Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, July 10, 2020


by Michael Hogan

The taste of chocolate is cloying; the odor of burnt coffee clings to the kitchen.
The dog has given up for the day and lies sprawled against the tiles.
Netflix no longer beckons; you cannot bear another second-rate novel
or even “literature” which somehow today seems pretentious.
The garden planted, the house clean, dog fed and sleeping.
Exercise? Mindfulness? Facebook? emails?
Check, check, check, and CHECK!
And now here comes Boredom!
Like a dark nimbus cloud on a late afternoon
when the air is still as a vacuum
and you cannot divorce yourself from Self
It comes like a flood of viscosity, like mental syrup
clogging all the synapses with its oleaginous tentacles
signaling, I am here to stay, and you will be terribly unhappy
all the anchors of your sanity will disappear, and you will be adrift and bewildered
on a dreamlike sea, still awake but helpless.

There will be no thunderclap of relief in the stifling afternoon
no flash of lightning.
Just this
a slight urge to pick up a pen, a brush, an instrument
to write or paint or strike a chord.
And this is how the world begins again
how the light finds the trees and sparkles on the river
and a sudden shower lacquers the rose petals
and you create the world again.

Ignore it, and something dies, and something else will never be born.

Michael Hogan is the author of twenty-six books including the Irish Soldiers of Mexico which was the basis for an MGM film starring Tom Berenger and three documentaries. His work has appeared in numerous journals including The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, The Ohio Review, American Poetry Review, the Agni Review, New Letters, and others.  He currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo and their Dutch Shepherd, Lola.