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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 email as soon as they’re published. The series is edited by Danniel Schoonebeek, along with a rotating team of guest editors. 

July 22, 15

And I trust people // to make good choices / so I don’t have to impale them // on the tines of my pitchfork. Or otherwise // govern them. Why do you need so much / government, if you don’t like government why // do you insist upon making / these...Read More  »

July 15, 15

i fold my knees to a brown god, even // if he exists only for me. Bismilla’ hirah maa / neraheeem. take me home, where i can be a seed. // take me home, ameen. Read More  »

July 8, 15

A white man says we need to set a higher bar for / terrorism and then rides off my timeline on a police horse. There's nothing new / I could learn from another man—I know / enough about being awful in being / an awful one myself. Read More  »

July 1, 15

I died for Easter day and resurrected just / Like him for a week at the hospital I was high on morphine / And the nurses all laughed at me because they thought I was addicted / To ketamine... Read More  »

June 24, 15

she would pull her headscarf off / and strike the floor seven times / cursing the heavens and the Tyrant / I was in the cave / where convicts read in the dark / and painted the bestiary of the future on the walls Read More  »

June 17, 15

I have a ring that throws up when a cat dies / I have a ring where instead of a jewel it has one of God’s baby teeth / I have a ring commemorating my marriage to a green skull with the wings of a moth / I have a ring that protects me from not...Read More  »

June 10, 15

I touch the swollen skin / left of my right eye I ask Is this grace // is it violence is it black inside like inside / a black plum neither black nor red-violet Read More  »

June 3, 15

And I felt pale inside But never white inside or / Inside / I felt / Colored inside but colored white // Like I was truly white / The color white and / The master and his family // Were clear as glass / The clear / bright white not white of /...Read More  »

May 27, 15

I don't know if it was I / or the wind that lifted her forelocks but / what a mess her face was what a / traveling elsewhere / it was not here / I wanted to squeeze her face to make it stay / and maybe I did and maybe I...Read More  »

May 20, 15

Information doesn’t need to be true / to grow itself in your body like a peach / & be given as food to whoever, much later / What the world is / is making currency / from an ever-expanding meaningfulness / that carries no weight Read More  »

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