The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
It must be coming, mustn’t it? Churches and saloons are filled with decent humans. A mother wants to feed her daughter, fathers to buy their children things that break. People laugh, all over the world, people laugh. We were born to laugh, and we know how to be sad; we dislike
Say we no longer bear witness to a body-politic of trauma after revolution by anesthesia or erasure. Say we cover our eyes to crossed olive-wood beams on a hill. Modes of witness expose our inadequacy, the human. Forgetting is a sign—yes, a thing once existed. Say we
Mira, like a white goddess, is translating so my left ear is a cave near Kotor where the sea lashes and rakes the iron darkness inside the black mountains. Young and old, the poets are letting us know this sweltering night, under a bridge near a river outside Karver Bookstore at
I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids
Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.
Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack's, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is
Till Mr. Macklin draws the