The VGP Literate NO. 20

The Freedom to Commit Suicide

nowhere left to look
the rain cleared the way
no dream with open doors
the only devotee

outside, night strolls
on its high heels
I lie in wait of myself
the hours trip
on what I never say

Ms. Joplin
your voice rips apart
my face,
my tie― the mark
of all hanged men

then there is you
―contained noise,
acrobatics… I fall,
you hurt, I oscillate,
you heal

free me,
disappearing island
& painted sea,
not from memory but from
the light that is desire



Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal.  He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

The VGP Literate No. 19

Playing The Odds

a great clay jar
full of koshares, stripped clowns

shaking dice
you are sure that at night

when no one is about
they scramble forth

it is one thing to look
at the players before the slots

who seem, you say
as if they are at work

and another to ask myself
what brought me here

highway going north
so familiar

yet, how everything has changed
we must remark

I remember dancing at the Line Camp
thirty years ago

I remember when this, so magical, unknown
was not what I called home.

Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon). which just won the 2016 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in Poetry. Her awards include the Santa Fe Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts, the Poetry Gratitude Award from New Mexico Literary Arts, and A Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa.

The VGP Literate No. 18

Eat, Run, Stay Fit And Die Anyway

death is
the after-party
and I am wearing
my Sunday finest
because when they dig
me up they will see
a formed, firm, finessed
fossil ready to lay down
for my right to remain


Thomas Fucaloro is the author of two books of poetry published by Three Rooms Press, most recently It Starts from the Belly and Blooms, which received rave reviews. The winner of a performance grant from the Staten Island Council of the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

The title of this poem comes from the “George Carlin Book Club Series.”