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PEN America Blog

May 6, 2015

Somewhere in the world / There will always be a candle to light / A fire to put out / A flood to stem / A drought to fight / An earthquake / A group of Kenyan students massacred by terrorists

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May 6, 2015

Bless the woman, man, & child / who honor Earth by opening shine / in the soil—the splayed hour

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May 6, 2015

O Justice! Bring down your Hammer / Smash the system built on slavery / Let your thunder bring wonder / Let our country be the place it wants to be

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May 6, 2015

Rock music inspires achievement, struggle, action. It thunders in the stadium—We will rock you!—and sends us out on the field cheering, ready to play the Super Bowl. A better prayer than this would be a rock song.

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May 6, 2015

God created man as something free, a being with a purity of freedom, so-called. And as Lieutenant Garcia liked to say, a fool and his freedom are soon parted.

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May 6, 2015

I’m not trying to reach some divine / ear. Imagine. Where once / was mercy trash now crunches / like leaves under stars / if only there were still stars.

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May 6, 2015

I had been told that you would come back. I woke with the knowledge of that. But among the gods now there is no one who oversees my actions or knows my mind.

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May 6, 2015

Let the oceans be still or roar, as they always have. Please let the world go on as it always has, so that my children will know that only my spark has dimmed and not the entire world.

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May 6, 2015

If God can read Hebrew, then apparently the Jews are right and one way or the other I go to hell.

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May 6, 2015

something’s about to be sawed / in the narrow stone alley between / the church convent and our bordering bed / of Double Late tulips opening / now too wide to go on living.

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