Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, January 05, 2019


by Mickey J. Corrigan

Three days after most of the federal workforce was furloughed on Dec. 21, a 14-year-old girl fell 700 feet to her death at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, part of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area in Arizona. The following day, Christmas, a man died at Yosemite National Park in California after suffering a head injury from a fall. On Dec. 27, a woman was killed by a falling tree at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee. The deaths follow a decision by Trump administration officials to leave the scenic—but sometimes deadly—parks open even as the Interior Department has halted most of its operations. During previous extended shutdowns, the National Park Service barred access to many of its sites across the nation. National Park Service spokesman Jeremy Barnum said in an email that an average of six people die each week in the park system, a figure that includes “accidents like drownings, falls, and motor vehicle crashes and medical related incidents such as heart attacks.” Photo: Lights shine at a shuttered entrance station at Joshua Tree National Park in California on Jan. 3, 2019. The gate is normally staffed during the day but is now unstaffed 24 hours per day, allowing free entrance for all visitors. Campgrounds have been closed at the park and other services suspended during the partial government shutdown. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images) —The Washington Post, January 4, 2019

Let him start by counting
the number of refugees
that can fit in a pup tent
or a large tiger cage.

Let him make a pie chart
for the styles of rakes
needed for preventing
forest fires
in the state of California.

He will weigh the odds
for laundering Russians
in Florida or New York.

He will compare the rainfall
in inches
in Paris
in November
with flood levels in Houston
in their last hurricane.

Puerto Rico
he ignores.

Let him indicate the size of
small hands
used to measure
the big wall.

He will evaluate the climate data
removed from public view
divided by the number of bodies
that can't fit
in a city morgue

then chart the data
for his fans:
give them
what they want

the results:

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan lives in South Florida and writes noir with a dark humor. Books have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Poetry chapbooks include The Art of Bars (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Days' End (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2017). Project XX, a novel about a school shooting, was published in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK.