any man.

Llyn Clague is a poet based in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  His poems have been published widely, including in Ibbetson Street, Atlanta Review, Wisconsin Review, California Quarterly, Main Street Rag, New York Quarterly.  His seventh book, Hard-Edged and Childlike, was published by Main Street Rag in September, 2014.