Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, January 02, 2017


by George Salamon

Two girls, 13 and 14, were shot on the South Side as a violent Christmas weekend came to a close during one of the most violent years in Chicago in decades. A total of 61 people were shot in the city during the holiday weekend, according to data kept by the Tribune.. Seven were killed on Christmas Day alone.   "A Violent Christmas in a Violent Year for Chicago: 11 killed, 50 wounded," Chicago Tribune, December 27, 2016

Chicago, once celebrated by the poet
As the Hog Butcher for America,
Proudly singing to be alive,
You have become
The People Butcher of America,
Killing the brawling laughter of youth.
Why has America abandoned the fight
To keep old Chicago's spirit alive?

That spirit and everything else can go to hell
As long as Wall Street is doing well.
People? Who cares if they survive
As long as corporations thrive.
America, when you wake in the middle of the night
And an inner voice calls your name,
Have you no sense of shame?

George Salamon lives and writes in St. Louis, MO, which boasts of its own All-American murder rate.