Guidelines



Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at]gmail.com.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

Thursday, June 16, 2022

WITHOUT APOLOGY, WILLINGLY I DO IT

by Jacquelyn Shah



"Him" by Paula Rego


Because there is no one else to do it, no other woman willing

able  qualified  skilled  articulate

(and certainly no man capable or inclined)

I’ll be the one to do it.

Not only do it but delineate the how and why of it.


Because it’s so extreme  widespread  persistent  long-term  deep-rooted––

violence in our world, persecution  torture  abduction   

rape  incest  murder  war  subjugation  massacre  annihilation

     (our language is rich with words for various brutalities)

and because it’s carried out by those who hold the power, men––

I hate them. I hate men. 


Hate men fervently!  Hate them for all the damage they have done and do.

And continue doing and doing and doing... 

it never stops: the constant brandishing of weapons

like hands  gun  rifle  rope  knife  dagger  sword  bomb  penis, etc.

the never-ending violation and violence

of women (yeah, and men), children, babies––yes, babies!  Jesus!

Serial murders   mass murders   executions   sometimes necrophilia.

And ongoing destruction of the earth––


Hate them. With all my heart and soul and, especially, brain––

for I have observed, considered and concluded.

I’m willing to hate men.   Willing to say I hate them.

Their behavior merits it.  But my hatred will never MANifest in violence–– 

I won’t suppress  rape  torture  murder  abduct men.

Though men deserve everything bad they ever get,

I will never give it to them,

but hate them, yes, vigorously, steadfastly! 

          And dismiss them.

Men. They’re targets of nothing from me

except this quiet  hopeless  worthless  toothless  futile

statement made. And repeated, repeated with candor, vehemence: 

I, a pacifist, hate  men.

All of them?    No, not quite all.

Those undeserving get no such ardor,

just a cold shoulder––

because they’re all complicit, especially those in positions of power

who do nothing to change the current killing in our pathetic country.

How they all love guns and how I hate them!––men and guns.


Jacquelyn Shah—iconoclast, feminist, pacifist. A.B., English, Phi Beta Kappa; M.A.–English; M.F.A., Ph.D.–English lit/creative writing–poetry. Publications: chapbook, small fry; full-length book, What to Do with Red. Poems in various journals; Winner of Literal Latté’s 2018 Food Verse Contest