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PEN American Center

PEN Poetry Series

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they’re published. The series is edited by Danniel Schoonebeek, along with guest editors Robert Fernandez, Heather Christle, and Cathy Park Hong.

August 27, 14

I'll want to die first so you / can do this for me, though you'll / want to die first too. It's not / selfish to want to be said goodbye / to. Let's not argue. Let's both die / first together Read More  »

August 20, 14

No one refrains from repeating the gesture forever. / New York as seen from a plane / Writing its name in the sky. / What once appeared to be litter is revealed / As a series of glacial deposits / Artists have doctored Read More  »

August 13, 14

All die, I’ll die / of breathing if I don’t die of holding someone / else’s breath, the downy vultures know; sunbathing // poor in Alexandrian authority offering / to do anything, give anything, Read More  »

August 6, 14

His mother passed away, / cold errant, / in the cardboard container, / going begging / with a good shiny pen. / See what was so good about it. Read More  »

July 30, 14

Words for the wind were filled with trees // I was filled with a feeling I couldn’t name /I knew I would never be seeing her again: the girl with the shy tuck to her head, in the folkloric / embroidered dress Read More  »

July 23, 14

“Cut your losses,” said the Viking. / This is supposed to be fun. / But then your neighbor & her friend invite themselves in. / Ask if we’re having a party (are terrible dancers). / Improvisers in mirage. / They whistle. / Write that down. Read More  »

July 16, 14

Mercilessly I’m spared: / others drink the red wine in the cellar. / More and more weightless / my body: the clothes on the pole / are an image of me I agree with. / I’m living too long. That’s okay. Read More  »

July 9, 14

what company am I / keeping? // Only that of someone whose liver is / a lily, whose lover was a likeness / in this light—come here, I'll show you— / everybody has a likeness, / not so much a light. Read More  »

July 2, 14

grass cooling my temples / i thought of miklos / how all i wanted was to / hold miklos / bodies on top of / bodies he wanted / to smile at and in / death with what / little warmth you / have left please hold miklos Read More  »

June 26, 14

that even a dog has more rights to run free. but that oranges glimmer. so as not to be slurped up by dog-tongue. excuse-moi, dog. excuse-moi, docteur. can he not betake himself away and take the warding off, the water, the cups and every wall they...Read More  »