Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 08, 2020


by Joan Mazza

Trump's reelection campaign is fundraising off Soleimani's killing. —Yahoo! News, January 8, 2020

He pats himself on the back for the drone
strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
We got him! he brags at another rally,
smirks while his supporters cheer, eager
for the blood of brown-skinned people.
He calls them scum, terrorists, animals,
as he called Mexicans rapists and murderers.

The old playbook is wide open, rage
fueling rage, war and more war. Poor boys
fed into the machine return in body bags
with flags. He promises to bomb cultural
heritage sites like the Golestan Palace,
or Persepolis first looted by Alexander
the Great, or Pasargadae from 600 BCE—

meaningless places for an egomaniac sans
empathy, ethics, or education. The only
sites he cares about are those he owns,
those that make money, with his name
in giant gold letters across the façade.
Would the beauty of mosques with tile
mosaics or gardens move a man who lacks

feelings for the children he separated
from parents? Nothing will pierce the heart
of a man who always gets what he wants,
who suffers no consequences for fraud
and cheating. The laws of war and human
decency do not apply to him. He’ll take
a bit of purple rubble as a memento.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and she is the author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam). Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, Prairie Schooner (forthcoming), and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a poem every day and is working on a memoir.