Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, July 04, 2024


by Rikki Santer

Sometimes a jackass
is just a jackass 
a president once said
when he thought
no one was listening.
And some say
that when God
created the world 
he dispatched an angel
with a sack of fools  
to distribute 
one per town,
but the harvest of folly
seems plentiful these days
with its dangerous parable staining.

Tiny phones
in their back pockets
to showcase glowing selfies
and toothy tweets,
all these Looney Tunes legislators
who always have a guy
or know where to get one.
And they fantasize
about winning more
epic battles between
the us and them
or want-to versus should-of.  
Beneath the peels, 
so many sad bananas
vying for the pratfalls
of others.
Beneath their blindfolds, 
they swing hard
at political piñatas 
with tantrums
of taketh away.

Too late to send them
to their rooms to think
of what they’ve done
or have them vulcanized
when Mars attacks.
Their heads brim
with knuckles clenched
feverous for playing
again and again
their most favorite game—
capture the flag.
And now fat-fingered justices
join in.

In 2023, Rikki Santer was named Ohio Poet of the Year. Her forthcoming collection, Shepherd’s Hour, won the Paul Nemser Book Prize from Lily Poetry Review Books.