Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 22, 2020


by Gary Glauber

More U.S. service members have been transported out of Iraq for medical treatment and evaluations following Iran’s missile attack on military facilities there, the Pentagon said Tuesday, nearly two weeks after President Trump and defense officials initially said no one was hurt. —The Washington Post, January 22, 2020. Photo: U.S. soldiers stand at a spot hit by Iranian missiles at Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq days after the Jan. 8 attack. (Qassim Abdul-Zahra/AP)

In those not-so-olden days,
they might kneecap you into submission
or try to shame you into changing your ways.

Today, the persuasion’s more subtle,
minds are changed without realizing
things encountered in media stream.

They float by like invisible balloons,
banners that point the way with
bold exclamations you’ll never remember.

Alone in the voting booth,
just you and your conscience
and inexplicable urges compelling you.

Foreign powers are acting poorly,
proving psycho-statistical truths,
gaining control from within.

Reading a mind isn’t necessary
when subtle control is relinquished
and a shocked world wonders

how nuclear winter has emerged
from within, not without,
fighting wars no one ever sees.

The new truth is contrived fiction.
Believers vehement with denial
conjure revisionist history,

spew touted party sound bites,
and daily break what others revered
on battlefields of public opinion.

This wall of boulders
grows larger over time
until no one quite remembers

or cares who it was
that cast the first stone
or the life we had before.

And we the unsure
in the chaos of uncertainty
fear the worst world war,

not knowing that bombs
of ultimate destruction
have already dropped.

Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog, and strives to survive modern life’s absurdities. He has two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press).  A new chapbook of surreal poetry, The Covalence of Equanimity, a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize, is now available from SurVision Books.