Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, July 27, 2020


by Richard Garcia 

 I have been granted immunity from my dreams. Just let them try and testify against me. See how far they get on their own. My wife's tribe has begun their journey toward the promised trailer camp. Surely they shall be received and granted a plot of eminence. My wife has been sentenced to remain behind. We shall be protected by Sheela na gig, the naked goddess of history. Surely her maw of origin and its gnashing teeth will frighten away the storm troopers. Just a young woman really, sitting on the macadam with her arms and legs spread open in welcome, a garter snake wrapped around each wrist. But how the soldiers and their attached mob drop their banners in the clouds of teargas and run—they, who had cried out loud in the plaza, Long live death, Long live death! For creatures not accustomed to paradox, this was quite an achievement. Or would have been, if they knew what they were saying. No one knows who distributed the signs and banners. It was long ago. When these people could speak. When they could read, and listen and learn. When I began this testament I still thought it was tomorrow. But I know better now.

Richard Garcia's poetry books include The Other Odyssey from Dream Horse Press, The Chair from BOA, and Porridge from Press 53. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has won a Pushcart prize and has been in Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C.