Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, January 20, 2017


by Jon Wesick

I hope I’m wrong,
so wrong my name becomes slang
for a tragic blunder
as in, “Custer sure pulled a Wesick
at the Little Bighorn!”

I hope jobs return to the rust belt
and displaced workers
will now buy gold-plated mansions
and endow professorships at Harvard.
I hope the new president’s tweets
scare the beards off ISIS
and that from now on all terrorists
will come with big letter T’s
tattooed on their foreheads.

I hope greenhouse gasses
bring back the black rhino
and mountain gorilla.
I hope the free market
lowers the cost of heart transplants
and cancer treatment to $1.95.

I hope doctors determine cake and ice cream
make the most nutritious breakfast
and that playing video games
burns more calories than running.
I hope high school students don’t need algebra
for high-tech careers and that cheerleaders
want to sleep with guys who can’t dance.
I hope I really can earn $100,000
by working 3 hours a week from home.
I hope our new president
rekindles the American dream.

Jon Wesick hosts Southern California’s best ice cream parlor poetry reading and is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. The editors of Knot Magazine nominated his story “The Visitor” for a Pushcart Prize. His poem “Meditation Instruction” won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another poem “Bread and Circuses” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists Contest. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels.