Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


by Harold Oberman

Kentucky School Shooting Is 11th of Year. It’s Jan. 23. Clockwise from top left: Wake Forest University campus on the morning of Jan. 21, after a fatal shooting the night before; emergency crews responded to Marshall County High School after a fatal shooting on Jan. 23 in Benton, Ky.; law enforcement personnel gathered outside a high school in Italy, Tex., after a shooting on Jan. 22; police officers at the Net Charter School in New Orleans on Jan. 22 after a shooting. Credit Clockwise from top left: Ben Powell; Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun, via Associated Press; KDFW Fox4, via Associated Press; Emily Kask. —The New York Times, January 23, 2018

Two students dead, 12 other people wounded
in Kentucky high school shooting. 
—Headline in The Washington Post, January 23, 2018

Who even writes the story now?
Headline: “School Shooting . . .”
Is there a designee at a desk in the obit department
That fills in the blanks?
Blank dead.
Blank wounded.
Blank rounds from
Blank automatic weapons.
Insert rampage or chaos.
Insert tragedy and heartbreak and close-knit and unbelievable and backpack and student and child.
How do you describe the indescribable?
Form 2018.
Blank this shit.
Headline: “School Shooting . . .”
The ellipsis trail off like bodies.

Harold Oberman is a lawyer and poet living and writing in Charleston, S.C. His work has recently appeared in TheNewVerse.News.