This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features a poem by Sarah Jean Grimm. 


Eight Dollar Garbage


I approach my power

When my hair dries how I want it to

And when I exercise I become practiced

As a lung in a breeze

What seems like a brag

Is just a tailored truth

Anything in the world can qualify as

The most natural thing in the world:

The mythic poise of cats

The lilting plastic bag in 1999’s American Beauty

Really ruining the mood of the room

With a neutered intuition

It’s never too early to leave

Or too late to change

Hear, hear

Some resolutions for the new year:

To cultivate an air of apathy

To know when you’ve had enough

To be remembered for doing your own stunts

Though Steve McQueen spends most of The Great Escape

Breaking in a baseball mitt

And I’ll spend most of the next hour

Looking around for someone to cheers

Thinking, baby, don’t fall down by the litter box

Don’t leave me in this schul with these strangers



Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).