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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.

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  »

October 8, 14

He knew that a planet, too, wanders, open, in a field of asters. And watched / the terror vanish, falling with the trees into darkness. You walk the dark to recall // a specific point in an argument in which you saw something delicate / fall apart...Read More  »

October 1, 14

Red sky on bad TV tonight / on furniture, on skin, / I’ll remember this like it was / yesterday somewhere else, / like I was another woman / who’d done time in a park / where pink repeating flowers were / birthed at the crowd... Read More  »

September 25, 14

I was immortal in my ability to be knocked down / and spread myself out to take the punch again. / In this sense I am still a mother. / I am forever taking the punch in the gut. / No one asked for my consent. Read More  »

September 17, 14

Unrested we said to others to leave / us pleased, not far along our track, still much // we want, half the slower good death / of cities too off your bristling map. Read More  »

September 10, 14

Blood moon whoever / calls you this lived stupidly / forgets god yearning Read More  »

September 3, 14

I don’t mean that vocabulary is arbitrary, but rather that artistic intent can manifest itself—can thrive, even—in the absence of an infinitude of possibilities, in the absence of total control. Read More  »

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  »

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