Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, September 16, 2016


by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Dora vs. Trump Cartoon by ELISE MCCOMB, age14, ROSEVILLE, MINN. (New York Times 2015 Cartoon Contest)

There are only seven plots, we’re told,
        and blunder is this world’s first and second.
                The desire for triumph shoulders at
                        the mother-belly of moral vacuity although,
                                mercifully, not quite hard enough to squeeze out
                                        yet. My friends who are conscientious objectors

or Buddhist, my friends who are in the intellectual closet,
                 even my apathetic friends are all
                         on Short Pierre Street waiting to see
                                 what happens. Because it has been so unbearable,
                                         we have borne it for 18 months—

the N words sprayed on one of our two city busses,
        the theories of corruption, actual corruption. And now,
                after arguing and lamentations, we are a chorus
                        of the damaged, counting their wounds, storing up
                                  experience for a later excuse to whine, Cabo,
                                         Toronto and stark survival on our minds.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and write in the Ozarks. She is the author of two books and three chapbooks, most recently Persephone on the Metro. See her work in Concis, Rat’s Ass Review, Mom Egg Review, and the Kentucky Review.