Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 20, 2018


by John Kaprielian

Illusionists use tricks
and deception
lies and distraction
to delight
us with their
feats of impossibility
but we know they
are not sorcerers
or wizards
but subtle and artistic
con men whom
we allow to
twist our perception
to bewilder and amuse.

The magicians have
taken over
and conjurors run amok
making children
disappear and
bending the laws of
nature and man
to perform their
sickening sleight of hand
turning babies into pawns
women into whores
and men into criminals
with a wave
and a word.

But illusionists must
guard their secrets
hide their tricks
or the curtain falls away
and we are embarrassed
and ashamed
by just how easily
we allowed ourselves to
be led
to preposterous

Expose their secrets
and their lies
the tricks of their foul trade
the woman sawed in half
is quickly mended
the family torn
will never
be the same.

John Kaprielian is a Russian linguist by training and has been employed as a photo editor for three decades. He has been writing poetry for over thirty-five years; in 2012 he challenged himself to write a poem a day for a year and in 2013 published the 366 poems in a single volume, 366 Poems: My Year in Verse. He has also had poems published on The Five-Two Poetry Blog and in the anthology Live at the Freight House Cafe. His poetry ranges in subject matter from the natural world to current events and politics to introspective and philosophical themes. He lives in Putnam County, New York with his wife and son and assorted pets.