Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 19, 2019


by Alan Soffin

To be, or not to be?
That is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the House
To suffer the Tweets and Falsehoods of our great misfortune
Or to take votes against the See of troubles
And by opposing, end him? To cry, to weep,
No more, and by that weeping say we end
The heartache and the endless verbal schlock
That citizens are heir to. ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To cry, to weep;
To weep: perchance to scream; Oy, there’s the schlub;
For while we weep near death, what schemes may come
When we have shuffled off his rotten coil,
Must give us pause; there’s the respect
That makes calamity of public life;
For who would bear the whips of K street crime,
The T***pish wrongs, the constant contumely,
The pangs of threatened healthcare, the GOP’s delay,
The soullessness of Mitch and the spurns
That patient merit of the greedy takes,
When we ourselves might our withdrawal make
With a bare ballot. Who would injustice bear,
But that the dread of something after T***p,
The undiscovered source from whose bourn
The ruthless right returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those crooks we have,
Than fly to Pence and those we know not of ?
Thus conscience doth make outcasts on the Mall
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with stale cant that’s bought,
And legislation of great pith and moment
With this regard await a better day
Beyond the grasp of faction—Soft you now!
The Statue Liberty, in all thy orisons
Please be democracy remembered!

Alan Soffin, Ph.D., has taught at Michigan State and Temple. His Rethinking Religion: Beyond Scientism, Theism and Philosophic Doubt is published by Cascadia Press. His essays have appeared in Images of Youth (Peter Wang) and DreamSeeker magazine. His photography has been exhibited at the Tubac Center for the Arts. His avant-garde film Confessor (1968) was funded in part by the American Film Institute.