Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


by Robert West

                                  “ . . . a society awash in gun violence . . . ”
                                                                    – Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2018

If only you could get this through your head:
   we’re drowning in a bloody flood of guns.
We need to stem the torrent, count the dead;
if only you could get that through your head.
You call for more guns, everywhere, instead.
   Who knows whose daughters might grow up, whose sons,
if only you could get it through your head
   we’re drowning in a bloody flood of guns?

Robert West lives in Starkville, Mississippi. His poems have appeared in Light, Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, Alabama Literary Review,  American Life in Poetry, and other venues. Co-editor with Jonathan Greene of Succinct: The Broadstone Anthology of Short Poems (Broadstone Books, 2013), he's also the editor of The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons, published in two volumes in late 2017 by W. W. Norton.