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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.

December 18, 14

dear son don’t flinch / when he comes for you // singing through my brain my face // lure you wait / shadows flat under the operating lights // scissor to flower to bone Read More  »

December 10, 14

What more is there to say about tambourines / that mimic the bells on a leather saddle, strapped / to a horse you rode across the Chinese tundra / or rode over a dune into the sand sea below / the line between noise and music is inside you / like a...Read More  »

December 4, 14

I / was / delicate / as a child / lived / one too / many lives, I / loved me as myself / I was my brother Last / I entered the gun cabinet I kept / forgetting who I was, what he wanted, which side / or surface I belonged to Read More  »

December 1, 14

Shorthand that he is sacrificial pig / Soon to be dangled plunged flushed or frozen / Before slurping prognathous blob toting lurkers / Mildly curious prop destined for smithereen pile / There must be nothing left to put back together Read More  »

November 19, 14

my snake would scare away cops / if they came bothering Mama and me / when we are dancing to our records / high off something Ricky gave us Read More  »

November 12, 14

dressed white on white in the crisis of surveillance, / who can stop this, / the whole white colony is moulting shares, / drones cloud the sky overhead / dead-on to bomb the infestations / crossing the lawns without suit cases Read More  »

November 5, 14

Though the fathers and brothers and potential husbands who fought us and fell are entombed and their monuments decorated with cockscomb and digitalis, we wait for the earth to open and spit out our bodies to the statisticians Read More  »

October 29, 14

Today I pumped in the Atlanta airport women’s restroom / At the sink while ppl walked past / And I wore one of those bras for hands free pumping / Which also meant I wore a tinge of shame I knew I shouldn’t feel Read More  »

October 23, 14

He "died" "in the" battle, then fear / "And" sadness infected my milk / "My" baby "died," "on" "the" boardwalk / I "died" when "you" / Turned "your" car into "the" crowd, "I / Died" "in" a cage Read More  »

October 15, 14

First an army destroys a temple, the limbs of men and statues are demolished, their names disappear, the soldiers become a hero, then a number, then a statue is re-erected to pay homage to all the fallen, a parade drums by. Fireworks deafen our...Read More  »